China’s government has warned Washington that it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department’s prosecution of China’s military-affiliated scholars, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The newspaper quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Chinese authorities had repeatedly issued warnings to US government officials through several channels.
The newspaper said that China’s message was that the US should end its lawsuit against Chinese scholars in US courts, or that Americans in China might find themselves in violation of Chinese law.
A State Department adviser warned on September 14 against a visit to China said that the Chinese government uses arbitrary detention and exit restrictions for US citizens and others to “take advantage of bargains on foreign governments.”
The White House referred to questions from the State Department, stating in an email that it “emphasizes the Chinese government – including, at the highest level – China’s overwhelming use of an exit ban on US citizens and citizens of other countries.” Our concern about, and will continue to do so until we see a transparent and fair process. ”
The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
The Trump administration has increasingly accused China of cyber operations and espionage of stealing American technical, military and other information to strategize to suppress the United States as the world’s leading financial and military power . Beijing denied the allegations.
In July, the Department of Justice said the FBI arrested three Chinese nationals for concealing membership in the People’s Liberation Army while applying for a visa to conduct research at US educational institutions.
Last month, the United States said it revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese citizens under a president, admitting students and researchers considered a security risk, a move that China called a violation of human rights.
At the time, a State Department spokesman said the United States “continued to welcome China’s legitimate students and scholars who do not advance the goals of the Chinese Communist Party’s military dominance.”
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