China strongly condemns US demand to close Chinese consulate in Houston

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Prosecutors said she concealed her connection to the country's military in her visa application, but investigators discovered she had been employed as a researcher at the Fourth Military Medical University (FMMU).

The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the closure of the Wuhan consulate might mitigate China's response to the shutdown of the Houston consulate.

Wenbin called on the U.S.to "immediately abolish this erroneous decision", which he called a "revolting and unjustified move" that would undermine Chinese-U.S. relations.

Ties between the United States and China have worsened sharply this year over a range of issues, from Covid-19 and telecoms gear-maker Huawei to China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its imposition of a national security law on Hong Kong. Last month she was charged with visa fraud after U.S. prosecutors accused her of pretending to be a civilian while actually being a member of the Chinese military.

"As the Tang case demonstrates, the Chinese consulate in San Francisco provides a potential safe harbor for a PLA official intent on avoiding prosecution in the United States", the court filing said. But Cai said he was simply escorting Chinese students onto a chartered plane and giving them masks.

Song Chen and Zhao Kaikai meanwhile were both arrested on 18 July. During the interview, Tang "denied serving in the military" and told agents that wearing the uniform she was pictured in was required for attendance at the Chinese military school where she worked, court documents say. They also described that the consulate was requested to shut by Friday alongside with a compound the place numerous consulate employees stay, citing police sources.

Footage showed people throwing what appeared to be paper into flaming bins.

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Houston firefighters and police, the report said, responded to the fire at the Consulate General office but did not have the authority to access the building. In a statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the claims "are completely unlawful". "And when they don't, we're going to take actions that protect the American people, protect. our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs".

According to the embassy, it is the US that has imposed unjustified restrictions on Chinese diplomatic personnel.

This is a unilateral political provocation. This has already made a negative impact on global economic development, said Volya, warning that further deterioration of China-U.S. relations is possible.

There are a number of flashpoints between Beijing and Washington. Trump himself said more closures could be coming if China doesn't change its behavior.

Senator Angus King, a ME independent who meets with Democrats, told CNN's John Berman on the "New Day" on Wednesday that he was unaware of any "recent intelligence on particular Chinese activities, nor regarding our elections, or the entire confrontation between our two countries: theft of intellectual property "that may have prompted the decision".

The physical closure of the consulate, one of China's six missions in the United States, marked a dramatic step in increasingly contentious relations that have been strained not only by the conronavirus pandemic but disputes over trade, human rights, Hong Kong and Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The US outreach to China began in 1970 through Pakistan and with what was called "ping-pong diplomacy" (involving a US table tennis team visiting China).

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