China takes possession of US consulate in Chengdu
Steph Deschamps / July 28, 2020
In Houston, US agents entered the Chinese consulate on Friday after opening the door with tools. Beijing protested against this intrusion.
China "took possession" on Monday (July 27th) of the US consulate in Chengdu (Sichuan province), three days after the announcement of its closure by Beijing, according to the Chinese foreign ministry. In images broadcast by Chinese television, the American flag had been lowered earlier in the morning.
Beijing on Friday ordered the closure of the diplomatic mission in retaliation for a similar measure taken against the Chinese consulate in Houston by the Trump administration. US agents had entered the Chinese consulate in the city of Texas, after opening the door with tools.
This building is "a national property of China", protested the next day, in a statement, the Chinese foreign ministry, referring to international law, and warning that the country "will bring [it] an appropriate and necessary response to this subject ”, materialized on Monday by the closure of the Chengdu consulate.
Departure of diplomats before August 27
Since Friday, journalists had been able to see employees take out trash bags and a bus leaving the premises, all curtains closed, for an unknown destination. Diplomats and their families are expected to leave China by Aug. 27, a US diplomacy spokesperson told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“Today we bid farewell to the US Consulate in Chengdu. We will miss you forever, "the US Embassy in Beijing commented on social media Weibo. "This morning at 6:18 am, the United States Consulate in Chengdu lowered the American flag," Chinese public broadcaster CCTV announced on Monday, showing the image of the star-spangled banner slowly descending along its flagpole. interior of the diplomatic complex.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that the Chinese mission into which US agents entered was a "hub for espionage and theft of intellectual property. »
"Some employees of the United States consulate in Chengdu have engaged in activities beyond their remit, they interfered in the internal affairs of China and endangered security and Chinese interests," accused in response. Chinese diplomacy.