US/China consulate closures

This item appears on page 4 of the September 2020 issue.

The US and China have traded consulate closures.

On July 23, the US Department of State ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the order was made because of acts of espionage and to protect intellectual property from being stolen by Chinese agents, though no evidence of any theft was disclosed.

On July 24, the Chinese government gave the staff at the American consulate in Chengdu, in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, 72 hours to vacate the city. According to China, the closure was made in direct response to the closure of the Houston consulate.