Reports: Staff burned documents after US ordered China to shut down Consulate in Houston

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The United States has asked China to close its consulate in Houston, the two countries said on Wednesday, exacerbating the deterioration of bilateral relations, and a source said Beijing was considering closing the US consulate in Wuhan.

Washington had “sharply demanded” the closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, and the editor of an official media outlet said on Twitter that China had 72 hours to do so. make.

Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation, but did not say what action it might take.

Late Tuesday in Houston, local media reported that documents were burned in a yard of the consulate building. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the consulate was operating normally, declining to comment further on the information.

Ties between the United States and China have worsened sharply this year over a range of issues, from new coronavirus and telecommunications equipment maker Huawei to China’s land claims in the South China Sea and its imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong.

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