State Department orders China to close consulate in Houston — China vows retaliation

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The State Department confirmed on Wednesday the U.S. has ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, prompting Beijing to insist on firm countermeasures unless Washington immediately reverses its decision.

The move is an escalation of political tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the directive to close China’s consulate general Houston was made to protect American intellectual property and the private information of its citizens.

The Vienna Convention says diplomats must “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State” and “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State,” Ortagus continued.

She added that Washington would not tolerate the People’s Republic of China’s violations of U.S. 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.

China condemned the decision, warning of

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