The U.S. ordered China to close its Houston consulate—the only one in the state—The Texas Tribune reports:


"The State Department did not elaborate on the alleged infractions, but [State Department spokeswoman Morgan] Ortagus suggested that China had violated the Vienna Convention, which governs diplomatic relations between states. Under the convention, diplomats must 'respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State' and 'have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.'"

The Houston consulate processes visas for travelers going to China from states between Florida and Texas, according to The New York Times, which also reports that the short-term consequences of the closure will be limited because travel between the two countries is already restricted due to the pandemic.

But the long-term consequences may be wider, according to the Tribune:

"Analysts on both sides say that bilateral relations are at their worst since before 1979, when the United States formally recognized the People's Republic of China."

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