The US State Department on Wednesday ordered China to shut down its consulate in Houston in the state of Texas.

Department’s spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement the decision has been made “in order to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information,” CNBC reported.

Reminding the Vienna Convention’s requirements for diplomats that they should “respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State” and “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State,” Ortagus underlined that Washington would not tolerate Beijing.

“The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s [People’s 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,” she added.

China lost no time to slam the US move.

Accusing the US of “unilateral political provocation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that the US push to have the Houston consulate closed was “a grave violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations,” Chinese daily Global Times reported.

Urging Washington “to immediately correct its mistakes,” Wenbin told a press conference in Beijing: “Otherwise, China will make a legitimate and necessary response.”

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