China has ordered the closure of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu. The move was made in retaliation for the U.S.’s order earlier this week for China to close the Chinese Consulate General in Houston.

Key Points:

  • Chinese authorities gave the U.S. 72 hours to shut down operations at the Chengdu consulate.
  • The Chengdu consular district includes the Provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou, as well as Tibet and the Chongqing municipality. The U.S. also operates consulates in mainland China in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang and Wuhan as well as the embassy in Beijing. The U.S. also has a consulate in Hong Kong.
  • Travel between China and the U.S. has slowed dramatically because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related entry restrictions in both countries. Those who did have applications pending at the Chengdu consulate should anticipate the possibility of delays.

Background: The U.S. ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston earlier this week, saying it was doing so “to protect American intellectual property and American’s (sic) private information.” China’s Foreign Ministry called the U.S.’s move “outrageous” and “unjustified” and said China would take “legitimate and necessary” counter measures if the decision is not reversed. Chine authorities ordered the closure of the Chengdu consulate on Friday.

Analysis & Comments: Applicants should prepare for delays in processing and await additional details on which consulates will assume jurisdiction over applications that had been previously submitted in Chengdu.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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