2021-09-28 04:53:34 American Siblings Barred From Leaving China for 3 Years Return to U.S.

American Siblings Barred From Leaving China for 3 Years Return to U.S.

While the Biden administration stated that there was no agreement linking the resolution of Ms. Meng’s case to the release of the siblings, their prolonged detention in China appeared to be related to Ms. Meng’s arrest in December 2018, according to Evan Medeiros, a Georgetown University professor who served as senior Asia director at the National Security Council under President Barack Obama.

Mr. Medeiros, who was involved in efforts to free the siblings, said that in late 2018, President Donald J. Trump raised the issue of Mr. and Ms. Liu’s release at a summit in Argentina with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Mr. Xi agreed to let them leave. However, Ms. Meng was detained in Canada on the day the summit concluded, and the agreement was null and void.

“There appears to be a de facto linkage for China,” Mr. Medeiros said over the phone.

Exit bans on US citizens have been repeatedly warned by American officials as a major source of concern. The State Department singles them out as a risk in its advisory to American citizens considering traveling to China. According to the advisory, “people frequently discover they are blocked only when they attempt to leave, and there is no reliable mechanism or legal process to determine how long the ban may continue or to contest it in a court of law.”

During talks in Anchorage in March, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken pressed senior Chinese officials about exit bans, and raised cases of Americans trapped in exit bans during a phone call with China’s top foreign policy official, Yang Jiechi, in June.

When Wendy R. Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, visited China for talks in July, she “raised the cases of American and Canadian citizens” detained in China or subject to exit bans, and told Chinese officials that “people are not bargaining chips,” according to the State Department at the time.

Ms. Sherman met with China’s newly arrived ambassador to the US, Qin Gang, last month in Washington and “reviewed issues” from her previous talks in China, according to the State Department.

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American Siblings Barred From Leaving China for 3 Years Return to U.S.