The Chinese language authorities gave the Individuals the identical 72-hour timeframe to shut their Chengdu mission as Beijing had been given in Houston final week.
As that deadline expired, the Chinese language Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned in an announcement Monday that the Chengdu consulate closed at 10 a.m. “Related Chinese language authorities then entered from the principle entrance and took over,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement posted on Chinese language social media platform Weibo.
Over the weekend, a whole lot of individuals had gathered outdoors the US consulate within the metropolis of 16.5 million folks, taking selfies and waving Chinese language flags.
On Saturday, the US insignia was taken down, whereas on Sunday elimination work started on a plaque outdoors the embassy and transport containers have been loaded onto vehicles, as employees ready for the consulate to be closed.
Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwest Sichuan province, was an essential diplomatic outpost for the US, protecting a big swath of the nation, together with the controversial Tibetan Autonomous area.
“At the moment, we bid farewell to the US Consulate Normal in Chengdu. We’ll miss you ceaselessly,” the mission’s official publish mentioned.
US officers instructed reporters Friday that employees on the Chinese language consulate “have been straight concerned in communications with researchers and guided them on what info to gather.”
In response to a senior State Division official, the thought to shut the Houston consulate emerged this spring after China interfered when US officers returned to the consulate in Wuhan to retrieve diplomatic supplies.
The Chinese language Overseas Ministry referred to as the closure of the Houston consulate an “unprecedented escalation” of ongoing tensions between the 2 international locations.
“The present state of affairs between China and america is one thing China doesn’t wish to see, and the duty rests totally with america,” the Chinese language overseas ministry mentioned within the assertion.
US-China tensions rise
Tensions between the US and China have been strained by the continuing commerce struggle, allegations over the coronavirus pandemic and US criticism of human rights abuses in each Hong Kong and Xinjiang, which Beijing denies.
“As President Trump has made very clear, we’d like a technique that protects the American financial system and certainly our lifestyle. The free world should conquer this new tyranny,” Pompeo mentioned.
“The reality is that our insurance policies — and people of different free nations — resurrected China’s failing financial system, solely to see Beijing chunk the worldwide fingers that have been feeding it. We opened our arms to Chinese language residents, solely to see the Chinese language Communist Celebration exploit our free and open society.”
CNN’s James Griffiths contributed to this write.