Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation, but did not say what measures it might take.
President Donald Trump said in answer to a question at a news briefing it was "always possible" other Chinese missions could be closed too.
He warned of firm countermeasures if the United States does not reverse itself. Besides the May 5 Galwan valley clash, China recently staked claim over the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan and claims nearly all of the South China Sea as its sovereign territory.
Still, when Covid-19 began to devastate public and economic health in the US, the President's Republican allies and influential White House staff, including Jared Kushner, began to argue that a way to energize the base The president's policy is to criticize China for its failure to stop the spread of the disease from the start, administration officials and three people familiar with Kushner's thinking have told CNN. Two U.S. government officials said they had information that documents were being burned there. Video footage showed people presumed to be consulate staffers burning what appeared to be documents there.
The U.S. "will not tolerate the PRC's violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC's unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior", she added.
Biegun made his comments at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday.
The Justice Department's top national security official said the shutdown was unrelated to federal charges unsealed Tuesday against two Chinese hackers for a 10-year campaign to steal intellectual property from hundreds of companies worldwide, including recently of four American companies investigating the coronavirus.
Even before the USA announced the closure, which was conveyed privately to the Chinese ambassador on Tuesday, China strongly condemned it.
Amber Heard wrapping up evidence in Johnny Depp libel trial
"He threw all the bottles that were in reach, all except for one which was a celebratory magnum-sized bottle of wine", she said. He picked up bottles and began to throw them. " Heard said that this was after he" smashed a telephone against a wall".
"The move shows that lagging behind his presidential election opponent in the polls. the USA leader is going all out in his attempts to portray China as an agent of evil", it added.
But if China closed the American mission in Wuhan as retaliation, Carafano said that the blow to the US would be much smaller. Washington has also cracked down on the Chinese media operating in the U.S., asking them to register as diplomatic entities since they are seen as China propagandists, and has threatened to ban Tik-Tok and other Chinese apps. He also said that US diplomats in China engage in infiltration activities.
A Chinese diplomat, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, denied the spying allegations and said the Houston mission acted like other Chinese consulates in the United States - issuing visas, and promoting visits and businesses.
Foreign diplomatic missions operate under legal immunities accorded by global law and may not be entered without permission.
Washington had "abruptly demanded" closure of the Houston consulate, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, and the editor of an official media outlet said on Twitter that China had been given 72 hours to do so.
The New York Times quoted the top USA diplomat for East Asia, David Stilwell, as saying that the Houston consulate had been at the "epicenter" of the Chinese army's efforts to advance its warfare advantages by sending students to US universities.
"We need a smart, comprehensive strategy to contain, deter and engage China", former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted Wednesday. The US State Department did not reply to a request for comment.
In a reflection of China's economic importance, a Houston business group expressed regret at the announcement, saying the consulate has been important in building trade, investment and cultural ties. "We look forward to the reopening of the consulate in Houston once these concerns are addressed", it said in a statement.