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World Americans blocked from leaving China return to US

08:05  28 september  2021
08:05  28 september  2021 Source:   aljazeera.com

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Two American siblings prevented from leaving China since 2018 have returned to the United States , according to a US official, shortly after the US ended an extradition case against a top Huawei executive. Cynthia and Victor Liu were not allowed to leave China because of an “exit ban” over the weekend – despite facing no criminal allegations themselves. The exit of the two Americans follows an agreement that allowed Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to return to China from Canada after US prosecutors reached a deal in a corruption case against her.

China has allowed two American siblings who were barred from leaving the country for more than three years to return to the United States , after a Justice Department deal that cleared the way for a senior executive of Huawei Technologies to go back to China , their lawyer said Monday. Ms. Meng arrived in China on Saturday. Within hours, China released two Canadians whom it had held since shortly after Ms. Meng was detained, and who had appeared to be jailed as hostages to Ms. Meng’s case. The exchange led national security experts to worry that China had created the impression it

Two American siblings prevented from leaving China since 2018 returned to the United States over the weekend, according to a US official, shortly after the US ended an extradition case against a top Huawei executive.

Analysts have warned that the latest detentions and diplomatic spats could be a troubling sign of a new era of confrontation described by some as 'hostage diplomacy' [File: Tingshu Wang/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera Analysts have warned that the latest detentions and diplomatic spats could be a troubling sign of a new era of confrontation described by some as 'hostage diplomacy' [File: Tingshu Wang/Reuters]

Cynthia and Victor Liu were not allowed to leave China because of an “exit ban” – despite facing no criminal allegations themselves.

Their father, former bank official Liu Changming, is one of China’s most wanted fugitives and faces fraud charges.

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September 28, 2021 9:33 AM. WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Two American siblings prevented from leaving China since 2018 returned to the United States over the weekend, according to a US official, their release by Beijing coming shortly after the United States ended a legal case against a top Huawei executive. Continue reading at www.straitstimes.com.

American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in one of the countries listed in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States but will be redirected to one of 13 airports.

The exit of the two Americans follows an agreement that allowed Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to return to China from Canada after US prosecutors reached a deal in a fraud case against her.

Within hours of the deal, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested shortly after Meng was and had spent more than 1,000 days in custody in China, were released to return to Canada.

Critics accused China of “hostage diplomacy” over its treatment of the two men who were accused of spying months after their initial detention. Beijing has denied that the arrests were linked.

The White House on Monday said the Canadians’ release was not a prisoner swap, but that their cases came up in a call between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on September 9.

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The US alleged Ms Meng misled the bank HSBC over the true nature of Huawei's relationship with a company called Skycom, putting the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against Iran. Ms Meng's agreement with the US may pave the way for the two Canadians' release, but tensions in China -Canada relations will not quickly dissipate, experts say. The bilateral relationship has plunged to historic lows since Meng's arrest. The US charges against Huawei remain, and the company is still on a trade blacklist.

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The Justice Department said its decision on Meng’s case was decided independently.

“We welcome Cynthia and Victor Liu’s return to the United States on Sunday,” said a State Department spokesperson, adding that US consular staff in Shanghai helped facilitate the siblings’ exit.

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of all American citizens in the PRC subject to arbitrary detention and coercive exit bans.”

The White House declined to comment on the Americans who exited China.

Cynthia and Victor Liu’s mother, Sandra Han, continues to be detained on criminal charges in China.

Analysts have said that the release of Kovrig and Spavor, as well as the Liu siblings, shortly after Meng’s departure from Canada, could be a troubling sign of a new era of confrontation between China and western countries.

Cheng Lei, an Australian news anchor for Chinese state television, was formally arrested and accused of “illegally supplying state secrets overseas” six months after she was detained in China [File: Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)/Australia Global Alumni via AFP] © Provided by Al Jazeera Cheng Lei, an Australian news anchor for Chinese state television, was formally arrested and accused of “illegally supplying state secrets overseas” six months after she was detained in China [File: Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)/Australia Global Alumni via AFP]

China, for instance, still holds Australian national Cheng Lei, who was known as the face of China’s English-language news channel, CGTN.

In August of last year, Cheng Lei was abruptly removed from her post and was detained by Chinese authorities. Later, she was charged with “endangering China’s national security”.

In October 2020, Australian author Yang Hengjun was also detained and was charged with espionage. He went on trial in May, but the outcome of his case remains uncertain.

During that same period, diplomatic relations between China and Australia also worsened over issues such as the political repression in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as the tensions in the South China Sea.

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