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

October 18, 2020 12:48 pm

The Chinese government has warned Washington it may detain Americans in China in response to the Justice Department’s prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.

The Wall Street Journal has reported this citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, saying Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings through multiple channels to U.S. government officials.

The paper says China’s message is that the United States should end prosecutions of Chinese scholars in U.S. courts, or Americans in China could find themselves in violation of Chinese law.

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A State Department advisory on Sept. 14 warning against travel to China said the Chinese government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans for U.S. citizens and others “to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.”

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