Several trashcans full of paper were burned in the Chinese consulate’s courtyard in Houston Tuesday night after the U.S. ordered its closure “to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information,” according to State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus.
“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior,” the statement said. “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.”
Beijing vowed to retaliate after what Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called an “unprecedented escalation,” the South China Morning Post reported.
“China demands the U.S. revoke the wrong decision,” Wang said. “If the U.S. went ahead, China would take necessary countermeasures.”
Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times, called the U.S.'s decision "crazy."
Firefighters could be seen surrounding the building Tuesday but were unable to go inside.
“You could just smell the paper burning,” one witness told Houston’s KPRC-TV.