- Closure of China’s Houston consulate raises spectre of new cold war
The closure of China’s consulate in Houston, Texas, on US government orders is playing out like a scene from the dark days of the cold war.
Among the first inklings that the general public received of high drama unfolding was when a local TV station, KPRC 2, started broadcasting footage of fire engines standing with their lights flashing in the dark outside the consulate building.
A while later, the station published on its Twitter account a viewer’s video of fires raging in the courtyard of the consulate as staff scurried to incinerate papers in what appeared to be three separate oil drums.
Although the US issued no formal announcement ahead of its Houston consulate move, a steady stream of searing commentary on China from senior US officials in recent weeks provided a sense of what is motivating Washington.
“It’s remarkable that a local outlet in Houston broke the news after seeing fire trucks and smoke rising from the consulate,” said Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank in Washington.