"As detailed by Secretary of State Pompeo, FBI Director Wray, and Attorney General Barr in public remarks, PRC officials have interfered in our domestic politics, stolen USA intellectual property, coerced our business leaders, threatened families of Chinese Americans residing in China, and more", the State Department spokesperson said.
The move against the consulate in the Texas city became known Tuesday, hours after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new indictment of two Chinese nationals over alleged cyberespionage against defense contractors, coronavirus researchers and other targets.
There was no immediate response from the USA on the matter.
The number-two diplomat at the State Department, Stephen Biegun, said on Wednesday Washington and Beijing could still work together against North Korea's development of weapons of mass destruction despite current tensions. A trade war has already engulfed the world's two biggest economies, and the Trump administration's accusations of Chinese mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak have further strained relations.
China's embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on those remarks. At a press conference US officials said did not obtain coronavirus research.
Multiple U.S. officials told the network that the Houston consulate has always been used by the Chinese government to steal valuable medical research, and was involved in attempts to infiltrate the oil and natural gas industries.
Critics of Trump's China approach have described the move as arbitrary and counterproductive.
The allegation of the United States on the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston is "malicious slandering", the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
Late on Tuesday (local time) in Houston, local media reported that documents had been burned in a courtyard at the consulate building. Firefighters had responded to reports of the fire but did not enter the premises.
Additionally, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told Fox News that the U.S.
"The U.S. should revoke its erroneous decision", she said.
"The unilateral closure of China's Consulate General in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China", said Wang.
The U.S. has withdrawn Hong Kong's special trade status and imposed visa restrictions on several Chinese Communist Party officials, which the Chinese government calls "interference in domestic affairs".
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. "They will close one of our facilities somewhere in China, probably Wuhan".
On Wednesday the Trump administration ordered the closure of China's mission in Houston, saying it was involved in stealing intellectual property.
On Wednesday, Chinese state media suggested the possibility of closing USA consulates, posting a poll on Twitter asking users to choose between missions in Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guangzhou and others.
Now, in addition to closing the consulate, the U.S.is also considering a ban on Chinese-owned mobile apps such as Tik Tok, removing Chinese technology from the electrical grid, and sanctioning Communist Party officials over the internment of Muslims and a security law that effectively ends Hong Kong's independent legal status.