Politics China warns it will detain American nationals following DOJ prosecution of Chinese scholars: report

05:50  18 october  2020
05:50  18 october  2020 Source:   thehill.com

China warns it may detain people from US in retaliation for prosecution of military-affiliated scholars: Report

  China warns it may detain people from US in retaliation for prosecution of military-affiliated scholars: Report Chinese officials are allegedly warning that the country might detain people from the United States. © Provided by Washington Examiner Leaders from the nation reportedly threatened this action in response to the prosecution of multiple Chinese military-affiliated scholars in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

China warned the US it will take US nationals residing in China hostage. The move, known as US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in China has been known to detain foreign nationals in the country over what other countries have said

" China started issuing the warning this summer after the U.S. began arresting a series of Chinese scientists the people said," the report adds. aware when traveling of the possibility for the Chinese government to detain other countries’ citizens “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”

The Chinese government has repeatedly warned American officials that they could possibly detain United States nationals in China due to the Justice Department's prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

a flag on the side of a building: China warns it will detain American nationals following DOJ prosecution of Chinese scholars: report © iStock China warns it will detain American nationals following DOJ prosecution of Chinese scholars: report

The sources said that the message, which has been issued through the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and multiple other channels, says that until U.S. officials drop charges against the scholars, Chinese officials may arrest Americans currently residing in the country.

China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions: WSJ

  China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions: WSJ China warns U.S. it may detain Americans over prosecutions: WSJThe newspaper, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings through multiple channels to U.S. government officials.

American officials are discussing ways to punish China for its passage of a new national security law intended to enable crackdowns in Hong Kong, but the plans to cancel student visas were under consideration before the crisis over the law, which was announced last week by Chinese officials.

Her comments followed a report by Chinese state-backed publication, Global Times, which cited a professor from the China Foreign Affairs University accusing the U.S. of hyping up fears of China and a "blatant distortion" on how Chinese authorities enforce the country's laws.

According to the Journal, the sources confirmed that over the summer, the U.S. began detaining Chinese scientists conducting research at American universities over charges of concealing to U.S. immigration authorities their active duty statuses with the People's Liberation Army.

The Journal had reported on the arrests in August, along with allegations from U.S. officials that Chinese diplomats were using these scientists as part of an intelligence-gathering scheme.

After the arrests, China closed its Houston consulate in July and removed the remaining military scientists who were in the U.S.

In response to a request for comment from The Hill, a State Department spokesperson did not directly address the recent reported threats made by Chinese officials. However they said the department warns "U.S. citizens traveling to China about the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, in particular, the exit bans imposed on U.S. citizens."

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Use caution with Chinese nationals . Chinese President Xi Jinpin's wife Madame Peng Liyuan poses for The Chinese Communist Party has extraordinary powers within its borders to detain and Wray received considerable backlash for his comments from Asian- American civil rights groups who noted

Researchers in academia and industry who work with Chinese institutions should expect a “spike” in prosecutions this year as a result of a U.S. government initiative to The answer to that is—for good and bad reasons—yes, it will ,” said Andrew Lelling, U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts, at

The spokesperson continued to say that on the State Department's website, the agency warns "U.S. citizens that business disputes, court orders to pay a settlement, or government investigations into both criminal and civil issues may result in an exit ban which will prohibit your departure from China until the issue is resolved."

"Even individuals and their family members who are not directly involved, or even aware of these proceedings, can be subject to an exit ban," the spokesperson added in the statement.

The news is just the latest development that adds to the United States' tense relationship with China amid the coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump has repeatedly blamed China for the outbreak and its fallout.

The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.

Before the virus outbreak, both countries were locked in a bitter trading war, with Trump at one point threatening to impose tariffs on the country if he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were not able to make a deal.

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On Tuesday, the Justice Department accused Chinese hackers of attempting to steal information about American research on a virus vaccine. For its part, China has rejected the administration’s attacks over the virus and has criticized the poor American government response to the outbreak.

Gates has previously warned that the “final hurdle” to a vaccine-fueled return to normalcy is convincing the population to actually roll up their sleeves and take the jab(s), and the World Health Organization – of which his foundation is the single largest funder, following the US’ departure – declared “vaccine

The State Department most recently updated its travel advisories for China and Hong Kong on Sept. 14, saying that it was now urging U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to these areas "due to COVID-19 and risk due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws."

The September advisory also warned that Chinese government officials may detain citizens of other countries "to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments."

John Demers, head of the Justice Department's national security division, told the Journal that the agency was "aware that the Chinese government has, in other instances, detained American, Canadian and other individuals without legal basis to retaliate against lawful prosecutions and to exert pressure on their governments, with a callous disregard of the individuals involved."

According to the news outlet, Demers declined to comment on the specifics of the alleged Chinese threats made in connection to the U.S. cases against the researchers, but said that "if China wants to be seen as one of the world's leading nations, it should respect the rule of law and stop taking hostages."

In September, federal prosecutors dropped charges against a visiting Chinese scientist at the University of Virginia who had been accused of stealing trade secrets from his professor.

A federal prosecutor said at a hearing in Chicago, where Hu Haizhou was arrested, that further investigation determined "some portion" of the material allegedly found on his computer was "in a shared space that Mr. Hu had authorized access" to, according to a transcript obtained by the Journal.

As a result, the prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss all charges, which the court later accepted.

China's Arctic ambitions have revived US interest in the region .
As part of its global Belt and Road Initiative, China is investing in the Arctic — setting up research stations, investing in mining and energy, and working with Russia to create a new sea route through the Arctic Ocean. It's also stoked concerns from the US.The harbor of Nuuk, Greenland's capital.

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