Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Loading

China sentences 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for spying

A Chinese court has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison on spying charges.

John Shing-Wan Leung, who is a permanent resident in Hong Kong, was jailed on Monday.

John Shing-Wan Leung held permanent residency in Hong Kong, but it is not clear where he was living when he was arrested (file image)

The court in the south-eastern city of Suzhou gave no further details of the allegations against him.

Leung was arrested in the city two years ago by a local bureau of China’s counterintelligence agency, a news release from the court said.

He “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment [and] deprived of political rights for life”, according to the statement from the Intermediate People’s Court which was posted on the WeChat social media platform.

It is unclear where Leung was living at the time of his arrest.

A spokesperson for the US embassy in Beijing said they were aware of the reports. “The Department of State has no greater priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas,” they said.

Closed door trials are common in China, and few details are usually made public for sensitive cases such as those involving espionage charges.

Heavy sentences such as this, however, are relatively rare for foreign citizens.

In July, a new law will come into effect that broadens the scope of China’s espionage legislation. It will ban the handing over of any data the authorities deem to be related to national security.

The jailing of Leung is likely to further strain relations between China and the US, which deteriorated during former US President Donald Trump’s administration after he launched a trade war against China in 2018.

The two superpowers continue to clash on various issues, including Taiwan, China’s militarisation of the South China Sea and the origins of Covid.

Tensions were also heightened in February when the US shot down an alleged Chinese spy balloon, which Beijing insisted was a weather monitoring device.

Follow us on:

YOUTUBE  FACEBOOK TELEGRAM GOOGLE NEWS TWITTER  INSTAGRAM PINTEREST

Subscribe and Follow us via Email

If you have any comment regarding this article contact us at contact@ethiopianstoday.com

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

Leave a Reply