The United States has told China to close its consulate in Houston, both countries have confirmed, deepening a deterioration in bilateral relations.
Washington “abruptly demanded” the closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday (local time), a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
Firefighters had reportedly been called to the building because papers were being burned, after the US gave consular workers three days to shut down the office.
Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation, but did not say what measures it might take, however a source told Reuters that Beijing was considering shutting down the US consulate in Wuhan.
In a statement, a US State Department spokesperson said the move was made “in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information”.
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In This Story: Beijing
Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, has history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites such as the grand Forbidden City complex, the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties.