Tensions between the United States and China are continuing to escalate, with the latest development seeing the Trump administration order the closure of China's Houston consulate over spying allegations.

Speaking with CNBC, Senior Fellow Dr Charles Edel says what happens next "all depends on how the Chinese government responds", but admits it is "unclear" on what the endgame is in this consulate "tit-for-tat".

"What the Trump administration is doing overall is calling attention to issues that China has taken that need to be addressed," Dr Edel says, "It's very much in line with other actions the administration has taken."

"Whether or not this per say has an end game the idea seems to be to rachet up tensions with China."