Last Friday, Beijing announced in Washington that the Americans must vacate the consulate in Chengdu within 72 hours – the same time the U.S. allocated to the Chinese consulate in Texas last week, after the U.S. administration claimed consulate workers were burning documents in the yard.
In accordance with Chinese order, the American flag was lowered and the consulate in Chengdu closed on Monday. Outside the building, Chinese police maintained order and reassured spectators who had gathered to watch the event. Shortly afterwards, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Chinese officials had entered the building “from the front door.”
Chinese soldiers reportedly took up positions inside and outside the consulate while people in tailored black pants, short-sleeved white shirts, face masks and briefcases entered. Other Chinese workers hung gray cloths on signs that reminded them that a few minutes ago there was an American consulate.