In retaliation for the Trump administration’s demand earlier this week to close the Chinese Consulate in Houston, Beijing told the United States it has 72 hours to close its consulate in the Sichuan capital, which monitors Tibet and southwest China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry called the closure a necessary response and urged the United States to retract its order to close the Houston consulate. U.S. officials accuse Chinese diplomats in Houston of stealing scientific research and economic secrets.
Why the escalation between the two powers? In a Thursday speech, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared U.S. engagement with China a failure. He cited China repressing Uighurs in Xinjiang, denying Hong Kong of its freedoms, spreading its propaganda in the United States, and stealing U.S. intellectual property. “The only way to truly change communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave,” he said.
Dig Deeper: Read Pompeo’s full speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, Calif.
Onize Ohikere is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.