(Houston—July 22, 2020) The U.S. has decided to close the Chinese consulate in Houston, citing concerns over American security.
In a press conference, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to give an explanation for the sudden closure. However, he referenced concerns that the Chinese government is robbing America of its intellectual property rights.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus offered more details on the closure. She said the U.S. has taken this action “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
The action comes shortly after the U.S. arrested two Chinese men for hacking into systems, looking for weaknesses in the U.S. effort to develop COVID-19-fighting vaccines and medicines, and making themselves privy to trade secrets.
China has promised retaliation if the U.S. fails to revoke the order to close the consulate.