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U.S. Order to Close the Chinese Houston Consulate
Published on: 2020-07-23
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huston 01China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Wednesday that the United States told it to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston within 72 hours. The ministry vowed to retaliate if Washington proceeds with the unilateral action.

“The U.S. side on July 21 abruptly requested the Chinese side to close the consulate general in Houston,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbing said at a press conference asked about the abrupt order.

Wang said the action is a “unilateral political provocation,” which “severely violated” relevant regulations of the China-U.S. consular treaty and “intentionally sabotaged” the two countries’ bilateral relationship. Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have been rising amid a series of disputes over technological, economic and geopolitical interests.

While strongly condemning the “rude and unreasonable” action, Wang urged Washington to “immediately withdraw the relevant wrong decision, as otherwise China will surely issue a just and necessary response.”

He disputed that the closure of the consulate was because of “reciprocal” issues. He said the number of the U.S. diplomatic personnel in China is “far more” than China’s in the U.S.

If Washington proceeds with the order, the Chinese consulate will close Friday. It was not immediately clear whether the closure is permanent or temporary, or whether Chinese diplomats and staff who worked at the consulate would be allowed to stay in the country.

The Chinese Consulate General in Houston is one of five Chinese general consulates in the U.S. and covers Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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