China: US harassing Chinese students, researchers

Updated: 04 August, 2020 09:51 IST | Agencies | Beijing

Wang said China had no intention of helping Juan Tang escape the US, but did not otherwise comment directly on the accusations against her.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. Pic/AFP
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. Pic/AFP

China on Monday accused the United States of "monitoring, harassing and willfully detaining" Chinese students and researchers in the US Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin's comments follow the denial of a bail request in California for a university researcher accused of lying about her ties to China's military and Communist Party to gain access to the US.

Wang said China had no intention of helping Juan Tang escape the US, but did not otherwise comment directly on the accusations against her. But, he said China urges the US to "handle the case fairly in accordance with the law and ensure the safety and legitimate rights and interests" due to Tang.

'Actions violate rights'
"The US actions have violated the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and severely disrupted the normal cultural and personnel exchanges between China and the US, which amounts to outright political persecution," he said.

In denying bail, US Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes said Tang, 37, would have reason to leave the US if released. Tang has been held without bail since July 23 when she was arrested after she left the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to seek medical care for her asthma.

Tang entered the US on Dec. 27, 2019, to work at the University of California. The lab closed because of the pandemic and Tang had been preparing to return to China. Tang and three other scientists living in the US face charges of lying about their status as members of China's People's Liberation Army, and of visa fraud.

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First Published: 04 August, 2020 08:06 IST

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