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Chinese Consulate in Houston Takes Bizarre Document Destruction Action as US Orders Closure

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Chinese diplomats were recorded burning documents after the State Department ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston on Tuesday.

The decision to close the consulate, according to multiple reports, was made by the U.S. government over continued alleged espionage by Chinese nationals.

“The Vienna Convention states 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,’” said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, Politico reported.

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our 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,” the statement added.

KPRC-TV reported that documents were spotted being burned in the consulate courtyard Tuesday, which prompted a call to firefighters.

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The outlet reported that dozens of Houston firefighters were dispatched to the scene, near downtown Houston, but they could not enter the property.

Video on social media shows what appear to be barrels of paper burning in the consulate courtyard.

“You could just smell the paper burning,” a witness told KPRC. “But, all the firefighters were just surrounding the building. They couldn’t go inside.”

The announcement of the consulate closure also includes the closure of a nearby compound that houses Chinese diplomats who work at the consulate, KPRC reported, citing a police source.

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The South China Morning Post, owned by the Chinese multinational company Alibaba, reported that China intends to retaliate.

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Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the consulate was ordered to close suddenly on Tuesday, the South China Morning Post reported.

Wang called the decision an “unprecedented escalation” of tensions between China and the U.S.

“China demands the US revoke this wrong decision. If the US goes ahead with it, China will take the necessary countermeasures,” Wang stated, according to the Morning Post.

Wang also claimed that other Chinese delegations throughout the U.S. have received “death threats” among rising tensions between leaders in Beijing and Washington.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Chinese government-owned Global Times, posted on Twitter that the consulate was given 72 hours to shut down.

The move to close the consulate came a week after U.S. officials condemned China’s suspected imprisonment of more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs in its Xinjiang region.

Speaking to reporters while on an official visit to Denmark, according to Reuters, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Chinese operatives of stealing U.S. and European intellectual property, which he stated is costing “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”

“President Trump has said, ‘enough.’ We are not going to allow this to continue to happen,” Pompeo said at a news conference.

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Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor and a producer in radio, television and digital media. He is a proud husband and father.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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