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Houston: US Orders Closure Of Chinese Consulate – Leads To Rising Tensions

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Published on: July 23, 2020

The US made a surprising move to order the shutdown of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, claiming there were spying concerns.  While the Chinese condemned the order, it hasn’t stoped the tensions from rising further than they already have between the two countries.

The State Department issued a statement saying that the consulate must close by Friday.

“We have directed the closure of PRC Consulate General Houston in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, “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 behavior.”

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This is not uncommon for the Chinese.  They consistently steal patented ideas from not just Americans, but all over the world, patent those ideas in China and use cheap labor to make boatloads of money.

Beijing, however, claims the order “seriously violates” international relations norms.  China also said there would be retaliation unless the US backs down from its demands.

The New American reports:

Wang Wenbin, foreign ministry spokesperson for China, declared, “The unilateral closure of China’s consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China.” He accused the United States of repeatedly opening Chinese diplomatic pouches without permission and of confiscating Chinese items for official use.

Wang also alleged that American diplomats in China engage in infiltration activities. “If we compare the two, it is only too evident which is engaged in interference, infiltration and confrontation,” he said, adding that the Chinese embassy in Washington allegedly received bomb and death threats.

The Houston Police Department received reports that the embassy began burning documents after 8:00pm on Tuesday evening. According to witnesses, a small amount of smoke could be seen and smelled from the outside. Dozens of local first responders arrived at the scene but did not enter the property.

“You could just smell the paper burning,” a witness at the scene told KPRC 2. “But, all the firefighters were just surrounding the building. They couldn’t go inside.”

The order to shut down the consulate came after the Justice Department on Tuesday unsealed an indictment charging two Chinese hackers with trying to steal coronavirus research from American companies.

According to the indictment, Chinese nationals Li Xiaoyu and Dong Jiazhi stole “material on military satellite programs, wireless networks and communication systems, high-powered microwave and laser systems as well as a counter-chemical weapons system” on behalf of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS). The indictment stated that there were 25 unnamed alleged victims, including a Texas engineering company and a Virginia defense contractor.

“China has now taken its place — alongside Russia, Iran and North Korea — in that shameful club of nations that provide a safe haven for cyber criminals in exchange for those criminals being ‘on call’ to work for the benefit of the state,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Bonnie Glaser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said China would “almost certainly shut down the US consulate in Wuhan in retaliation.”

The federal government in recent days has taken a hardline stance against China. 

Attorney General William Barr stated last week, “The United States has become overly reliant on Chinese goods and services, including face masks, medical gowns and other protective equipment designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.”

He also accused hackers linked to the Chinese government of targeting American universities and businesses to steal research related to vaccine development, leveling the allegation against Beijing hours after Western agencies made similar claims against Russia.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at the Family Leadership Summit saying that there was thought that more trade with China would make America more free.

“But that’s not what’s happening today,” Pompeo warned. “Today, the Chinese Communist Party is crushing freedom in Hong Kong. It’s threatening a free Taiwan. It’s trying to dominate world communications networks, including those right here in places like Iowa…. We won’t stay still while Communist China tries to crush the world’s freedoms.”

Well, Mr. Pompeo, do Chinese determine law in the US?  Or does our Constitution?  So, if they are attempting to do that, who is to stop them in this country and why haven’t they been stopped in decades?

It’s good that they want to shut the consulate down, and while they’re at it, they should pick up Senator Dianne Feinstein and her staff for questioning about employing a Chinese spy for two decades.

Furthermore, the things keeping Americans from being more free is not China, it’s Washington, DC.  I say that it’s time to abandon the corruption there.

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