US citizens Victor and Cynthia Liu say they have been barred from leaving China since June
Image copyrightFRIENDS OF LIU FAMILYImage caption
Date: Nov 26, 2018
Chinese officials have defended their decision to bar three US citizens from leaving the country, saying they are suspected of “economic crimes”.
Victor and Cynthia Liu, children of a fugitive businessman, and their mother, Sandra Han, have been detained since June, the New York Times reported.
The US Department of State confirmed to the BBC that they are in “close contact” with the adult Liu children.
Their father, Liu Changming, is wanted in a $1.4bn (£1bn) fraud case in China.
“As we understand it from the relevant authorities, these people you have mentioned all have legal and valid identity documents as Chinese citizens,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a news conference, according to the Agence France-Presse.
“They are suspected of having committed economic crimes and have been restricted from leaving China by Chinese police.”
The risks of dual citizenship
Analysis by Zhaoyin Feng, US Correspondent, BBC Chinese Service
Beijing has shown that it doesn’t shy away from prosecuting dual citizenship holders and foreign passport holders with Chinese roots.
Lee Bo, a Hong Kong bookseller who also holds a British passport, was “first and foremost a Chinese citizen” when they detained him, according to China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in 2016. [FULL STORY]