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International relations

US points to Chinese medical espionage in battle of the consulates

Washington shields research as two powers race to find COVID-19 vaccine

A plainclothes U.S. security official enters the back door of China's consulate general in Houston, Texas, after Chinese employees left the building July 24.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- The U.S. is doubling down on claims of Chinese consulates facilitating espionage after it ordered the one in Houston to close, citing the city's medical research scene.

In a Friday call with journalists, a senior State Department official pointed to Houston's "medical connection" as a reason for singling out the consulate there.

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