chinese court sentences us citizen to life in prison for spy
A 78-year-old US citizen was found guilty of spying and given a life sentence by a Chinese court.
A permanent resident of Hong Kong named John Shing-Wan Leung was imprisoned on Monday.
All information about the accusations against him was provided by the court in the southeast Chinese city of Suzhou.
According to a news release from the court, Leung was detained in the city two years ago by a regional office of China’s counterintelligence agency.
According to a statement from the Intermediate People’s Court that was published on the social media site WeChat, he “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment [and] deprived of political rights for life.”
Leung’s residence at the time of his arrest is unknown.
The US embassy confirmed the act of Chinese Court Sentence
The US embassy in Beijing confirmed knowledge of the reports through a spokesperson. The Department of State declared that the security and safety of American citizens abroad was its top priority.
In China, closed-door trials are typical, and for mild cases like those involving espionage charges, not much information is typically made available to the public.
A new law that broadens the application of China’s anti-espionage regulations will go into effect in July. Any information that the authorities believe is relevant to national security will be prohibited from being disclosed.
The imprisonment is likely to worsen already strained ties between China and the US, which sank under the administration of former US President Donald Trump after he started a trade war with China in 2018.
On several topics, including Taiwan, China’s militarization of the South China Sea, and the origins of Covid, the two superpowers continue to engage in conflict.
The US shooting down an alleged Chinese spy balloon in February, which Beijing insisted was a weather monitoring device, further aggravated tensions.