Chinese authorities allowed the repatriation of two American citizens, a sister and a brother, who from 2018 had been banned from leaving China. The news was announced by a US official. Their release comes shortly after the United States dropped a lawsuit against the top executive of the Chinese company Huawei.
Cynthia and Victor Liu stayed in China for three years, under a restraining order to leave the country, despite not facing criminal charges. Their father, Liu Changming, a former bank official and a fugitive, is wanted by Chinese authorities accusing him of fraud.
Allowing the two U.S. nationals to leave China followed an agreement with U.S. prosecutors that allowed Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou to be released by Canadian authorities and returned to China.
Within hours of announcing the deal, two Canadian nationals who were arrested shortly after Ms. Meng was detained were released by Chinese authorities and sent back to Canada.
Beijing has denied allegations that the arrest of the Canadian nationals was linked to Ms. Meng’s arrest.
The White House on Monday said the release of Canadian nationals was not an exchange of prisoners, but their cases were mentioned during a phone call between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on 9 September. The Justice Department said it had acted independently to make a decision in Ms. Meng’s case.
“We welcome the return of Cynthia and Victor Liu to the United States,” said a State Department spokesman, adding that US consular staff in Shanghai had helped facilitate their exit from China.
“We will continue to work on behalf of all American citizens in the People’s Republic of China who have been subjected to arbitrary detention and forced detention.”
The White House declined to comment on the newly arrived Americans from China.
Cynthia and Victor Liu’s mother, Sandra Han, continues to be detained in China, and criminal charges are being brought against her./VOA
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