China's government is denying that it may arbitrarily detain foreigners in that country, following a media report that it had warned Washington it could detain Americans as a response to U.S. prosecution of Chinese scholars.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday:
"I have noted relevant reports. The U.S. claim that foreign nationals in China are under threat of arbitrary detention is playing the victim and confusing black and white. These malicious actions by the U.S. severely damaged the legitimate rights of Chinese citizens in the U.S., and seriously disrupted the normal cultural exchanges between China and the United States. The U.S. actions have developed into outright political oppression which not only violates morality but also destroys its own image."
The comments follow a report by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday (October 17).
It said that Chinese officials had issued repeated warnings to U.S. government officials that China may detain Americans in response to the prosecution of Chinese military-affiliated scholars.
The Trump administration has increasingly accused China of using cyber operations and espionage to steal U.S. technological, military and other know-how.
Beijing denies the allegations.