It is ‘possible’ to close more Chinese embassies, Trump says US closes consulate in Houston

It is ‘possible’ to close more Chinese embassies, Trump says US closes consulate in Houston

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Washington: The US has not ruled out the possibility of closing more Chinese diplomatic missions in the country, President Donald Trump said, ordering Washington’s consulate in Houston to “protect American intellectual property and private information” by Washington. Hours after giving.
According to senior Trump administration officials, the US move comes amid a growing number of disputes between the two countries over Beijing’s continued aggressive actions to strengthen Washington, including closing the consulate in Houston.
The consulate in Houston, Texas, is one of five Chinese diplomatic missions in the US, not counting the embassy in Washington DC.
Following the Justice Department’s move, the US government said that hackers working with the Chinese government targeted firms developing vaccines for coronovirus and stole multimillion-dollar intellectual property and trade secrets from companies around the world.
Trump told reporters during a daily press briefing at the White House on Wednesday, “When he wants to close the additional Chinese embassy, ​​it’s always possible.
“It has directed the PRC (People’s Republic of China) Consulate General Houston to be shut down to protect American intellectual property and American personal information,” the US State Department said in a brief statement Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus said the US would not tolerate violations of the PRC’s sovereignty and intimidation of its people, just as it did not tolerate the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior.
He added that Trump “emphasizes fairness and reciprocity in US-China relations.”
During the press conference, Trump referred to news of the fire at the Chinese Consulate in Houston, apparently due to the burning of documents in his courtyard.
“You see what is going on. We felt that there was a fire in what we did. And everyone said, ‘There is a fire. There is a fire.” And I think they were burning documents or burning papers, and I wonder what that is all about, “he said.
Meanwhile, testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Begun referenced the decision to close the Houston Consulate.
“We see the US-China relationship today with a growing number of disputes, including commercial espionage and theft of intellectual property from American companies, disproportionate behavior by Chinese officials by our diplomats, businesses, NGOs and journalists, and the US. Misuse; welcoming academic freedom and posture towards international students to steal sensitive technology and research from our universities to advance the PRC’s military, “he said.
“It is these factors that led to the president directing a number of actions in response, including yesterday’s notification to the PRC that we have withdrawn our consent for the PRC to operate its consulate in Houston, Texas, “Begun said.
The move to close the Chinese consulate in Houston was welcomed by top US lawmakers.
Senator Ben Sas, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, alleged that the Chinese Communist Party’s consulate in Houston is a safe house for “Chi-Com spies”.
He said, “This is the perfect call to shut it down. We should also throw Chairman Xi’s agents out of the country.”
Congressman Michael McCall, a Republican leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Chinese Consulate in Houston is the epicenter of the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing research piracy in the US, specifically to steal sensitive information to build its military.
“The CCP’s recent targeting of US coronovirus vaccine research underscores the threat of activity at this consulate in Houston, a biomedical research and technology hub. I hope this action will make CCP’s espionage network in the US an important Will shock and give a clear message that their extensive espionage operations will no longer go unchecked, ”he said.
In an interview to Fox News, Congress President Liz Cheney described it as a strong move. “This is a very important sign that we are seeing such steps, steps like the President’s sanctions against the people in China’s government who are responsible for what is going on in Uygar and concentration camps as well as in Hong Kong ,” he said.
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asked, “When China, take vengeance ‘, as they have said they will do, what will be our next step?”
Reacting strongly to the US move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday called it “unprecedented growth” and warned of retaliation.
Both the US and China were locked in a political and strategic conflict in recent months on a range of issues, including the origins of coronovirus, China’s decision to implement its national security law in Hong Kong and deepening trade friction.
Beijing is apparently considering options to order the closure of the US consulate in Wuhan or in Hong Kong, where Chinese officials accused the US of anti-China protests.
In addition to the Chinese embassy in Washington, Beijing has offices in the United Nations and consulates in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.

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