China burns documents after United States ordered Beijing to shutdown Houston Consulate

United States has ordered China to shutdown its Houston consulate, Beijing said Wednesday.

“China urges the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, or China will definitely take a proper and necessary response,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.

“It is a political provocation unilaterally launched by the US side, which seriously violates international law… and the bilateral consular agreement between China and the US,” Wang said.

He added that China “strongly condemns” the “outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-US relations”.

On Tuesday, police and firefighters were called to the Houston consulate after smoke was observed in the building’s courtyard. Local media reported that documents were being burned and officers “were not granted access to enter the building”.

China has five consulates in the United States. The Houston was opened in 1979 and has nearly one million people registered.

Diplomatic tensions among the two superpowers has grown since President Trump took office. What started as a simple trade war has escalated after even further following the coronavirus pandemic and Hong Kong security legislature. President Trump has also imposed sanctions on Chinese officials over policies in Tibet and treatment of Muslim minorities Xinjiang.