Beijing has ordered the closure of the US consulate in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu. This instruction was given today, Friday. The U.S. State Department on Tuesday ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, to close within 72 hours (Friday), the AFP news agency reported. Following the US announcement, China ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu in retaliation.
In an immediate response to the US move, China said the move was “horrific” and “unjust.” If this decision is not reversed, appropriate response will be given. This is a kind of political provocation and a violation of international law.
But the State Department says the move is aimed at protecting the country’s intellectual property rights and the personal information of U.S. citizens.
Smoke billowed from the Chinese consulate in Houston after the US announcement. U.S. officials speculate that Chinese officials may have burned their documents before the consulate closed.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued a statement regarding the decision to close the US consulate. In a statement, they said Beijing had taken “legal and necessary action” in response to the United States’ unreasonable move.
A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Beijing does not expect the current state of relations between China and the United States. But the United States is responsible for everything that has happened.
Extreme tensions exist between China and the United States on various issues, including military and economic. Three Chinese nationals have been arrested in the United States. The United States has accused them of visa fraud.