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China says US has ordered it to close consulate in Houston

The Chinese foreign ministry condemned ‘such an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage China-US relations’.

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(Andrew Harnik/AP)

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

(Andrew Harnik/AP)

China says the US has ordered it to close its Houston consulate in what it called a provocation that violates international law.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US had abruptly demanded the previous day that the consulate cease all operations.

He said Beijing strongly condemned “such an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage China-US relations”.

There was no immediate confirmation or explanation from the US side.

Media reports in Houston said authorities had responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said people were burning paper in what appeared to be waste bins, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing police.

It came the day after court documents revealed the US had accused hackers working with China of targeting companies developing coronavirus vaccines.

PA