By Marie Finn
The Chinese Communist Party commandeered the 35-year-old consulate on Monday, after U.S. diplomats obeyed Chinese orders to shut down.
The seizure came on the heels of a statement from China’s foreign ministry a day earlier: “The Chinese side deplores and firmly opposes the U.S. move of forcibly entering China’s Consulate General in Houston and has lodged solemn representations. China will make legitimate and necessary reactions.”
On Friday, federal agents breached the Chinese consulate in Houston after the Trump administration gave the Chinese 72 hours to shut down what Senator Marco Rubio alleged to be a “massive spy center.”
The U.S. State Department asserted that they closed down the Houston consulate, “In order to protect American intellectual property.” Then went on to declare, “The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s (People Republic of China) 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.”
The closure order came on the heels of last week’s indictments against two Chinese nationals accused of hacking hundreds of companies, governments, and organizations for to benefit the PRC. The hackers were said to be targeting companies developing treatments and vaccines for Covid-19.
FBI Director Chris Way told Fox News that the Chinese Communist Party is “pursuing a campaign of intellectual property theft, economic espionage, and cyber intrusions,” across the country.
With over 2,000 active investigations and a new counterintelligence probe opened every 10 hours, he considers China to be a grave danger to American innovation, democracy, and with an estimated annual theft of $600 billion in intellectual property, a threat to economic security.