China has retaliated to the U.S closure of its Houston, Texas consulate as tensions escalate between the two trade giants.
The United States ordered the closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston, accusing it of hosting Chinese spies who were engaged in intellectual property theft.
China has responded to the move proportionately, ordering the U.S Consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan Province to close down. The country gave a Monday 2 pm deadline for the consulate to be evacuated.
The staff of the Chengdu consulate have started making final efforts to pack out of the facility. Witnesses say a coach left the premises today amidst tight security presence outside the building.
The U.S-China tensions cuts across a list of interests including China’s Hong Kong clampdown, claims in the South China sea, trade, COVID-19 and technology (intellectual property theft).
The Trump administration’s move to close down the consulate was informed by claims that the Houston-based Chinese consulate was hosting spies who attempted to steal data from Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo called the Consulate “a hub of spying and intellectual property theft”, a claim the Chinese government referred to as a “malicious slander”.