US says it has closed consulate in Chengdu, China

Chengdu, July 27 

The US says it has closed its consulate in Chengdu, China. China ordered the consulate closed in retaliation for a US order to close down the Chinese Consulate in Houston final week.

The American flag has been taken down at a U.S. consulate in southwestern China, in accordance with state media, as officers vacate the premises underneath order of the Chinese authorities.

State broadcaster CCTV stated on its social media account that the flag was lowered at 6:18 a.m. on Monday on the U.S. mission in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Police have closed off a two to 3 block space across the consulate, slicing off nearly any view of the property. Vehicles could possibly be seen transferring within the distance behind a number of police traces.

China ordered the closing of the consulate on Friday in retaliation for a U.S. order to shut the Chinese Consulate in Houston. The tit-for-tat closings marked a big escalation within the tensions between the 2 nations over a variety of points, together with commerce, know-how, safety and human rights.

Moving vans arrived on the U.S. consulate Sunday afternoon and left a couple of hours later. Late at night time, flatbed trailers entered the advanced. One later emerged carrying a big delivery container and a crane.

Before the world was closed, the approaching closure of the consulate drew a gentle stream of onlookers over the weekend as Chengdu, like Houston, discovered itself within the limelight of worldwide politics.

People stopped to take selfies and photographs, jamming a sidewalk busy with consumers and households with strollers on a sunny day within the metropolis of Chengdu. A bit boy posed with a small Chinese flag earlier than plain garments police shooed him away as international media cameras zoomed in. 

Police had shut the road and sidewalk in entrance of the consulate and arrange steel boundaries alongside the sidewalk on the opposite facet of the tree-lined street.

Uniformed and plainclothes officers saved watch on each side of the boundaries after scattered incidents following the Chengdu announcement on Friday, together with a person who set off firecrackers and hecklers who cursed at international media capturing video and photographs of the scene.

A person who drained to unfurl a big placard late Sunday that he known as an open letter to the Chinese authorities was shortly taken away. 

Earlier, a bus left the consulate grounds and what seemed to be embassy workers spoke with plainclothes police earlier than retreating again behind the property’s strong black gates. It wasn’t clear who or what was on the bus.

Three medium-size vans arrived and left a couple of hours later, and automobiles with diplomatic plates departed in between.

The U.S. alleged that the Houston consulate was a nest of Chinese spies who tried to steal information from services in Texas, together with the Texas A&M medical system and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. China stated the allegations have been “malicious slander.” –AP

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