China vows retaliation after the US ordered its Houston consulate closed

By Alma Fabiani

Published Jul 22, 2020 at 12:45 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

The closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston threatens to ignite a new diplomatic row between China and the US, with Beijing accusing the US of giving it only 72 hours to shut the diplomatic mission in a move it described as “unprecedented” and an “outrageous” escalation.

According to China, the US would have told Houston’s Chinese consulate on 21 July to abruptly cease all operations and events. In response, Beijing would have threatened retaliation if the decision was not withdrawn. This move constitutes the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two superpowers.

The US State Department said in a statement that the closure was announced in order to protect American intellectual property and private information. This action swiftly follows a US Department of Justice indictment of two Chinese hackers accused of trying to steal trade secrets from hundreds of global targets and, more recently, probing for vulnerabilities in US companies involved in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said the Chinese consulate in Houston was operating normally, following local media reports on Tuesday night that documents were being burned in a courtyard at the consulate. Texas fire and police officers responded to the reports of a fire. It was not clear if they were permitted to enter the consulate or not.

China vows retaliation after the US ordered its Houston consulate closed

“China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move, which will sabotage China-US relations,” Wenbin told reporters at a regular news briefing on Wednesday. “We urge the US to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision, otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions.”

To this, the State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus answered: “The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behaviour.”

But China didn’t wait before retaliating. The Chinese foreign ministry said its embassy in the US had received bomb and death threats, which it blamed the US for “fanning hatred against China.” Beijing also accused US diplomats of being engaged in “infiltration and interference activities.”

“If we compare the two, it is only too evident which is engaged in interference, infiltration and confrontation,” said the Chinese foreign ministry’s statement.

Keep On Reading

By Charlie Sawyer

British Museum attempts Roman Empire TikTok trend, fails miserably and gets called sexist

By Charlie Sawyer

2023 was Jeremy Allen White’s year. Why? Because being committed to the job is sexy

By Abby Amoakuh

Sasha Pieterse of Pretty Little Liars discusses being sexualised in the role at age 12

By Abby Amoakuh

After School Satan Club causes uproar in US elementary school

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

The return of 2012’s most divisive shoe: Why wedge sneakers are making a comeback in 2024

By Charlie Sawyer

Confessions of a 15-year-old drama queen: digging up my old teenage diaries

By Abby Amoakuh

As cities wage a war on wee, the UK public toilet crisis intensifies

By Charlie Sawyer

No, controversial comedian Matt Rife didn’t compare himself to Bin Laden

By Charlie Sawyer

Quiet on Set documentary: Nickelodeon star Drake Bell details extensive sexual assault at 15 by Brian Peck

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Trump rambles about Hannibal Lecter and Kristi Noem’s dead dog, while Biden taunts him

By Charlie Sawyer

Gwyneth Goes Skiing is a campy delight, plus it’s doing wonders for Gwyneth Paltrow’s PR

By Alma Fabiani

Brothers jailed for recording themselves torturing poor animals in sadistic attacks

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Annie Leibovitz’s Zendaya Vogue shoot reignites call for Black photographers

By Abby Amoakuh

Kieran Culkin cringes as co-star Julie Delpy says she wishes she was African American

By Charlie Sawyer

New Armie Hammer ex-girlfriend reveals actor has only gotten worse since cannibalism claims

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

UK police investigating case of 16-year-old girl’s virtual gang rape in metaverse

By Charlie Sawyer

Golden Globes 2024: Kylie Jenner forbids Timothée Chalamet from taking picture with Selena Gomez

By Charlie Sawyer

Why is Amish TikToker Sarah Joy being questioned on her religion?

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

From gen Z farming to pro-hybrid work, here are 3 ways the younger generation will impact 2024

By Emma O'Regan-Reidy

Stanley vs YETI: Which tumbler is worth the hype?