The US closed the Chinese consulate in Houston because it was “a den of spies”, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, testifying at a US Senate hearing on Thursday.
Last week, the US announced the closure of the consulate in Houston, with Mr Pompeo saying that the US had made this decision because China was “stealing” intellectual property. China denied the allegations. In response, Beijing ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south-western city of Chengdu, accusing its staff of meddling in its internal affairs.
Speaking on Thursday, Pompeo also said that the “tide is turning” on China, referring to international support for US policies towards Beijing, including the step-up of maritime manoeuvres by Washington and its partners in the South China Sea.
Previously, US Secretary of State praised the UK for its response to China’s new national security law for Hong Kong, describing the recently adopted legislation as a “grip on the semi-autonomous city”. He also referred to China as an aggressor over what he described as Beijing’s illegal maritime claims and a cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak to pursue its own interests.
“We want to see every nation who understands freedom and democracy … to understand this threat being posed by the Chinese Communist Party…We hope we can build out a coalition that understands the threat,” Pompeo said during a visit to the UK earlier this month.
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