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American Flag taken down: US says it has closed its consulate in Chengdu, China

CHENGDU: The U.S. says it has closed its consulate in Chengdu, China. China ordered the consulate closed in retaliation for a U.S. order to close down the Chinese language 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 language authorities.

State broadcaster CCTV mentioned 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, chopping off just about any view of the property. Autos might 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 language 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.

Shifting vehicles arrived on the U.S. consulate Sunday afternoon and left a number of hours later. Late at night time, flatbed trailers entered the advanced. One later emerged carrying a big transport container and a crane.

Earlier than the realm was closed, the approaching closure of the consulate drew a gradual stream of onlookers over the weekend as Chengdu, like Houston, discovered itself within the limelight of worldwide politics.

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

Police had shut the road and sidewalk in entrance of the consulate and arrange metallic boundaries alongside the sidewalk on the opposite aspect of the tree-lined highway.

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 images of the scene.

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

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

Three medium-size vehicles arrived and left a number of hours later, and vehicles with diplomatic plates departed in between.

The U.S. alleged that the Houston consulate was a nest of Chinese language spies who tried to steal information from amenities in Texas, together with the Texas A&M medical system and the College of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Middle in Houston. China mentioned the allegations have been “malicious slander.”

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