Beijing is threatening to take Americans in China hostage if the Department of Justice doesn’t drop its prosecution of several Chinese research scientists arrested on U.S. soil this year, according to a report on Saturday.
Chinese government officials have repeatedly warned their U.S. counterparts that Americans in China face being detained if its demands are not met, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The drastic action — dubbed “hostage diplomacy” — would be in retaliation for the arrests of at least five Chinese military-affiliated scholars visiting American universities to conduct research.
The scientists were charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to U.S. immigration authorities about their active duty statuses with China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The nation first began issuing the warnings over the summer, after Chinese research scientist Juan Tang, who worked at the University of California, Davis, was questioned by the FBI and took up residence for a month in China’s San Francisco consulate. (Read more from “China’s Warning: We Will Take U.S. Hostages If DOJ Charges Not Dropped against Researchers” HERE)