Gordon Chang reacts to Houston consulate order: China is 'deliberately stoking racial tensions'

The Fox News Asia analyst urges the U.S. to take 'effective' measures

China is stoking racial tensions in the United States, Fox News Asia analyst Gordon Chang stated Wednesday.

In an interview on "America's Newsroom,"  Chang pointed out that the reason the State Department said the Chinese consulate in Houston was ordered shut this week was that it was "involved in intellectual property theft" and because they "wanted to protect the information of U.S. individuals."

CHINA THREATENS RETALIATION AFTER US ORDERS CLOSURE OF HOUSTON CONSULATE

"Also, there are stories that this consulate had links with protest groups in the United States providing financial and logistical support. That’s unconfirmed," he added. "But, what is confirmed is that the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Communist Party's global ties have been engaged in a malicious disinformation campaign, deliberately stoking racial tensions in the U.S.

"And, U.S. Customs has seized items coming from China this year that would be very handy for protesters," Chang noted.

China, however, called the closure an "unprecedented escalation" by the United States and threatened to retaliate.

“China demands the U.S. revoke the wrong decision. If the U.S. went ahead, China would take necessary countermeasures,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said Wednesday in a daily news briefing.

Beijing reportedly called the eviction a violation of international law.

In a statement sent to Fox News, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus confirmed the directive and said it was issued "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information.”

Ortagus said that America will "not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior. President Trump insists on fairness and reciprocity in U.S.-China relations."

A firetruck is positioned outside the Chinese Consulate Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Houston. Authorities responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, according to police. China says the U.S. has ordered it to close its consulate in Houston in what it called a provocation that violates international law. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A firetruck is positioned outside the Chinese Consulate Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Houston. Authorities responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, according to police. China says the U.S. has ordered it to close its consulate in Houston in what it called a provocation that violates international law. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“We are setting out clear expectations as to how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a news conference on Wednesday. “And when they don’t, we are going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs.”

According to Houston's KPRC-TV, documents were burned inside the consulate’s courtyard Tuesday evening, though firefighters responding to the scene were not allowed entry. They also reported that the consulate was ordered to close by Friday along with a compound where many consulate employees live, citing police sources.

Chang made the case that the New York diplomatic facility for the Eastern power player should also be shut down.

"In the affidavit which was unsealed this year, the FBI said that the Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai and somebody from the New York consulate illicitly tried to recruit a scientist in Connecticut who was involved in molecular biology research," he said. "So, this was obviously conduct which was inconsistent with their diplomatic status."

"China has been doing this with -- almost openly. So, we need to take measures that are effective," he urged.

"Not too long ago we were involved in trade negotiations; it seems like those days are over," host Martha MacCallum remarked.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP 

"Yes, certainly," Chang agreed.

"You, remember the 301 tariffs that President Trump imposed were for the theft of U.S. intellectual properties – meant to be a remedy. Those haven't worked. So, trying to close consulates and other facilities: that might have more of an effect on Beijing," he concluded.

Fox News' Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.