China Sentences a U.S. Citizen to Life in Prison for Espionage


A Chinese language courtroom stated it sentenced a 78-year-old American citizen to life in jail on Monday on unspecified prices of spying, the most recent in a wave of espionage instances the authorities have pursued amid rising wariness of overseas affect within the nation.

The Intermediate Individuals’s Courtroom within the southeastern metropolis of Suzhou stated in a brief statement that it pronounced John Shing-Wan Leung responsible of espionage and sentenced him. It stated that Mr. Leung was arrested in April 2021 by state safety officers, however supplied no particulars in regards to the prices or the circumstances of his detention or trial. The courtroom additionally ordered about $70,000 value of his private property to be seized.

Mr. Leung holds a United States passport and is a everlasting resident of Hong Kong, in accordance with the assertion posted on the courtroom’s social media account.

The courtroom in Suzhou didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark. A spokesman for the USA Embassy in Beijing stated the embassy was conscious of the experiences in regards to the case however declined to remark due to privateness issues. Americans arrested in China should signal a privateness waiver to permit embassies and consulates to launch details about their instances to the general public.

Trials in China on prices of espionage or different delicate political points are sometimes shrouded in secrecy, with proceedings closed to the general public and the information media. Courts are managed by the ruling Communist Occasion.

China has just lately stepped up actions towards what it sees as a rising menace of spies via a wave of raids, inspections and arrests concentrating on companies with overseas ties in addition to people.

In March, Beijing detained a Japanese business executive from a pharmaceutical firm for espionage. Final 12 months, the authorities arrested a high-ranking editor of a Chinese language Communist Occasion newspaper whereas he was having lunch with a Japanese diplomat, accusing the editor of appearing as an agent for Japan or the USA, his household says.

Chinese language officers have raided the places of work or interrogated the employees of American consulting corporations such because the Mintz Group and Bain & Company. Most just lately, state media introduced a crackdown on the consulting trade within the identify of nationwide safety, singling out Capvision Partners, a consulting agency with places of work in New York and Shanghai. In describing the crackdown, China’s state broadcaster CCTV accused Western nations of stealing intelligence in key industries, together with protection, finance, power and well being, as a part of a “technique of containment and suppression towards China.”

Final month, China authorised revisions to a counterespionage law that expanded the sorts of actions that might land foreigners behind bars. Specialists say that the amendments, which go into impact in July, may criminalize a spread of mundane duties associated to info gathering such because the work of journalists and due diligence analysis on corporations. International companies have already begun to reassess their operations in China and enhance protections for workers.

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