Photo Credit: AP News

Beijing has announced that the US consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu was closed as of 10am on Monday, after it ordered the facility be shut.

China’s latest move is in retaliation for China being sacked  from its consulate in Houston, Texas.

Police in Chengdu restricted access to the area around the consulate on Monday morning.

China ordered the closure of the facility on Friday after the United States last week gave China 72 hours to vacate its consulate in Houston.

Beijing says closing the Chengdu consulate was a “legitimate and necessary response to the unreasonable measures by the United States” and has alleged that staff at the diplomatic mission endangered China’s security and interests.

United States officials, however said there had been unacceptable efforts by the Chinese consulate in Houston to steal US corporate secrets.