America-China tension escalates as US closes consulate in Chengdu

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Amid rising diplomatic tension between the United States and China, the consulate of the US in Chengdu has been officially closed by Washington.

The closure comes after the Chinese government gave the US 72-hour time frame to close their Chengdu mission as Beijing had been given in Houston last week.

The US had instructed China’s consulate in Houston, Texas, to cease operations, claiming it had been involved in a US-wide Chinese espionage effort.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Monday that the consulate in Chengdu has been taken over by Chinese authorities after the deadline elapsed.

A statement by an official of the State Department confirmed the closure of the Chengdu consulate and expressed disappointment that the “Chinese Communist Party’s decision and will strive to continue our outreach to the people in this important region through our other posts in China.”

The official explained that the consulate, for 35 years has been at the center of America’s relations with Western China, including Tibet.

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