US consulate closes in China’s Chengdu

This comes after the Trump administration shut the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.

The plaques have come down at the US consulate in the city of Chengdu.

Chinese authorities ordered its closure on Friday, giving consulate staff 72 hours to evacuate the building.

Crowds of onlookers gathered outside as removal vans came and went.

“I think this is a reciprocal action,” Xu, a Chengdu resident, said. “We [China] didn’t start this.”

China says the evacuation order was a response to US authorities ordering the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.

US officials described it as a “hub of spying” and “intellectual property theft”.

Beijing denies the allegations and accuses the Trump administration of stoking anti-China sentiment.

“They waited two days in order to do this,” Einar Tangen, a political analyst said. “They’re trying to appear very measured, and they’ve also extended a number of olive branches over the last few days, indicating that they would prefer talks.”

Men reported to be US security officials forced open a door to the Chinese consulate after staff left the building on Friday.

“We are slipping, it appears, into a new cold war,” Joel Rubin, former US deputy assistant secretary of state, said. “And it’s this strange combination that we have right now in our American politics, which is the domestic political pressure, combined with long-standing grievances and concerns between the United States and China.”

President Donald Trump said the US could close more Chinese consulates, but China says it is ready to retaliate.

This video was produced and edited by Al Jazeera NewsFeed’s Hassan Ghani.