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China closes U.S. consulate in Chengdu

Posted July. 28, 2020 07:57,   

Updated July. 28, 2020 07:57


The Chinese government shut down the U.S. consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province at 10 a.m. on Monday, which appears to be retaliation for the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, the U.S. The Chengdu consulate was closed in 72 hours after the Chinese government ordered to do so and in 35 years since it was established in 1985.

The U.S. Department of State said the U.S. consulate in Chengdu suspended operations as of 10 a.m. Monday, expressing regret over the Chinese government’s decision to do so. Five moving trucks were used for three days to prepare for the closure. The U.S. government reportedly withdrew its staff at the consulate before the closure.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, around 11 a.m., Monday that its authorities entered the compound from the main entrance and took over, making a comparison with U.S. officials who forced open a back door of the Houston consulate.

China’s state broadcaster CCTV began a live broadcast on Weibo at 6:18 a.m. Monday as the U.S. flag over the building was taken down. The broadcast garnered over 200,000 likes. Thousands of citizens flocked to the Chengdu consulate from the day before the closure, taking pictures and videos and one man even setting off fireworks in front of the building.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS News that more Chinese consulates in the U.S. “may well be closed.” Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said it was “always possible” he would order the closure of more Chinese consulates.

Ki-Yong Kim kky@donga.com