US Flag Pulled Down As Consulate in Chengdu Forced to Close (+Video)
- July, 27, 2020 - 08:59
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A US national flag has been lowered at the US Consulate General in Chengdu, China, after Beijing ordered Washington to shut down the diplomatic facility in a tit-for-tat response for the closure of Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.
Chinese state broadcaster CGTN said the flag was lowered on the building at about 6:18 am local time on Monday (22:48 GMT on Sunday).
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a social media post that the consulate in southwestern Sixhuan province had been closed a few hours later.
"At 10 am on July 27th according to the Chinese side's request, the US consulate was closed," the ministry said. "Afterwards, Chinese authorities entered through the front entrance and took it over."
The consulate closures are a sharp escalation of the disputes between the two countries, already damaged by disagreements over China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, its new security law in Hong Kong, the situation in Xinjiang, and trade and technology.
The deadline for the Americans to exit Chengdu has been unclear, but the Chinese consulate in Houston in the US state of Texas was given 72 hours to close after the original order was made.
Beijing said the closure was a “legitimate and necessary response” to Washington’s “unreasonable actions” actions in regard to its diplomatic facility in Houston.