In a sign that Beijing has a growing reach over dissidents around the world, a teenager claims he is a U.S. permanent residence. He and his fiancee are now on the run.
Chinese officials sought Wang Jingyu (19 years old) after he posted online about the deadly border clashes that took place between Indian and Chinese forces last year. In April, he was transferring to the United States and was stopped by plainclothes officers in Dubai. He was then held for several weeks in a case the U.S. Department of State described as a human rights issue. According to him, his green card was taken away by Chinese authorities in Dubai.
Wang was released on May 27, only hours after The Associated Press had asked about him. __S.6__
The AP learned that Wang was warned by email on Thursday that Chinese officials knew he had been hiding in Ukraine and had increased the charges against him up to subversion state power. This vaguely defined charge is often used to detain critics of Chinese authorities. The email claimed to have come from Chongqing’s state security department. They claim they are searching for him.
The email stated that “your actions have completely changed from picking quarrels, stirring up trouble, and demeaning our border martyrs” to the charge of subversion of state power. “We know where you are, both in the national security organs as well as the public security organs.” Recall that China and Ukraine have an ex-dition agreement.
Wang received another email Monday from the same person. It stated that they had prepared steps in case the couple fled again. The AP has taken screenshots from both emails.
Wang stated, “I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep well at nights.” “It was clear from their statements that they would take legal action against me.”
Wu Huan, Wang’s fiancee, was terrified and flew to the Netherlands with him. The Netherlands does not have an extradition agreement with China. They seek asylum, or at the very least temporary visas.
The couple were informed by Dutch immigration officials that their passports had been cancelled upon their arrival at Amsterdam Airport. This was according to Bob Fu, president and CEO of ChinaAid who organized their escape from Ukraine.
Bas Belder, an ex-member of the European Parliament, stated that he had been in touch with the Dutch Justice Ministry to bring this couple’s situation to the attention of the minister. He said that the case, which included the cancellation of their passports and other criminal acts by the Chinese party state, highlighted “genuinely criminal behavior by the Chinese party state to pursue its citizens even beyond Chinese territory, and try to capture them using every means possible.” The Justice Ministry declined to comment on individual cases.
Multiple requests from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chongqing Police, and the Chinese Embassy in Washington for comment were not answered by the Chinese authorities.
The U.S. State Department did not comment on the details of Tuesday’s case, but made a general statement.
“We are alarmed at the human rights violations in China and urge the People’s Republic of China (PRC) authorities to respect fundamental freedoms their citizens have …. This applies to all citizens of the PRC – inside and outside of China.”
This case raises concerns about China’s extraterritorial reach, particularly with fears that Hong Kong’s last year passed national security law could be applied to anyone of any nationality.
According to Jerome Cohen, an adjunct senior fellow with the Council for Foreign Relations who is an expert in Chinese law and a specialist on Chinese law, formal extradition requests are not the only tool China has for exercising control over its citizens overseas. He said that informal efforts are more common and are often used by the U.S., who rely on deportations from foreign countries that are not made public and are harder to track.
Cohen stated that the case was a clear attempt to expand Chinese power overseas. “There are certain increasing long-arm efforts by China using one method or another — informal expulsion, extradition coercion to their families in China, using all the techniques in the book, legal as well as illegal.”
Since July 2019, Wang fled China police and has been traveling abroad with Wu. He posted comments supporting mass demonstrations in Hong Kong via a Chinese social media site. To avoid any trouble, his parents sent him to the USA.
China announced in February that it had lost four soldiers in a brutal battle between Indian and Chinese forces over a dispute at the Karakoram Mountains border. Wang was puzzled by the delay in announcing the death toll from China and became the target of state media.
According to a February report by the state-owned Global Times, six others were taken into custody by police for remarks they made about the Chinese-Indian border conflict. The report was based on statements from local police officers. Wang was the only one who was not able to travel. Chongqing police stated in a public statement that Wang was being sought for his all-encompassing charge “picking quarrels, stirring up trouble”, often used against political targets.
The People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Communist Party. It started a hashtag called “Man staying abroad who slandered Frontier Heroes is now being hunted online” on Weibo. Wang claimed that he received threatening phone calls after the hashtag was viewed more than 280 million times.
He said that his parents were taken into custody by Chongqing police after Wang made the February comments. To make public what was happening, he gave interviews to Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.
Since then, he has not been able to contact his parents on his own. He was sent by the Chongqing police a recording from his father, warning him not to interview with U.S media outlets. The AP has now heard it.
Officials in Dubai didn’t respond to Tuesday’s requests for comment. The AP obtained a Dubai Public Prosecution Charge Sheet after Wang’s arrest. It stated that Wang was being investigated for allegedly insulting one of the monotheistic religious faiths. This charge is typically used to refer to insulting Islam. The Dubai Media Office stated that the charges had been dropped and Wang was released.
The Dubai Media Office stated that “Chinese authorities did not inquire about Mr. Wang” nor requested his deportation to China.
Wu flew to Dubai shortly after her fiancé was arrested in April. Wu hired a lawyer and posted on social media, giving interviews, and raising awareness about her fiance’s case.
According to the couple, Wu was taken from her Dubai hotel on May 27th. Guo Baosheng (a Chinese dissident) said that he had made public the detention of Wang by UAE authorities and had urged Wu to leave the hotel before she vanished.
Wu claimed she was taken to a Dubai station by police and interrogated by officials of the Chinese consulate. According to the couple, she was taken into custody by Chinese officials. After going on a hunger strike for several more days, her mental state was near collapse. She was then released on June 8, she stated.
She said, “This is a particularly difficult recollection.” “I don’t hold many political views. I love China …. I never imagined I would be subject to this level of injustice in the UAE.
Wang continues to criticize the Chinese government on Twitter. He stated that he would continue to voice his opinions in any way possible.
He stated, “I want my voice to be heard inside the firewall through all possible methods.” “I believe that the country will only have hope if the true Chinese people within the firewall awaken, and only then can it be free from despair.”