The Trump Administration’s closure of China’s consulate in Houston, and China’s retaliatory closure of the American consulate in Chengdu, is the latest in the din of diplomatic discord that now defines the world’s most important bilateral relationship. On Thursday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made explicit what has been clear to anyone observing developments from Hong Kong to Huawei: America’s decades-long gamble on greater Chinese openness has hit a wall.

Governments often operate secretively out of foreign consulates,…


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