Another foreign executive, this time from Koch Industries, reportedly interrogated in China

13-Jul-2019 Intellasia | CNBC | 6:02 AM Print This Post

* A Koch Industries executive was prevented from leaving the immediate vicinity of his hotel in southern China in early June, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing three sources.

* The detention plays into growing worries among American businesspeople about harassment from Chinese authorities.

* “We have not observed any decrease in the number of US executives travelling to China for business,” Jake Parker, vice president of China operations at the US-China Business Council, said in an email to CNBC.

A Koch Industries executive was prevented from leaving the immediate vicinity of his hotel in southern China in early June, The New York Times reported Thursday, citing three sources.

In the days that followed, the unnamed Chinese-American executive was interrogated about topics including US-China trade tensions, and was not allowed to leave the country until the State Department intervened, the Times report said.

The detention plays into growing fears among American businesspeople about harassment from Chinese authorities. In October, a banker with Switzerland-based UBS was prevented from leaving China in order to meet with Chinese officials.

After Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer at Chinese tech giant Huawei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the US government, China arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor.

In January, the State Department issued a travel advisory warning Americans to “exercise increased caution” when travelling to China, due to Beijing’s occasional attempts to prevent US citizens from leaving the country. China subsequently made a similar announcement to its citizens about travel to the United States.

The Times report said it interviewed several business executives, Washington officials and other frequent visitors to China who said they were increasingly alarmed about authorities’ harassment of Americans.

Koch Industries is owned by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, known for their support of the Republican party. Two sources told the Times they believe the incident with the executive in June was an attempt to send a message to US President Donald Trump.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during a meeting late last month to proceed with negotiations regarding a trade dispute that has lasted for more than a year.

Koch Industries did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment sent outside of US business hours.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/koch-industries-executive-interrogated-in-china-report-says.html

 


Category: China

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