The U.S. intelligence services are confident that the Consulate General of China in American Houston was closely connected to Chinese intelligence. This was reported by NBC News on July 23 with reference to anonymous sources in the U.S. government.
According to the channel, the Consulate General was protected from possible surveillance on the U.S. side and was a “high-tech communications hub for coordination and spy operations.
For example, the Chinese government has for a long time allegedly used the diplomatic mission to “steal valuable medical research,” as well as to infiltrate the U.S. oil and gas industry, NBC said. It is alleged that the FBI has been receiving confirmation of this for several years.
July 21, the U.S. demanded that the Chinese diplomatic mission in the city be closed within three days. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained that China is stealing American intellectual property on a large scale.
On July 22, U.S. leader Donald Trump hinted that the fire at the Consulate General’s premises may have been related to the fact that his employees tried to destroy important documents.
For his part, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called the incident an “unprecedented escalation” and promised that Beijing would respond to the US accordingly.