China has until 4 p.m. Friday to vacate its Houston consulate after the State Department ordered it to be shuttered following evidence that the Texas facility was the "epicenter" of research theft in the United States by the Chinese Communist Party, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Thursday.
"We have uncovered, of course, a spy ring," Ortagus said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" about the State Department's partnership with the FBI and Department of Justice for an investigation into China's activities.
Ortagus said that Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be at the Richard M. Nixon Library in California, where he will give "one of the most historic speeches as it relates to foreign policy that anyone will give in this administration" and that he will "lay out what the Chinese Communist Party has done."
Pompeo's address will also outline "how we are now embarking on a new policy, which is distrust and verify as it relates to the Chinese Communist Party," she said.
In the case of the Houston consulate, China was found to have been stealing from technology companies, she said.
"We have uncovered, and so we are putting a stop to the stealing of American intellectual property," said Ortagus. "The stealing of American research, of course, ultimately takes American jobs."
She added that the State Department is "absolutely" prepared to show members of Congress the dangers posed by the consulate in Houston, and she thinks that there is a "lot of bipartisan support" for holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its actions.
"It was untenable to keep that consulate open," said Ortagus.
But it is still important to note that over the past 40 to 50 years, the United States has "tried opening up to China," said Ortagus. "We tried appeasement. We have tried doing more business and getting both countries to come together, bringing them into international organizations."
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