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Feds take over Chinese consulate in Houston after Trump closes compound over espionage concerns

In response to the eviction, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has ordered the U.S. to close its consulate in Chengdu 

Updated: July 27, 2020 - 8:49am

Federal officials have taken control of the Chinese consulate in Houston, ordered closed by Friday afternoon by the Trump administration on suspicion of espionage activity inside the building. 

State Department officials reportedly gained access to the building about an hour after the 4 p.m. eviction deadline – with the assistance of a locksmith and firefighters. 

President Trump on Wednesday ordered the Chinese government officials to leave, as part of an escalating divide between the two countries, including U.S. concerns about espionage, China's handling of the coronavirus, and most recently Beijing imposing a sweeping new security law on Hong Kong.

Chinese officials were burning documents at the compound within hours of being ordered to leave.

In response to the eviction, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has ordered the U.S. to close its consulate in Chengdu.