US News China seizes the United States consulate in Chengdu after the departure of the Americans

10:51  27 july  2020
10:51  27 july  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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The US consulate in Chengdu was taken over by Chinese authorities after the Trump administration ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. Chinese security personnel walk outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China 's Sichuan province on Monday, July

On July 24, China ordered the U . S . to close its Consulate General in Chengdu after the U . S . abruptly demanded that China close The Chinese Embassy in the United States said it will temporarily take over the work of the consulate general in Houston and continue the various services for the people in

  La Chine s'empare du consulat des Etats-Unis à Chengdu après le départ des Américains © Supplied by Le Point

The China took possession of the United States consulate on Monday in Chengdu shortly after the expeditious departure of the last American officials, at the end of a diplomatic episode evocative of the Cold War.

Chengdu against Houston: the Americans had three days to evacuate their consulate, just as they had given three days last week to the Chinese to leave their diplomatic mission in the Texan metropolis.

Symbolically, the star-spangled banner was lowered at dawn inside the diplomatic complex of Chengdu, a giant city of 16.5 million inhabitants.

In a brief statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry subsequently confirmed the closure of the consulate and indicated that China had "taken possession" of the building at 10:00 am (02:00 GMT).

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The United States Consulate in Chengdu , the capital of Sichuan Province, on Thursday.Credit EPA, via Shutterstock. BEIJING — As the United States lashed out against the “new tyranny” of China , Beijing on Friday ordered the closure of the American consulate in Chengdu , a retaliatory move

The consulate closures are a sharp escalation of deteriorating ties between China and the United States . The flag of the United States outside its consulate in China 's southwestern city of Chengdu was lowered early on Monday, state media reported, after China gave the country days to

Beijing had yet protested after the entry Friday of American agents into its consulate in Houston after the departure of Chinese officials.

This building is "a national property of China", had underlined the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referring to international law.

According to official media images, six Chinese officials arrived in a minibus in front of the US consulate on Monday, then entered the building.

They were assisted by several employees visibly responsible for cleaning, in full suits and their faces covered with a protective mask.

A canvas has been affixed to a wall outside the diplomatic compound to hide the inscription "Consulate General of the United States of America".

"We will miss you"

A little earlier, employees had left the diplomatic compound on foot. Some carried a bag on their back while others pushed their bikes in their hands.

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry ordered the US government to shutter a diplomatic office in Chengdu , a move Beijing deemed a tit-for-tat response to FILE PHOTO: Chinese policeman standing guard at the entrance of the US consulate in Chengdu , southwest China 's Sichuan province © AFP / Goh

The US consulate in Chengdu is known as a “key listening post” for developments in Tibet. “ The US demand of the closure of China ’s consulate general in Houston is in serious violation of international law, basic norms governing international relations and the bilateral consular agreement between

The day before, a coach with tinted windows had left the scene, to the boos of some onlookers watching the scene.

"Today we bid farewell to the US Consulate in Chengdu. We will miss you forever," the US Embassy in Beijing commented on Weibo social network.

Inaugurated in 1985, the US consulate in Chengdu became the last subject on Friday in a long list of disputes between Beijing and Washington, when China ordered the mission to close.

This decision is the response of the Communist regime to the forced closure of its Houston consulate by the Trump administration, amid accusations of espionage.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured Thursday that the Chinese consulate in Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, was a "hub of espionage and theft of intellectual property".

"Some employees of the United States consulate in Chengdu engaged in activities beyond their remit, they interfered in the internal affairs of China and endangered the security and Chinese interests", accused in Chinese diplomacy response.

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Chengdu ( China ) (AFP) - The American flag was lowered at the United States consulate in Chengdu on Monday, days after Beijing ordered it to close in retaliation for the shuttering of the Chinese consulate in Houston. Footage on state broadcaster CCTV from outside the consulate

The move comes days after the US ordered China to shut its consulate in Houston, Texas. Image caption The US consulate in Chengdu employs more than 200 people, the majority of them "The current situation between China and the United States is something China does not want to see

Photos, flags and names of birds

These mutual reprisals take place in a context of deteriorating Sino-American relations, the bones of contention having multiplied in recent months: repression in Hong Kong with the entry into force of a Controversial law on security, Covid-19 pandemic and tensions in the South China Sea in particular.

On the eve of its closure, the Chengdu consulate on Sunday was an attraction for residents of the metropolis of southwest China.

Under a stifling heat, an endless stream of curious people came to be photographed in front of the building. Some waved a Chinese flag, noted journalists from the AFP .

A certain tension was palpable within the security forces, which did not tolerate any provocative gesture or too obvious sign of joy at the departure of the Americans. A young man screaming "I'm Chinese! Go China!" was thus evacuated by two police officers.

AFP journalists also saw a banner confiscated by security. But a local resident was able to deploy an imposing Chinese flag on his balcony and shout the name of his country.

Some foreign reporters have for their part wiped out the names of birds.

In addition to its embassy in Beijing, the United States now has four consulates in mainland China (Canton, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan) as well as one in Hong Kong, an autonomous territory shaken last year by monster demonstrations against the central power .

Beijing then saw Washington's hand behind these troubles.

Chinese nationalists last week called for the closure of the US consulate in Hong Kong.

07/27/2020 09:16:26 - Chengdu (China) (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

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