Attention now turns to what retaliatory action Beijing may take. Last month, it had said that the United States would soon resume operations at the Wuhan consulate.
As parts of its efforts to relocate a global chip manufacturing supply chain to the United States, Washington struck a deal with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (T.S.M.C) that produces tech for a large number of smartphones.
On Tuesday, the Department of Justice indicted two Chinese hackers who it said had stolen trade secrets from USA companies and had begun targeting firms engaged in research on a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to local KPRC 2, quoting the Houston Police Department, the police and fire officials responded to reports earlier about a fire being sighted in the courtyard of the Consulate on Tuesday night.
The Houston police force said smoke was observed, but officers "were not granted access to enter the building". A news reporter's video showed several people surrounding multiple trash cans with documents on fire, in the consulate's courtyard. "It has a big university and media presence", Carafano said. He suggested that the consulate may have served such a function. He warned of firm countermeasures if the USA does not reverse itself.
In Beijing, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry said the U.S. gave the Chinese side a deadline of three days to close the mission in the Texas city. The Chinese Foreign Ministry later confirmed this report.
Pompeo said China's Houston operations had a wide effect. We urge the USA to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision. "Otherwise, China will definitely make a proper and necessary response". "In the end, it will harm US interests and harm China".
"Such an outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage China-US relations", added Wenbin.
"This is a insane move", Hu Xijin, the firebrand editor of the Communist Party-affiliated Global Times newspaper wrote on Twitter. It said Hong Kong could face visa limits and economic measures similar to China.
Despite the absence of cheaper or same-level-effective alternative, the Trump administration began a campaign against Chinese tech giant Huawei a year ago, citing potential concerns over its alleged espionage activities on behalf of Beijing - claims that have long-been disputed by the company and the Chinese government. "The U.S. has done its cost-benefit calculations".
On Monday, the Trump administration slapped sanctions on 11 Chinese firms over their use of forced labor and other forms of repression against the Uighur Muslims, an ethnic minority in China, including some with documented relationships with American companies.
Ortagus struck at the Communist Party in Wednesday's statement.
'The United States will not tolerate [China´s] violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated [its] unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior, ' the statement, which was attributed to State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, asserted.
The State Department claims the immediate action is needed to "protect American intellectual property" and other private information of American citizens.