Chinese netizens hail closure of US Consulate in Chengdu

By Cui Meng in Chengdu, Fan Anqi and Liu Caiyu in Beijing Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/26 20:00:40

Residents gather to take photos on Saturday to observe the historic closure of the US consulate. Photo: Cui Meng/GT


Security personnel at the US consulate in Chengdu peer through a window of the compound's gate on Sunday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Besides moving vehicles driving in and out of the US Consulate General in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, after Beijing's order to cease operations in retaliation for US' closure of China's Consulate General in Houston, not many people have been observed in the new "hotspot" of public attention, while the US law enforcement officers forcibly entered the premises of Chinese consulate in Houston.

Since Beijing's announcement that the US Consulate General in Chengdu will be forced to close on Monday morning, locals have flooded to places nearby the consulate to "feel the tension" and "witness history," according to netizens on Chinese social media platform Weibo. 

Surprisingly, neither drama nor angry crowds have been observed, except for one individual who set off firecrackers outside the Consulate and was quickly escorted by police for breaking local regulations. 

Chinese people usually set off fireworks when celebrating weddings or during the Spring Festival. However, fireworks cannot be set off outside a consulate, otherwise the individuals responsible should be warned and educated, or fined under 500 yuan ($71.3).

Netizens regarded the deed as "courageous and admirable," and asked if they could dance around and do the Yangko (a traditional Chinese dance that is usually performed at festivals) or if they should sent a farewell banner to the consulate. Some even joked that after the US consulate is closed, the site could be renovated into a hotpot restaurant or public toilet. 

The Global Times reporter stayed in front of the consulate since Saturday, and saw several foreign individuals leaving the consulate and carrying luggage. In addition, trucks entered the consulate's compound and transported goods for the staff. On Sunday, a reporter had seen a bus drive into the consulate while security guards were on high alert in front of the main gate. 

The quietness around the US Consulate runs in sharp contrast with the heated discussions on the online live stream by the China Central Television (CCTV) that updated citizens on the progress of the consulate shutdown. The live-stream event by the CCTV on Saturday has generated more than 20 million views.

Young people were seen passing by and taking photos with smiles, and many said today's youths in China understand, more than ever, the power of silence and weakness of shouting. 

A photo posted on Weibo with the hash tag "time has changed" showed a comparison between the Chinese public's reaction in 1999 when the US bombed the Chinese Embassy in the former Yugoslavia, killing three Chinese journalists. At the time, outraged Chinese people surrounded the US Consulate in Chengdu in strong protest, but in 2020 people quietly took pictures in front of the consulate with smiling faces. 

These reactions over the closure of the US consulate reflect Chinese public sentiment toward the US' bullying of China. The US' intention to separate the Communist Party of China from the Chinese people is doomed to end in failure, netizens said.


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