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Chinese Authorities Take Over Closed US Consulate in Chengdu

CHENGDU: The American flag was lowered at the US consulate in China’s Chengdu city on Monday and Chinese authorities entered the building, as Beijing carried out a Cold War-style retaliatory closure of the mission.

Earlier in the morning state broadcaster CCTV showed footage of the flag being lowered, after diplomatic tensions soared between the two powers with both alleging the other had endangered national security.

Beijing later confirmed the consulate had closed at 10am (0200 GMT).

“Afterwards, Chinese authorities entered through the front entrance and took it over,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Relations have deteriorated in recent weeks in an intensifying standoff, with the Chengdu mission Friday ordered to shut in retaliation for the forced closure of Beijing’s consulate in Houston, Texas.

Both consulates closed 72 hours after the order was made.