China said it had taken over the premises of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Monday after ordering the facility be shut in retaliation for being ousted from the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas.
Police in Chengdu restricted access to the area around the consulate on Monday morning, and four officials in personal protective gear were seen walking towards the consulate at about 10:24 a.m. local time (0224 GMT).
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the consulate was closed as of 10 a.m. It said later that authorities entered the building and took over the premises.
China ordered the closure of the facility on Friday after Washington last week gave China 72 hours to vacate its consulate in Houston, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world’s two largest economies.