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The State Department said Thursday the United States was deeply concerned by an arson attack on the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, which took place Wednesday and heavily damaged the structure. 

"The United States is deeply concerned by reports that the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco was damaged after being targeted by an arsonist on Wednesday, January 1," said Marie Harf, State Department deputy spokeswoman. "We take this incident very seriously, and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security is working with the FBI and local authorities to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators."

The consulate was damaged when an unidentified person set fire to the main gate on New Year's Day.

According to a statement released on the consulate's website, the suspect was in a van parked in front of the building on Wednesday night, and carried two containers of gasoline to the main gate before setting it on fire.