U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to give a speech Thursday in California about China at a time of escalated tensions between the two countries.The State Department said Pompeo’s address is titled “Communist China and the future of the free world.”The United States ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston, saying Wednesday the move was done to “protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.”“We are setting out clear expectations for how the Chinese Communist Party is going to behave, and when they don’t, we’re going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs,” Pompeo said Wednesday during a visit to Denmark.China rejected the U.S. action as a “political provocation” and said it would respond with “legitimate and necessary actions.”“China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such an outrageous and unjustified move which sabotages China-U.S. relations,” the Chinese Embassy in Washington said in a statement.  “The U.S. accusations are groundless fabrications, and the excuses it cites are far-fetched and untenable.” 

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