Instead, Deputy Attorney General John Demers said the administration moved against the Houston consulate to stop the theft of China's defense and trade secrets after a "slow build-up" of activity. It noted that the Houston consulate was China's first in the USA when it opened in 1979.
The United States has led denunciations of the treatment of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, a far west region where an estimated one million Uighurs and other ethnic groups are believed to have been held in re-education camps.
A Chinese researcher charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about her military affiliation has taken refuge in China's San Francisco consulate, according to court documents, further escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing. "Shutting down consulates, however, helps closed autocracies more than open democracies". Witnesses said people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing police.
Supporters of foreign students had also argued that US universities play a crucial role in "soft power" diplomacy, nurturing what often become lifelong ties to the country.
The business group Greater Houston Partnership expressed regret at the announcement.
The U.S. dollar hit four-month lows against a basket of peer currencies on Thursday and China's yuan partially recovered losses from an earlier slide, as investors took a wait-and-see approach to tensions between the two countries.
Wang noted that the United States side, last October and in June this year, placed unwarranted limitations on Chinese diplomatic staff and it opened diplomatic parcels and searched the property of Chinese staff several times.
Hong Kong: China's imposition of a sweeping new national security law in Hong Kong in June led the USA to revoke the region's preferential economic treatment.
The U.S. on Tuesday ordered the consulate closed within 72 hours, alleging that Chinese agents had tried to steal data from facilities in Texas, including the Texas A&M medical system and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "It was not so much one thing in particular, but a slow accumulation of what we have been seeing over time and the decision to take a strong step to not only confront it in a general sense, but really interrupt it by closing that consulate", he said. Besides the May 5 Galwan valley clash, China recently staked claim over the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan and claims nearly all of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
"China urges the U.S. to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, or China will definitely take a proper and necessary response", Wang said.
Stephen Biegun, the State Department's number two diplomat, told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee the decision was made in response to "longstanding areas of concern". Without offering any specifics, he reiterated accusations about Chinese theft of United States intellectual property.
However, Wenbin did not hint at any such move as he reiterated how Beijing had always facilitated U.S. diplomatic missions in China. And a State Department official suggested that economic measures could be placed on Chinese officials over the issue.
On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice had accused China of sponsoring hackers who had been targeting labs developing COVID-19 vaccines.
"I know, Americans call that the rule of law and you have that you are not guilty until you are proven guilty".