Fire in consulate courtyard, US accuses China of spying

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Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the move is an outrageous act of sabotage. He said that China will retaliate against the U.S. if the consulate is not allowed to reopen. Occupants were given until 4 p.m. Friday to vacate the building. 

Wang accused the U.S. of consistently breaking diplomatic rules and stealing Chinese intellectual property. Wang said U.S. diplomats inappropriately open Chinese diplomatic pouches, confiscate Chinese items for official use and unnecessarily crack down on Chinese diplomats. He also claimed that U.S. diplomats in China are involved in infiltration activities.

“If we compare the two, it is only too evident which is engaged in interference, infiltration and confrontation,” Wang said during a press conference in Beijing. 

The U.S. has been increasing pressure on China since the beginning of this year. This order to evacuate the consulate comes in the wake of two executive orders signed by Trump last week, which determined that the U.S. will treat Hong Kong as an independent entity, free from any and all U.S. preferential treatment.