China orders U.S. to close consulate in Chengdu

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China’s Foreign Ministry announced Friday that it is revoking the license for the U.S. consulate general in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu.

The ministry also ordered the consulate general to cease operations, according to an online statement.

The Chengdu consular district covers the controversial autonomous region of Tibet, the municipality of Chongqing, and the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, according to the consulate’s website.

The consulate, which was established in 1985, is one of five the U.S. has in mainland China, in addition to the embassy in Beijing.

About three-fourths of the roughly 200-person Chengdu consulate staff are Chinese, according to the consular website.

The announcement comes after the U.S. ordered China to close its consulate in Houston. U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the directive to close China’s consulate general in Houston was made to protect American intellectual property and the private information of its citizens.

Beijing had condemned the decision and warned of firm countermeasures.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

— CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.

Source: CNBC

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