Trump To Raise Case Of Held Americans To President Xi

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump will raise the case of two American citizens being held against their will in China over a political dispute with their father, he noted before departing Thursday for Argentina.

BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 9: Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. Trump is on a 10-day trip to Asia. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcoming ceremony November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. Trump was on a 10-day trip to Asia. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

“I will be bringing it up,” Trump said. The Trump administration has highlighted the case of the held American citizens in recent days ahead of a planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina at the G20 summit over the upcoming weekend.

The two American citizens are children of a former high ranking Chinese official accused of playing a major role in defrauding a major Chinese banking institution. The children say they have no contact with their father and have been held in China since June 2018 after visiting to try to see their ailing grandmother.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference to discuss a revised U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. and Canadian officials announced late Sunday night that a new deal, named the "U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement," or USMCA, had been reached to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference to discuss a revised U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. U.S. and Canadian officials announced late Sunday night that a new deal, named the “U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” or USMCA, had been reached to replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“We are being held here as a crude form of human collateral to induce someone with whom I have no contact to return to China for reasons with which I am entirely unfamiliar,” hostage Cynthia Liu wrote in a letter to National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The Chinese government is defending its hostage taking of these U.S. citizens noting their dual citizenship saying, “the people you mentioned all own legal and valid identity documents as Chinese citizens. Because they are suspected of economic crimes, they are restricted from exiting the country by the Chinese police in accordance with the law.”

Bolton also highlighted the case on Twitter in recent days saying:

Bolton elaborated in a Monday briefing. “I think, given that the range of issues that President Xi and President Trump will be covering, it’s entirely possible that that would come up,” he said.

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