PanamaTimes

Sunday, May 19, 2024

China jails US citizen for life on espionage charges

China jails US citizen for life on espionage charges

China has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for espionage, a court said Monday, but revealed few details about the case that had previously gone unreported.
Such heavy terms are relatively rare for foreign citizens in China, and the jailing of American passport holder John Shing-wan Leung is likely to further strain already damaged ties between Beijing and Washington.

Leung, who is a Hong Kong permanent resident, “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life,” said a statement from the Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou.

Suzhou authorities “took compulsory measures according to the law” against 78-year-old Leung in April 2021, it said, without specifying when he had been taken into custody.

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

A spokesperson for the US embassy in Beijing said they were aware of reports that a US citizen had been recently convicted and sentenced in Suzhou.

“The Department of State has no greater priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas,” the spokesperson said.

“Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”

The court statement provided no further details on the charges, and closed door trials are routine in China for sensitive cases.

Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin declined to comment further on the case at a regular press briefing on Monday.

The jailing is likely to further damage relations with Washington, which are already severely strained over issues such as trade, human rights and Taiwan.

Washington and Beijing have just ended an unofficial pause in high-level contacts over the United States’ shooting down in February of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon.

In an apparent breakthrough last week, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi held eight hours of talks in Vienna, with both sides describing the meeting as “candid, substantive and constructive.”

On Friday Washington issued a statement condemning the reported sentencing of a human rights activist for “inciting subversion of state power.”

Guo Feixiong, also known as Yang Maodong, was jailed for eight years, according to rights groups. There has been no official confirmation from China of the sentencing.

In its statement, the US State Department said its diplomats had been barred from attending the trial in southern China.

“We urge the PRC to live up to its international commitments, give its citizens due process, respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms including freedom of speech, and end the use of arbitrary detentions and exit bans,” said US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

US President Joe Biden is due to head to Hiroshima for a meeting of leaders of the G7 group of major developed economies.

The G7’s relationship with China is expected to be high on the agenda at the May 19-21 summit.

Other high-profile espionage cases in recent years include the arrest in 2019 of Chinese-born Australian writer Yang Jun.

Australia called last week for another another of its nationals — jailed journalist Cheng Lei — to be reunited with her family after 1,000 days in detention over “supplying state secrets overseas.”

In April authorities formally charged a prominent Chinese journalist with spying, more than a year after he was detained while having lunch at a Beijing restaurant with a Japanese diplomat, a media rights group said.

Also in April, China approved an amendment to its anti-espionage law, broadening its scope by widening the definition of spying and banning the transfer of any data related to what the authorities define as national security.

The changes to the law will come into force on July 1.

“Chinese authorities have long had an essentially free hand in addressing national security concerns,” Chinese law expert Jeremy Daum wrote.

“The laws involved are sometimes amorphous and vague, leading to selective, or even arbitrary, enforcement,” he said, adding that the definition of “espionage” was already so broad “it isn’t immediately clear what the impact of the expanded definition will be.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×