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U.S. orders Chinese diplomats out, closes Houston consulate

(NNP) In a move that would escalate tensions between the two largest economies, the U.S. on Wednesday asked China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, saying it has been used for spying on the United States and stealing intellectual property. A spokeswoman for the United States Department of State, Morgan Ortagus, stated that the consulate was asked to close “in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.” The spokeswoman did not provide further details on the accusations leveled against the consulate.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus that has claimed more than 140,000 American lives, relations between the two countries have reached a new low with the U.S. side branding the virus as the “Chinese virus” in a bid to stigmatize the Asian country. The two countries have also been at war on trade with tariffs and counter tariffs imposed by both sides.

In a separate statement shared with the media, a spokesperson for the Department of State stated that China “has engaged for years in massive illegal spying and influence operations” and that those “activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years.” China is expected to retaliate by closing one of the five U.S. consulates in what is expected to be a tit-for-tat diplomacy.


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Posted by on Jul 22 2020. Filed under Africa & World Politics, American Politics, Headlines, NNP News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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