After 4 years as pawn in U.S.-China game, Seattle man is home – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-11-24 12:27:00 –

Brussels >> US citizen Daniel Sue fought for four years to escape China.

Residents of Seattle were barred from leaving, even though they did not commit the crime of being a pawn in a geopolitical game between two giant superpowers.

Then earlier this month, just four days before the virtual meeting between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Sue was told to prepare to go home. His time was less than 48 hours.

“It was a complete rush,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home in Seattle.

Sue is taking place between China and the United States in preparation for a more than three-hour video conference between Biden and the West in November when he visited his grandmother and competed to pack up and travel to Guangzhou. I didn’t know anything about horse trading. 15.

Sue was the trump card for negotiations, as the two countries appeared to be trying to ease tensions in an increasingly difficult relationship. He was able to return to Seattle, where seven Chinese convicted of crime in the United States were sent back to China.

China’s ability to trade by effectively hostages people like Sue raises concerns that Beijing may feel bold about doubling its practices, which is not only in the United States but also in Canada and Australia. , And their citizens also faced arbitrary detention in China.

Sophie Richardson, Director of China at Human Rights Watch, said: “The problem is that even if you follow a truly principled path, many will still be sitting in arbitrary detention in China.”

U.S. officials familiar with the administration’s talks with Beijing about Sue said that Sue wasn’t the “deliverable” of the Biden-Sea conference, and what looked like a prisoner exchange wasn’t really a prisoner exchange, but Beijing. The product of a long and ongoing effort to meet international obligations. Officials were not allowed to comment publicly and spoke on anonymous terms.

“China should not have exposed US citizens to a compulsory ban. China could not fulfill its international obligation to regain the people ordered to be removed,” said the acronym for the People’s Republic of China. It was used. “There are additional Americans in China who are subject to deportation and arbitrary detention. We will continue to strive to ensure their release.”

In Beijing, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said the details of Sue’s case were not clear, but China handled such issues in accordance with established rules.

“I would like to emphasize that everything is equal under the law and that the relevant Chinese agencies are dealing with such issues in accordance with the law and regulation,” Zhao said in a daily briefing on Wednesday. “There is no tolerance for interference, slander, or distortion in carrying out such missions.”

Mr. Sue was virtually over 20 years ago when he was chairman of a government real estate company, trying to convince his father to face justice for returning to China and stealing about $ 63,000. He said he was taken hostage. Sue’s father said he was innocent and a target of political revenge.

From August 2017 to February 2018, Sue was imprisoned in a cell in Hefei, the capital of Anhui Province. The walls of his beige room were covered with rubber, Sue told AP in a 2020 interview. The table was wrapped in soft gray leather. White blinds covered two forbidden windows. There were no sharp edges.

Five surveillance cameras recorded his movements, and two guards were constantly monitoring him quietly. They took a shower following Sue and stood beside him in the bathroom.

The lights burned all night. As he rolled on the mattress, guards woke him up and turned his face to the surveillance camera that recorded him while he was asleep.

When he was released from the so-called education center, he was banned from moving out and was banned from leaving China. Under Chinese law, authorities have broad discretion to prevent both Chinese citizens and foreigners from leaving the country. The United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom have issued recommendations to warn citizens that conflicts that may not be directly involved can prevent them from leaving China arbitrarily.

Sue is not the first case of hostage diplomacy involving China.

In September, Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, reached an agreement to allow him to return from Canada after a three-year diplomatic standoff. Meng was faced with a US surrender request on suspicion of fraud allegedly misrepresenting the company’s transaction with Iran.

Within hours of Meng’s release, Beijing released two Canadians detained in China for national security charges shortly after Meng was arrested in Canada. China’s foreign ministry said it downplayed its relationship with Meng’s case when Canadians were released for health reasons. Canada has long claimed that men are innocent.

The next day, two American brothers, like Sue, who had been blocked from leaving China for years to force their father to return to China, returned to the United States.

Sue’s luck didn’t change until the weeks leading up to the video conference in November. Sue said he received a call from the US embassy in Beijing four days before Xi and Biden spoke on Thursday afternoon, November 11. He was instructed to go to Guangzhou, a large city in southern China, about 900 miles from his apartment in Shanghai. In time for returning home by charter flight early that Sunday morning.

He went to see his 103-year-old grandmother who lives in Shanghai. She cried when he told her she was about to leave. “I found out she was wondering if she could see me again,” he said.

Sue was worried about her health and never told her about his ban. He never told her about the six months in the cell. Or the fact that his wife, also innocent of crime, was prevented from leaving China until last year was another unclear reason for them. As a result, their teenage daughter lived alone in a large empty house in Seattle and was orphaned for nearly three years.

On Sunday morning, November 14th, a rare and brilliant blue sky dawned in Guangzhou, and the sunshine seemed to match Sue’s mood. At the airport, he walked across the tarmac towards the waiting Gulfstream 5 jet. This is the plane that will eventually bring him home.

Sue said he saw seven people disembark, but didn’t know who they were.

Only one of them, a former Chinese bank executive, was handcuffed by Jun Xu, who is now wearing bald and baggy camouflage pants. A pair of police in hooded white hazmat suits wearing goggles, face masks, blue gloves and blue boots escorted him from the plane.

Xu fled China in 2001 after being accused of spending hundreds of millions of dollars. The Central Commission for Discipline of the Chinese Communist Party has issued a statement overthrowing Xu’s return to his homeland as a “major achievement” in China’s global anti-corruption struggle under Xi Jinping.

A federal court in Las Vegas convicted a former Bank of China manager for conspiracy in 2009 and ordered him and his conspirators to pay $ 482 million in compensation. According to the Department of Homeland Security, he spent nearly 13 years in a US prison.

Two of the other returnees, Chang Yu-jin and Lu Jin, tried to join Mar-a-Lago in 2019. Chan was sentenced to eight months in prison for trespassing and lying to federal agents, and Lou was sentenced to 59 days for resisting arrest. DHS. According to the DHS, the other two (Wang Yuhao and Zhang Jielun) were convicted of illegally filming a naval air base in Key West, Florida. The last pair, Sun Yong and Tang Junliang, were convicted of a financial crime in Utah. And the Department of Justice record.

And it was Sue’s turn. He climbed 10 boarding stairs towards the plane. He had a suitcase and one carry-on baggage.

“I felt like I was already in the land of the United States. It was really reassuring,” Sue said. “When I sat in the chair, I took a deep breath.”

He said he had read Mandarin’s “Dunes”, played video games, and chatted with six immigrant customs authorities on board, also on a six-hour flight from Guangzhou to Guam. Then there was a 3-hour transfer in Guam and a 7-hour flight to Honolulu.

He said he spent a 24-hour transfer in Hawaii basically sleeping in a hotel room before returning to the jet for a five-and-a-half-hour flight to Phoenix.

In Phoenix, he switched to a commercial flight, but was delayed by nearly three hours.

As Biden and Sea talked about Taiwan, trade, climate change, and the mutual need to avoid conflict, Sue has accelerated the pace of the exhausted and purposeless Phoenix Airport. “I tried to read a book or read something on my cell phone, but I can’t,” Sue said. “I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I couldn’t wait to see my wife.”

Finally, near 10 pm local time, Sue landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. A representative of the hostage special presidential envoy was waiting for him. So did his wife, Jody Chen.

“I just hugged her and gave her a hug,” Sue said. “It’s very big and very tight.”

“Welcome back,” said Chen.

This year’s Thanksgiving promises to significantly improve the four-year-old vacation. Sue said he celebrated the solitary confinement in Hefei. He said he was able to convince his mind to bring him a special meal of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Sue said she was grateful to everyone who worked behind the scenes to take him home. He is happy to be in a free country, but said he thinks about his relatives. “I hope everything goes well with my family in China,” he said.

His last departure was so sudden, Sue had time to think about what would come next, except that he would regain time with his family and try to return to the life he lost and freedom. I said I didn’t.

“I was tired. I was just tired,” he said. “I haven’t seen my parents for four years. I haven’t seen my wife for a year and a half. I have a lot of discussions.”


Associated Press reporters Aamer Madhani and Ben Fox from Washington contributed to this report.

After 4 years as pawn in U.S.-China game, Seattle man is home Source link After 4 years as pawn in U.S.-China game, Seattle man is home

Back to top button