Region:
Asia
Category:
Politics

US diplomats to leave consulate in Chengdu in tit-for-tat closures

  • US diplomats to leave consulate in Chengdu in tit-for-tat closures
    Last week, a Singaporean man pleaded guilty in a US court to working as an agent of China US diplomats to leave consulate in Chengdu in tit-for-tat closures
  • Crowds wave Chinese flags and take selfies as US consulate closes in Chengdu.
    Last week, a Singaporean man pleaded guilty in a US court to working as an agent of China Crowds wave Chinese flags and take selfies as US consulate closes in Chengdu.
Region:
Asia
Category:
Politics
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By BBC, The Guardian
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Crowds wave Chinese flags and take selfies as US consulate closes in Chengdu.
Heavy police presence in Chengdu suppresses protests or celebrations as flag is lowered at diplomatic outpost

American diplomats are to leave the US consulate in the south-western Chinese city of Chengdu, following Beijing's decision to close the mission.

With just hours to go before a Monday morning deadline, staff could be seen carrying box files and bags of rubbish.

Meanwhile, crowds of local residents have gathered outside, with many waving Chinese flags and taking selfies.

China acted in response to the US closing its consulate in Houston, Texas, last week.

After a 72-hour deadline for Chinese diplomats to leave the Houston mission expired on Friday, reporters saw men who appeared to be US officials force open a door to enter the premises.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had decided to act because Beijing was "stealing" intellectual property.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded by saying that the US move was based on "a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies".

Local residents in Chengdu flocked to the US consulate on Sunday, taking selfies and waving Chinese flags, as officials prepared to remove its official plaque just days after Washington and Beijing each ordered the other to close a diplomatic mission.

On Sunday, a constant stream of onlookers in the city of 16.5 million people flowed past the consulate, many taking photos. On Monday morning, the US flag was lowered outside the diplomatic outpost.

Tensions between the two countries over trade and the coronavirus rose another notch last week when on Tuesday the US ordered China’s consulate in Texas closed, saying it was a hub of espionage and intellectual property theft.