China takes possession of US consulate in Chengdu

(Beijing) Chinese officials entered the grounds of the US consulate in Chengdu on Monday shortly after the last of Washington's employees left, ending a Cold War-style episode of mutual sanctions.

France Media Agency

Symbolically, the star-spangled banner of the United States had been lowered inside the diplomatic complex shortly before, according to images on Chinese television.

Unlike in previous days, foreign journalists were not allowed by law enforcement to approach the diplomatic representation.

In a statement, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the closure of the consulate and indicated that China had “taken possession” of the building in 10 h [heure locale].

Inaugurated in 1985, the US consulate in Chengdu on Friday became the last subject in a long list of disputes between Beijing and Washington, when China ordered the closure of the mission. The move was the Communist regime’s response to the Trump administration’s forced closure of its Houston consulate in the United States.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the Chinese consulate in Houston was a “hub for espionage and theft of intellectual property.”

“Certain employees of the United States consulate in Chengdu engaged in activities beyond their remit, they interfered in the internal affairs of China and endangered Chinese security and interests” , for his part accused Chinese diplomacy.