China Orders U.S. To Close Consulate In Retaliation For Houston Closure

The Chinese Communist government has told the U.S. to close its consulate in Chengdu, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. The order was given the same day that the U.S. has asked China to close its Houston, Texas consulate.

“The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this. We once again urge the US to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday.

Earlier this week, a fire broke out in China’s Houston Consulate. Many suspect Chinese officials were burning documents in the building’s courtyard. According to witnesses, law enforcement and fire officials never entered the building and the fire mysteriously went out on its own. Soon after, the U.S. ordered the consulate’s speedy closure, giving employees 72 hours to vacate the building.

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the Chinese Communist Party in a speech from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in California. Speaking before U.S. officials and Chinese dissidents, Pompeo expressed the need to change our engagement strategy when it comes to China.

Pompeo explained, “My experience in the House Intelligence Committee, and then as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and my now two-plus years as America’s Secretary of State have led me to this central understanding:”

“That the only way – the only way to truly change communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave,” he added. “And you can see American policy responding to this conclusion. President Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of ‘trust but verify.’ When it comes to the CCP, I say we must distrust and verify.”