The footage of the Chinese state television CCTV showed that at 06:18 local time (0:18 CET) the American flag was launched at the consulate building in Sichuan Province. Moving cars had already arrived at the consulate. Police in the vicinity of the building closed and blocked any view of the plot from foreign journalists. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that after the deadline, Chinese officials entered the facility and “took over its administration.”
“The consulate has been at the heart of our relations with the people of western China, including Tibet, for 35 years,” the State Department said. “We are disappointed with the decision of the Chinese Communist Party and we will continue to try to stay in touch with the people of this important region through our other diplomatic missions in China,” the ministry added.
“The American flag was hung on the consulate building a few hours before ten o’clock in the morning,” Stephen McDonell, a BBC reporter in China, wrote on Twitter. According to the Chinese state television CCTV, it was 6:18 a.m. local time (0:18 CEST). Employees also apparently left the consulate. However, the police closed the area around the building, blocking any view of the land. At the erected barriers, uniformed and civilian clothes were guarded by police officers.
On Sunday afternoon, moving trucks arrived at the complex in Chengdu and left it again after a few hours. Late at night, a tractor without a trailer arrived at the building, which then left with a large container.
Before the police closed the area, the expected closure of the consulate attracted groups of onlookers. People stopped and took pictures, blocking the passage on the already full sidewalk on a sunny Sunday.
China decided to close the consulate shortly after the White House ordered the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas’ most populous city, to close within 72 hours early last week. According to him, the embassy was involved in the theft of intellectual property. According to the AP agency, Chinese spies were trying to obtain data from several facilities in Texas.