China warns US it may detain Americans over prosecution of Chinese scholars

WION Web Team New Delhi Oct 18, 2020, 01.05 PM(IST)

China warns US it may detain Americans over prosecution of Chinese scholars Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

US Justice Department began arresting and prosecuting Chinese scholars conducting research in US institutions. They were accused of hiding their links with People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China

China has warned USA that it may detain American citizens in China as a response to USA's prosecution of Chinese scholars that have links with Chinese army, Wall Street Journal reported.

The report said that Chinese officials have been conveying this to their US counterparts from summer this year. US Justice Department began arresting and prosecuting Chinese scholars conducting research in US institutions. They were accused of hiding their links with People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China.

Wall Street Journal said that China's message was 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.

The Trump administration has increasingly accused China of suing cyber operations and espionage to steal U.S. technological, military and other know-how in a strategy to supplant the United States as the world's leading financial and military power. Beijing denies the allegations.

In July, the Justice Department said the FBI had arrested three Chinese nationals for allegedly concealing memberships in the Peoples Liberation Army when applying for visas to conduct research at U.S. academic institutions.

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Last month, the United States said it had revoked visas for more than 1,000 Chinese nationals under a presidential measure denying entry to students and researchers deemed security risks, a move China called a violation of human rights.

At the time, a State Department spokeswoman said the United States continued to welcome "legitimate students and scholars from China who do not further the Chinese Communist Party's goals of military dominance."

(With Reuters inputs)