The United States has asked China to close its Passport and Visa Office at the China Consulate General in Houston, Texas, Report says, citing RIA Novosti.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed the development, saying that Washington had "abruptly" informed Beijing to close down its Texas consulate on 21 July. China strongly condemned the decision and called upon the US to rescind the move, while suggesting retaliatory measures in response, according to Reuters.
Beijing currently operates five Consulates-General in the United States, including those in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC.
According to local KPRC 2, quoting the Houston Police Department, the police and fire officials responded to reports earlier about a fire being sighted in the courtyard of the Consulate on Tuesday night. Reports suggested that the fire was the result of documents being burned in the building's courtyard.