“Former officials were perplexed. Danny Russel, the former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs who left the department in 2017, said that when he was at State and the National Security Council, ‘the Chinese consulate in Houston did not have a particular reputation as an acute vector of espionage.’

“‘It is very hard for me to figure out what China could do uniquely from its consulate in Houston that it could not equally well do from its consulates in Boston, LA, or NY, from the embassy in DC or through non-official cover,’ Russell said. ‘It is inconceivable that shutting down a consulate will stop espionage.’

“‘The drama of this action makes it seem like a teaser for Pompeo’s’ speech Thursday, Russell added. ‘This has a very distinct wag-the-dog feel to it…'”

Read the full article here: