This week, US-China tensions escalated, following the U.S. The showdown between the US and China has seen a new development this week. On July 22, the US ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas. Staff there have 72 hours to leave or they will face arrest. The State Department said that the closure was ordered “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
What could have prompted the US to act so quickly? What did the Chinese consulate do in violation of America’s sovereignty? And how is the Houston consulate different from other Chinese consulates? Today, we sat down with Chen Yong-lin, Beijing’s first secretary and consul for political affairs in Sydney, who defected in 2005. We discussed this issue, why the US ordered the shutdown in such a hurry, and what the US intends to accomplish.