China warns of DOJ detention of Chinese nationals over Chinese scholars: report

The Chinese government has repeatedly warned U.S. officials that scholars associated with the Chinese military could potentially detain U.S. citizens in United China if they are prosecuted by the Department of Justice, people familiar with the matter said. Wall Street Journal.

Sources said a message from the U.S. embassy in Beijing and several other channels said Chinese authorities could arrest Americans currently living in the country unless U.S. officials indict the scholars.

According to the journal, sources confirmed that during the summer, U.S. Chinese scientists conducting research in American universities have been detained on charges of concealment. U.S. Immigration officers with their active duty status with the People’s Liberation Army.

The journal also reported the arrest in August Allegations by US officials That Chinese diplomats were using these scientists as part of a plan to gather intelligence.

Following the arrests, China closed its Houston consulate in July and removed the remaining military scientists stationed in the US.

In response to a request for comment from Hill, a A State Department spokesman did not directly mention the threats recently reported by Chinese officials. However, he said the department warns that “American citizens travel to China about arbitrarily enforcing local laws, especially the exit restrictions imposed on US citizens.”

The spokesman went on to say that on the State Department’s website, the agency warns that “there may be an exit ban on U.S. citizens or business disputes, a court order to pay a settlement, or a government investigation into both criminal and civil matters that will restrict your departure.” Until a settlement is reached. “

“Individuals and their family members who are not directly involved, or are aware of the proceedings, may also be subject to exit restrictions,” the spokesman added in the statement.

The news is just the latest development that has added to the United States’ strained relations with China amid the coronavirus epidemic.

President TrumpDonald John Trump Michigan court overturns absentee ballot extension Trump jokes they will “find a way” to fire the governor. If Florida loses Biden, Trump’s response to an attempt to kidnap the governor of Michigan will be removed: ‘What’s wrong with this guy?’ More China has been repeatedly blamed for the outbreak and its aftermath.

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

Before the virus broke out, the two countries were embroiled in a bitter trading war, at one point Trump threatened to impose tariffs on the country if he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping could not make a deal.

The State Department recently updated its travel advice for China and Hong Kong 14 Sept., Saying that now it is the U.S. Citizens are urged to reconsider traveling to these areas “at risk due to Covid-19 and arbitrary application of local laws.”

The September advice also warned that Chinese government officials could detain citizens of other countries.To take advantage of bargains on foreign governments. “

John Demers, head of the Department of Justice’s National Security Department, told the Journal that the agency is aware that, in other cases, the Chinese government has detained Americans, Canadians and other individuals in retaliation and pressure against legal action. On their governments, with gross disregard for the individuals involved. “

According to the news outlet, Demers declined to comment on the specifics of the alleged Chinese threats made against researchers in the U.S. case, but said, “If China wants to be seen as one of the world’s leading countries, it should be respected.” Stop the rule of law and the closure of hostages. “

In September, Federal prosecutors filed charges A visiting Chinese scientist at the University of Virginia has been accused of stealing trade secrets from his professor.

A federal prosecutor said during the hearing in Chicago, where Hu Hezhou was arrested, and further investigations determined that “some part” of the allegation found on his computer was “in a shared space that gave Mr. Hu authorized access.” Transcript received by the journal.

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