Moving trucks with diplomatic plates spotted leaving US consulate in China as police clear pedestrians

China ordered its closure after a similar move by U.S. authorities in Texas.

Chinese police cleared a path for moving vans and vehicles with diplomatic plates that pulled out of the U.S. consulate on Sunday.

Pedestrians crowded the sidewalk outside of the consulate in Chengdu as authorities continued to clear out the building following mutual closures in China and the U.S. Police shut down the street and sidewalk, patrolling the barriers as hecklers set off fireworks and cursed at foreign media on the scene.

A movers' truck with the words "Liberation" on top arrives outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades.

A movers' truck with the words "Liberation" on top arrives outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades.

A bus left the grounds shortly before three medium-sized trucks arrived and left only hours later, with cars bearing diplomatic plates leaving around the same time. The contents of each vehicle are completely unknown at this time.

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A man attempted to unfurl a banner or sign on the scene late on Sunday, but police were quick to remove him.

A movers' truck with the words "Liberation" on top arrives outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades.

A movers' truck with the words "Liberation" on top arrives outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

China ordered the closure of the consulate following the U.S. order to close the Chinese consulate in Houston.

Residents raise their fists to pose for a photo outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades.

Residents raise their fists to pose for a photo outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday, July 26, 2020. China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, ratcheting up a diplomatic conflict at a time when relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The U.S. alleged that the consulate was functioning as a nest of spies who tried to steal data from Texas facilities, including the Texas A&M medical system and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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China called the allegations “malicious slander.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.