China closed on schedule on Monday. The U.S. consulate in Chengdu, southwestern Sichuan Province and the authorities have taken control of the facilities in response to part of Washington’s closure of its Houston, Texas mission.
The State Department has confirmed its closure and reports that the Chinese authorities will take over the place, according to the Global Times newspaper, after the building’s American flag was lowered around 6:00 am local time. .
China had said that the current situation between the two countries was not desirable and had “fully” delegated responsibility to the United States.
The United States gave China 72 hours to close its Houston consulate. They argued that bilateral relations were “imbalanced” and argued that the measure was to protect “the country’s intellectual property” and “private information”. Beijing considered it a “political provocation” and threatened Washington with “countermeasures”.
China and the United States have spent years escalating tensions, from trade wars to restrictions on journalists and the media, despite having exploded in recent months due to the coronavirus pandemic that Washington directly accuses Beijing of.