China sentences US citizen with life imprisonment over spying charges

Supreme Court of China. [Photo: Wikimedia]

A Chinese court on Monday imposed a life term of imprisonment for espionage on a 78-year-old American citizen.

John Shing-wan Leung is a permanent resident of Hong Kong and a holder of an American passport, according to the Reuters news agency. The counterintelligence service detained Leung on April 15, 2021 in the city of Suzhou in the southeast, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, information about his sentence was shared via the WeChat account of an Intermediate People’s Court in Suzhou.

The court said in a statement that Leung “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life.”

While the court announced Leung’s sentence, no further details were given relating to what he had been charged with.

Relations between Washington and Beijing are frayed with disputes over trade, technology, human rights and China’s approach towards territorial claims.

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