China strongly condemns U.S. requirement to close Chinese consulate in Houston
Updated 19:09, 22-Jul-2020

China strongly condemns the U.S. for asking China to close its Consulate General in Houston, Texas, urging it to recall its wrong decision or there will be countermeasures, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

The U.S. abruptly asked China to close its Consulate General in Houston in 72 hours starting July 21. The move, according to U.S. State Department was to "protect Americans' intellectual property and private information."

In response, China said the decision is a political provocation made by the U.S., which has seriously violated international law, basic norms of international relations as well as relevant provisions of the China-U.S. Consular Treaty, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

The unilateral announcement on closing China's Consulate-General in Houston, according to Wang, is an upgraded action that escalates tensions between China and the U.S. to an unprecedented level.

According to Wang, the U.S. government has long blamed China and smeared it by taking unprovoked attack against the country's social system and by targeting, intimidating and even arresting Chinese students in the United States.

Wang also refuted the U.S. claim of unequal relations between the two countries and the so-called China's infiltration into the U.S., pointing out that it is the United States that has repeatedly set restrictions against Chinese diplomats, opened diplomatic bags from China without permission and seized China's articles intended for official use.

China's Consulate Generals have already received several death threats and even bombs, the spokesperson added.

China has always adhered to its policy of non-intervention; infiltration or interference has never been the norm for China's diplomacy, stressed Wang.

China's diplomatic presence in the U.S. has always been committed to improving mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, Wang reiterated, and once again urged the United States to recall its wrong decision.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also warned its citizens studying in the U.S. to "be on guard" for arbitrary interrogations and detention. 

"Recently, U.S. law enforcement agencies have stepped up arbitrary interrogations, harassment, confiscation of personal belongings and detention targeting Chinese international students in the US," said the foreign ministry in a statement.