Police say a fire that was reported at the Chinese Consulate in Houston Tuesday evening was the result of classified documents being burned. The call about a fire at the building located in the 3400 block Montrose came in around 8:20 p.m. Houston fire and police departments responded to the scene but were not allowed entry into the building.
H/T: FOX 26 Houston
“The Vienna Convention states diplomats must ‘respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State' and 'have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.’ The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
“We have directed the closure of PRC Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information,” he added.
#BREAKING: The US asked #China to close Consulate General in Houston in 72 hours.— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) July 22, 2020
In this footage people at the Chinese consulate are seen burning documents and other materials. pic.twitter.com/lJhpqTZ5rW
Firefighters arrived at the Chinese consulate in Houston after witness reports that papers were being burned outside in open containers, according to local media reports, citing police.— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 22, 2020
Earlier the U.S. abruptly ordered China to close the consulate. More: https://t.co/hWinxI0lff pic.twitter.com/qCkkQniW29
There’s still a fire truck parked outside the Chinese consulate in Houston. Last night there were at least 15 fire + police + EMS vehicles responding to witnesses who saw documents were being burned inside the consulate’s courtyard. pic.twitter.com/H0K6cvlaWH— Rachel Adams-Heard (@racheladhe) July 22, 2020
#BREAKING: China confirms that United States has asked Beijing to shut its consulate in Houston within next 72 hours. Calls it ‘unprecedented escalation’ which is ‘outrageous and unjustified’. In this video, Chinese officials can be seen burning documents inside their Consulate. pic.twitter.com/o3UCwJRjpF— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) July 22, 2020
The clock has run out on the Chinese Consulate in Houston.— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 22, 2020
The order to close the facility was made to "protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information,” according to @statedeptspox.
BREAKING: The Trump Administration is giving Chinese officials until 4pm Friday to vacate their consulate in Houston. The announcement came yesterday. Hours later, HFD was called to the property because people were burning documents in the courtyard #khou11 #htownrush pic.twitter.com/0xgteLCBZ9— Janel Forte (@JanelKHOU) July 22, 2020
What are they trying to hide? https://t.co/7mlxmUmcNf— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 22, 2020
China threatens retaliation after US orders closure of Houston consulate https://t.co/SOAXNH2wou #FoxNews Just the start of knocking China out! Great job Trump lets make them pay for the Chinese Virus! Go Trump!!— james hunt (@jamesronaldhunt) July 22, 2020