The Chinese government has ordered the shut down of the US consulate in Chengdu located in the south-western part of the country.
The shutdown of the consulate is coming days after the US ordered the closure of China’s consulate in Houston, Texas, over “theft” of intellectual property.
According to CNN, the US consulate officially shut down on Monday after the Chinese government gave it 72 hours to do so on Friday.
The American flag over the building was lowered at dawn.
On Saturday, the US insignia was taken down. Sunday saw the removal of a plaque outside the embassy as the consulate removed its belongings from the building and loaded them into shipping containers.
Over the weekend, hundreds of Chinese citizens gathered outside the US consulate in the city of 16.5 million people, taking selfies and waving Chinese flags in what appeared to be an act of solidarity with their government’s action.
In a statement, the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said the consulate officially closed at 10am local time.
“Relevant Chinese authorities then entered from the main entrance and took over,” it said.
The relationship between both countries took a sad turn with the outbreak of COVID-19 which originated from Wuhan, China.