After 3 Years of being Banned from Leaving China, 2 US Citizens Finally Go Home

Two American brothers who have been barred from leaving China since 2018 returned to the US over the weekend, a US official said. Their release by Beijing came shortly after the US ended a legal case against a Huawei executive.

Cynthia and Victor Liu returned to America after more than three years, during which time they were not allowed to leave China under an “exit ban” even though they did not face any criminal charges. Liu Changming, their father a former bank official and a fugitive, is wanted in China to face fraud charges.

The two Americans’ departure follows a deal that would allow Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou to return to China from Canada after US prosecutors dropped a fraud case against her.

Victor and Cynthia Liu.  (Photo: social media)

Victor and Cynthia Liu. (Photo: social media)

Within hours of news of the deal, two Canadians also arrested shortly after Meng’s arrest, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, were released from custody and sent back to Canada.

Beijing has denied that the arrests were related. The White House said Monday that the release of the Canadians was not a prisoner exchange, but because their case was brought up in a telephone conversation between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jingping on September 9.

The US Department of Justice said its decision on Meng’s case was taken independently.

“We welcome Cynthia and Victor Liu’s return to the US on Sunday,” said a State Department spokesman, adding that US consular staff in Shanghai helped facilitate the Liu brothers’ return. “We will continue to advocate on behalf of all American citizens in the People’s Republic of China who face arbitrary detention and forced exits.”

The White House declined to comment on the American who left China. Cynthia and Victor Liu’s mother, Sandra Han, is still being held on criminal charges in China. [uh/lt]

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