U.S. has ordered China consulate in Houston to close: State department spokesperson

FILE PHOTO: U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus is seen during a press conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2020. Mangel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The United States said on Wednesday it had ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston, spokesperson for the State Department Morgan Ortagus said.

“We have directed the closure of PRC Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and American’s private information,” Ortagus said in an emailed statement.

Earlier on Wednesday, China said the closure was “an unprecedented escalation” and said it would retaliate if the U.S. did not revoke the decision.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Toby Chopra