The United States has ordered the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas to close after Houston police and fire responded to a fire in the building Wednesday night where documents were reportedly being burned by Consulate employees.
“We have directed the closure of [People’s Republic of China] Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and American’s (sic) private information,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement Wednesday, according to NPR.
A Houston resident, who lives within blocks of the Consulate, told this reporter Wednesday, “This happened in 2017 too,” adding that Wednesday’s fire took place in the same courtyard at the time and no one evacuated.
The fire Tuesday night was no different, she added, describing a “go-between” negotiator who kept exiting the consulate to speak with officials and entering back into the building.
“I see people in there all the time. And no one, no one ever came out of this building until this guy,” she explained.
“No one put out the fire. There was no ladder truck, there was no hose. It just kept burning.”
Fire officials and police never entered the building from what the resident saw. “I pulled up a chair and sat and watched it the entire time,” she said.
China’s Foreign Ministry received the notice Wednesday to vacate the building by July 24, NPR reported. Beijing, however, responded in condemnation, calling the move “an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China.”
The news comes amid rising tensions between the two countries that quickly escalated with the spread of the novel coronavirus earlier this year.
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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant
With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.
Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.
The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.
In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.
“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.
“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”
Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.
“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”
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