Beijing has reportedly warned US officials that they may detain Americans in China in response to the action against Chinese scholars in the United States. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Chinese government has sent several messages to Washington through multiple channels, including the US Embassy in China, warning that they may detain American citizens if the United States continues to prosecute PLA-affiliated scholars.
The United States started arresting researchers linked to the People's Liberation Army of China claiming that they tried to hide their affiliation during the immigration process. The United States in July this year asked China to close its Houston consulate, reportedly over intelligence that China is sending PLA scholars in the country to extract scientific research from American universities.
China on several occasions has detained citizens of other countries, including Canada, Australia, and Sweden, mostly on bogus charges. In September this year, the United States government issued a travel advisory warning its citizens against travelling to the East Asian country for several reasons, including that the Communist State detains foreign nationals to gain an upper hand during diplomatic bargains.
Relations between the United States and China are not at its best currently and especially with the former going into election mode with Beijing in focus. The ties between both countries started to deteriorate earlier this year after the United States was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that originated from China. The viral disease has affected the United States more than any other country in the world with over 8 million cases and 2,19,000 deaths.