Wall Street Journal: China could detain Americans over lawsuits against Chinese in the U.S.

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According to American media, Beijing may arrest US citizens amid a wave of repression against Chinese academics in the United States, accused of spying.

Beijing warned Washington that it could detain Americans in China in response to Justice Department accusations against Chinese scholars in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Citing anonymous sources, the media says China has warned the United States that it should stop prosecuting Chinese citizens, otherwise Americans in the Asian country could suffer consequences.

In July, the country’s Justice Department said the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested three Chinese citizens for allegedly hiding their membership in China’s People’s Liberation Army (ELP) when applying for visas to drive research in American academic institutions. Beijing would have started issuing the warning after this case.

In September, Washington ordered the revocation of 1,000 visas to citizens of China, considering that they would pose a security risk, what Beijing called a violation of human rights.

The US State Department, for its part, asked Beijing to stop preventing certain foreign citizens from leaving China, including Americans.

Under the Trump administration, Washington has accused Beijing of unfair trade practices and technological espionage, starting a trade war between the two countries in 2018, to which China responded by introducing its own tariffs.

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