Amid the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, the latter has ordered China to shut down its embassy in Houston, Texas for illegally spying on the citizens through mobile applications.
On Wednesday Evening, Trump Govt. announced the news to close down the Chinese Houston Embassy by Friday. The two superpowers are feuding over issues related to coronavirus pandemic, and China’s policies in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the South China Sea.
Morgan Ortagus, State Department spokeswoman, described the move as “to protect American intellectual property”.
She did not reveal any particular reason behind the decision to evict the Chinese Houston Embassy.
China Houston Embassy/Consulate Eviction: Why is the US shutting it down?
The government released the order on the same day when two Chinese individuals were indicted in an attempt to steal the coronavirus vaccine being developed in the US laboratories.
According to the Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the two people captured were trying to act “for their own personal gain” and to benefit China’s Ministry of State Security.
In another statement, Trump’s administration said China is aggressively spying and influencing the US citizens for years.
“These activities have increased markedly in scale and scope over the past few years,” it said.
Before the US took the decision to shut down China Embassy Houston, the firefighters and the police reached the Chinese Houston Embassy after a report of a fire to burn down the documents in the courtyard was registered.
Houston Police reached the scene but officers “were not granted access to enter the building.”
China’s Reaction To The Decision of Chinese Houston Embassy Eviction
Chinese Government is not happy with the decision, they called it “an unprecedented escalation.” Mr. Wang stated that it violated international law and the US is “shifting the blame to China with stigmatization and unwarranted attacks.”
He mentioned that if the US continues to take such decisions, “China will react with firm countermeasures.”
“In reality, in terms of the number of Chinese and American embassies and consulates in each other’s countries and the number of diplomatic and consular staff, the US has far more people working in China,” Mr Wang said.
Wang Wenbin, Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing, said that the US told the Chinese Houston embassy would have to close, citing it an “outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-US relations.”
“China urges the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, or China will definitely take a proper and necessary response,” Wang said in a press conference.
“It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law… and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US.”
Chinese Students Studying in the US Might Suffer
Foreign Ministry warned the Chinese Students studying in the United States to “be on guard” as the police have been given orders to interrogate the students and confiscate their personal belongings.
Earlier this year, Trump had called the Chinese Government to withdraw its policies imposed on Tibet and Xinjiang.
US’s relation with Hong Kong deteriorated after China imposed a new security law which questions Beijing’s promises of autonomy to function as a state.
Moreover, last week Washington announced Beijing’s thirst to cover the South China Sea terrority and its resources as illegal. A decision backed by many other South Asian countries.
The US also banned Huawei, a Chinese telecom service provider. Another Chinese app TikTok is also on the verge of getting banned by the Trump Govt. for privacy issues.
Stay tuned with TCD for more updates on the Chinese Houston Embassy Eviction.