On Tuesday, the United States ordered the closing of China’s consulate in Houston. According to Fox News, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the order was issued “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.” She added that “President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations.” The move was to combat China’s continued attempts to spy on and steal data from U.S. based companies and the Trump administration alleged that the consulate “was a nest of Chinese spies who 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.” according to FOX.
The Chinese government responded by closing the US consulate general in Chengdu, according to China’s foreign ministry.
These moves represent an escalation in the ever-growing tensions between the world’s leading economies and reflect a low point in relations between the U.S. and China.
Although the move to close the Chinese consulate in Houston has led to a deterioration in the U.S. – China relationship, it is a necessary step to combat China’s aggressive spying campaign.
Reuters reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who testified at a U.S. Senate hearing, stated that the United States closed the Chinese consulate in Houston because it was a “den of spies.”
Senator Marco Rubio also tweeted that “China’s consulate in Houston is not a diplomatic facility. It is the central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies & influence operations in the United States. Now that building must close & the spies have 72 hours to leave or face arrest. This needed to happen.”
Rubio is exactly right. Since the 1970s, China has enacted a plan to try and overtake America as the world’s superpower, and part of that plan is to leapfrog the cost and time needed to build technology and invent medicine by stealing it from the United States. China has engaged in covert spying for decades stealing all kinds of technology from U.S. based businesses.
This cannot continue. The United States has tried to treat China as a friend since the early 1970s, but the Chinese Communist Party has used that to rip us off in trade deals, spy on us, steal technology, and attempt to supplant our standing in the world.
There is a long documented history of China’s widespread espionage scheme which is an attempt to learn and steal America’s military technology and classified information, along with technological secrets from U.S. companies.
As I laid out in a previous article, there are plenty of instances of China’s technological espionage, but unfortunately, not enough instances of American politicians standing up to Beijing.
Although the steps that were taken by closing the Chinese embassy in Houston were an escalation in the war with China, it was a needed move to combat and prevent China’s stealing United States secrets, and ensure the safety of the American people.
We are headed for an unpleasant conflict with Beijing, and if we don’t take the necessary steps now, it will be all the harder in the future.