“This is a huge escalation,” China studies fellow Steven Lewis said of U.S. orders to close China's Houston consulate amid charges of spying. “I can’t think of an example of closing a consulate over these kinds of charges.” Houston Chronicle: https://bit.ly/3fZU6L0
In a separate interview with MSNBC, Lewis said that the U.S. level of response sets this situation apart. "In the history of diplomacy, this usually results in bouncing some officials. Usually you don’t close an entire consulate over something like this."
Steve Lewis is the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow at the Baker Institute.