Amid the heightened diplomatic tensions between the USA and China, it is being reported that the US government has ordered the Chinese government to close the office of the Consulate General of China in Houston.
It appears that the Chinese staffers at the Consulate General have been burning documents at the premises. Local media outlets in Houston shared footage where documents and other materials appeared to be burning in the courtyard of Consulate General of China in Houston, Texas.
NEW VIDEO: Documents, other materials appear to be burned in courtyard of Consulate General of China in Houston, Texas; police and fire responded but its unclear it they entered property— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) July 22, 2020
In the video, one can see several open containers placed in the courtyard and flames coming out of them. People cand be seen throwing things into the flaming bins.
The Houston Police Department said that they started receiving reports that documents were being burned inside the courtyard of Consulate General of China almost after 8 pm, Tuesday, at 3417 Montrose Boulevard where the consulate is located. The police personnel along with fire tenders reportedly rushed to the spot but stood helpless as they were not allowed to enter the premises. “You could just smell the paper burning. But, all the firefighters were just surrounding the building. They couldn’t go inside,” a witness told a local media outlet.
China asked to shut Consulate General of China in Houston within 72 hours
This cames in the aftermath of the USA abruptly ordering China to close its consulate in Houston. In what China called “a provocation that violates international law”, the US government reportedly gave China 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston.
Though there is no official statement from the USA, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Wednesday that the U.S. had abruptly demanded the previous day that the consulate ceases all operations and vacate the premises under 72 hours.
He said that China strongly condemns “such an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage China-U.S. relations.”
The US-China tension is on its way to getting worse. Recently, the USA State Dept had issued a statement against Chinese aggression and expansionism. In the statement, reiterating its support for India and other Southeast Asian countries, in the face of Chinese aggression, US said that it is enhancing its military capabilities, strengthening ties with ‘friends’, staying vigilant and increasing the military capabilities of nations whose sovereignty is threatened by China. It also said that the US is now providing economic alternatives to nations who have been dependent on predatory Chinese investments, besides supporting diplomatic efforts to resist encroachments by the Communist-ruled country.