Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relations
The forced closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston and the US consulate in Chengdu highlights an increase in tensions between the two competing powers, marking a new low point in relations. Amid accusations of national security threats, human rights violations, and intellectual theft, the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston. However, China retaliated by forcibly closing the US consulate in Chengdu.
Political analysts predict a bleak outlook for reconciliation attempts, even if the US elects a new administration in this year’s presidential elections. Chinese authorities reportedly took control of the former US consulate in Chengdu, which is the capital of the Sichuan province, on Monday. The State Department released a statement condemning the closure, claiming that the location had stood at the center of relations with Western China.