China denies report that said it may detain Americans

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Oct 19, 2020, 03:20 PM(IST)

US China ties Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Chinese foreign ministry said it was Washington that was mistreating foreign citizens, accusing the United States of "outright political repression" of their academics.

China has refuted a newspaper report that said foreign nationals were under threat of arbitrary detention.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings to US government officials that China may detain Americans in response to the Justice Department`s prosecution of Chinese scholars affiliated to the military.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it was Washington that was mistreating foreign citizens, accusing the United States of "outright political repression" of their academics.

"The US claim that foreign nationals in China are under threat of arbitrary detention is playing the victim and confusing black and white," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news briefing. 

China protects the safety and legitimate rights of foreigners, he said.

In September, a State Department advisory warned against travel to China, saying the Chinese government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans for US citizens and others "to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments".

The Trump administration has increasingly accused China of using cyber operations and espionage to steal US technological, military and other know-how. Beijing denies this.

Earlier this year, Chinese prosecutors in June indicted two Canadian citizens on espionage charges, a move seen by Western governments as punishment for Canada's arrest of Huawei Technologies Co Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in late 2018.

Beijing has denied the indictment was related to Meng's case and has repeatedly called for the release of Meng.

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