Up to date: July 27, 2020 9:50:18 am
The American flag has been taken down at a US consulate in southwestern China, in keeping with state media, as officers vacate the premises beneath order of the Chinese language authorities.
State broadcaster CCTV mentioned on its social media account that the flag was lowered at 6.18 am on Monday on the US mission in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan provine.
Police have closed off a two to a few block space across the consulate, reducing off just about any view of the property. Autos may very well be seen transferring within the distance behind a number of police strains.
China ordered the closing of the consulate on Friday in retaliation for a U.S. order to shut the Chinese language Consulate in Houston.
The tit-for-tat closings marked a major escalation within the tensions between the 2 international locations over a spread of points, together with commerce, know-how, safety and human rights.
Shifting vans arrived on the US consulate Sunday afternoon and left just a few hours later. Late at evening, flatbed trailers entered the advanced. One later emerged carrying a big transport container and a crane.
Earlier than the world was closed, the approaching closure of the consulate drew a gentle stream of onlookers over the weekend as Chengdu, like Houston, discovered itself within the limelight of worldwide politics.
Folks stopped to take selfies and pictures, jamming a sidewalk busy with buyers and households with strollers on a sunny day within the metropolis of Chengdu. Just a little boy posed with a small Chinese language flag earlier than plainclothes police shooed him away as international media cameras zoomed in.
Police had shut the road and sidewalk in entrance of the consulate and arrange metallic obstacles alongside the sidewalk on the opposite aspect of the tree-lined street.
Uniformed and plainclothes officers stored watch on each side of the obstacles after scattered incidents following the Chengdu announcement on Friday, together with a person who set off firecrackers and hecklers who cursed at international media capturing video and pictures of the scene.
A person who drained to unfurl a big placard late Sunday that he known as an open letter to the Chinese language authorities was shortly taken away.
Earlier, a bus left the consulate grounds and what seemed to be embassy employees spoke with plainclothes police earlier than retreating again behind the property’s strong black gates. It wasn’t clear who or what was on the bus.
Three medium-size vans arrived and left just a few hours later, and vehicles with diplomatic plates departed in between.
The US alleged that the Houston consulate was a nest of Chinese language spies who tried to steal information from amenities in Texas, together with the Texas A&M medical system and the College of Texas MD Anderson Most cancers Middle in Houston. China mentioned the allegations have been “malicious slander.”
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