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COVID-19: US Orders China To Close Consulate in Houston

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United States, US has given China this Friday, July 25, as deadline for it to close its consulate in Houston, Texas.

US State Department said the decision was taken “in order to protect American intellectual property”.

The US State Department released a statement shortly after Mr. Wang spoke on Wednesday.

“We have directed the closure of PRC (People’s Republic of China) Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

She added the US “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”.

Ms Ortagus also pointed to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, under which states “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of a host country.

The development followed evidence of unidentified individuals seen, burning paper in bins in the building’s courtyard.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice accused China of sponsoring hackers who had been targeting labs developing COVID-19 vaccines.

Two Chinese nationals, who allegedly spied on US research companies and got help from state agents for other thefts, have been charged.

In a swift reaction, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin blasted the US, describing the order as: “outrageous and unjustified”.

There have been a crisis of confidence between the US and China.

President Donald Trump’s administration has clashed repeatedly with Beijing over trade and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as China’s imposition of a controversial new security law on Hong Kong.


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