According to people familiar with the matter, Chinese government officials are warning their American counterparts that they could detain US citizens in China in response to the Justice Department’s trial of scholars affiliated with the Chinese military.
Chinese officials repeatedly issued warnings to U.S. government representatives and through multiple channels, people said, including through the U.S. embassy in Beijing.
The Chinese message, people said, was blunt: the United States should abandon trials of Chinese scholars in American courts, or Americans in China could find themselves in violation of Chinese law.
CHINESE STATE TV NOTICES DETRACTORS AFTER DARYL MOREY HIRES AS GM ROCKETS
China began sounding the alarm this summer after the United States began arresting a number of Chinese scientists, who were visiting American universities to conduct research, and accused them of hiding from US authorities for the their active-duty status in the People̵
The arrests were the subject of a Wall Street Journal article that also reported US allegations that Chinese diplomats were coordinating activities with researchers, and described it as a factor that ordered China to close its consulate of Houston in July and remove the remaining military scientists from the nation.
Chinese authorities have occasionally arrested foreign nationals in moves considered by their governments as baseless, or in some cases as diplomatic retaliation, a tactic that many in Washington political circles have called “hostage diplomacy.” China has denied US citizens permission to leave the country and has arrested, charged or sentenced Canadian, Australian and Swedish citizens for what those government officials have called false charges.
Read more in the Wall Street Journal.