American brothers and sisters barred from leaving China for 3 years
Victor and Cynthia Liu, American siblings who were barred from leaving China for more than three years, returned to the United States on Saturday, their lawyer, Mark Ginsberg, said.
Georgetown University student Victor Liu and McKinsey & Company advisor Cynthia Liu went to China to visit their ailing grandfather in June 2018. On the trip, their mother, who was also a US citizen, was taken into custody by the police and the siblings were prevented from leaving the country. His father, Liu Changming, a former executive at a Chinese bank, was wanted by the Chinese police for his role in a fraud.
His release coincided with an agreement on Friday that cleared the way for Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies, to return to China. Ms Meng was out on bail, living in her Vancouver mansion, while an extradition request was being decided with the United States, where she is wanted in a fraud case involving the sale of telecommunications gear to Iran. Ms Meng arrived in China on Saturday.
Mr Ginsberg, the former United States ambassador to Morocco, attributed the release of Victor and Cynthia Liu to a September 9 phone call between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. “I’m sure the president’s call with President Xi helped break the impasse,” Mr Ginsburg said in a telephone interview.
The siblings case was brought up with China by other US officials, and Senator Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats from Massachusetts, had also pushed for his release, as said by Mr. Ginsburg, Georgetown University.
Unlike Canada’s Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who spent nearly three years in Chinese prison in apparent retaliation for Ms Meng’s being unable to leave Canada, Victor and Cynthia Liu were not charged with the crimes and were not in custody. They lived in a rented apartment in Shanghai, and Victor Liu continued his studies in Georgetown from afar, Mr. Ginsberg said. They were among a group of Americans and other foreign nationals unable to leave China because of so-called exit restrictions.
His mother, Sandra Han, is in prison, Mr Ginsburg said.
Victor and Cynthia Liu are living in the New York area. He grew up in Massachusetts.
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