U.S. orders China to shut Houston consulate in move China calls ‘unprecedented escalation’
UNTV News • July 23, 2020 • 245
The United States has told China to close its consulate in Houston in a dramatic worsening of ties between the world’s two biggest economies, and a source said Beijing was considering shutting the U.S. consulate in Wuhan in retaliation.
Washington “abruptly demanded” closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday (July 21), China’s foreign ministry said, calling the move an “unprecedented escalation.” The editor of an official Chinese media outlet said China had been given 72 hours to do so.
The State Department said the move was made “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”
Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation, but did not say what measures it might take.
Speaking on a visit to Denmark, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated accusations about Chinese theft of U.S. and European intellectual property, which he said were costing “hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
While offering no specifics about the Houston consulate, Pompeo referred to a U.S. Justice Department indictment on Tuesday of two Chinese nationals over what it called a decade-long cyber espionage campaign that targeted defense contractors, COVID researchers and hundreds of other victims worldwide. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration stands firm that the Philippines’ position will not be compromised should a joint oil exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea pushes through.
This is in relation to the country’s arbitral award on the disputed territory against China.
“First, this lifting of the moratorium is an exercise of our sovereign rights. In no way it weakens the arbitral decision, and our MOU to explore a joint development program or cooperation with China, in no way that it weakens or gives away our sovereign rights,” noted Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Department of Energy (DOE) to lift the suspension and once again issue a resume to work notice for service contractors for oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
“Although sovereign rights are defined as exclusive rights, that exclusive rights may be shared to others. The decision to share it is part of the sovereign rights,” explained Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. –MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
Around P50 million worth of misdeclared cigarettes from China were destroyed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Cagayan de Oro last October 2.
The cigarettes came from different shipments that were declared as furniture and disposable cups. One of the shipments arrived last May 14 while the other shipment arrived last June 9 at Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.
District Collector John Simon issued a Decree of Abandonment after the shipment failed to request for extension of lodgement of its goods.
“The shipment has been previously issued with an Alert Order. This was followed by a 100% physical examination which revealed the shipment actually containing cigarettes,” the BOC said in a statement. AAC
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