Washington ordered Chinese consulate shut for being 'hub of spying,' Pompeo says

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the Chinese consulate in Houston, which Washington has ordered shut, was a center for espionage and operations to obtain US companies' trade secrets illegally.

"This week, we closed down China's consulate in Houston because it was a hub of spying and intellectual property theft," Pompeo said in a California speech on China's threat to the world.

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"China ripped off our prized intellectual property and trade secrets, costing millions of jobs across America," he said.

Pompeo added that securing freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party were now "the mission of our time."

Read more: China says ‘malicious slander’ behind US closing of Houston consulate

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