Chinese Consulate in Houston Closed over Privacy, IP Theft Concerns
Trump administration is taking action against China’s theft of US IP, manufacturing secrets, moves against China in Houston over massive intel operations there, orders shut down of Consulate.
The Chinese ministry reacted by calling the closure a “political provocation unilaterally launched by the U.S. side, which seriously violates international law, basic norms governing international relations and bilateral consular agreement between China and the U.S.”
It has been a not very well held secret that China has openly been stealing tech secrets from the U.S., our computer programs, stealing propitiatory rights from corporations, even from our military, yet no president has ever done anything about it until now.
China was not happy having the president once more stand up to them, they accused the Trump administration of stigmatizing and “unwarranted attacks” against China’s social system, “harassing” Chinese diplomatic and consular staff, “intimidating and interrogating” Chinese students and “confiscating their personal electrical devices, even detaining them without cause.”
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Denmark, said the closure was ordered “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
“The United States will not tolerate [China’s] violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the [its] unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior,” she said. “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”
This comes amid tensions between China and the U.S. over the U.S. accusing China of holding back COVID-19 data, which they say caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. There is also growing tension over the U.S. refuses to give into China’s claim of sovereignty in the South China Sea.
China could respond by shutting down U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, there is little they could do besides this.
“China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-U.S. relations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement posted to social media. “We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision, otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions.”
Tuesday night, authorities in Houston responded to a fire at the consulate, where witnesses saw papers being burned outside the facility.
The closure came ahead of a Senate foreign relations committee hearing on Wednesday that will examine U.S.-China relations. The hearing will include testimony from Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) lauded the closure, tweeting: “#China’s Houston consulate is a massive spy center, forcing it to close is long overdue.”
We need to look at the rest of the Chinese Consulate’s, if they are engaging in the same type of actions, maybe Trump should expand this shuttering of more.