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World

China warns U.S. that it may detain Americans, in response to prosecutions of Chinese scholars

  • The Chinese government has allegedly (and repeatedly) warned American officials that they could potentially arrest and detain United States nationals residing in China, due to the Justice Department’s deliberate persecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.
19 Oct 2020

According to sources close to the matter, the Chinese government has allegedly (and repeatedly) warned American officials that they could potentially arrest and detain United States nationals residing in China, due to the Justice Department’s deliberate persecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.

These warnings were issued through the United States’ Embassy in Beijing and other diplomatic channels, after the Justice Department formally detained Chinese scientists conducting research at American universities, over charges of concealing their “active duty status” in the Peoples’ Liberation Army.

Allegations began to surface in August, accusing Chinese scientists as part of a intelligence-gathering scheme by the Communist regime; which feeds into the blatant racist and sinophobic rhetoric in the midst of the pandemic, perpetuated directly by the Trump Administration (by referring to the pandemic as a “Chinese virus”). As a response, China closed its consulate in Houston, and removed the military scientists from the country, and while the State Department did not directly address these concerns, they warned U.S. citizens travelling to China about “the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, in particular, the exit bans imposed on U.S. citizens.”

This latest saga is yet another chapter in the worsening relationship between the United States and China under the Trump Administration, especially in the midst of the pandemic, as President Trump has repeatedly and unambiguously blamed China for the outbreak, in addition to being locked in a bitter trade dispute.