On Monday, China gave a 78-year-old U.S. citizen a life sentence for spying. The man was arrested more than two years ago.
John Shing-Wan Leung, who has a fixed home in Hong Kong, was taken into custody by China’s counterintelligence agency on April 15, 2021, in the eastern city of Suzhou, according to a post on the city’s website. No information about the charges against him was made public.
The city says that the police also took about $70,000 worth of Leung’s goods.
Tensions between China and the U.S. are still rising as Leung is sentenced.
Later this week, President Biden will go to Japan. He will also stop in Papua New Guinea, an island in the Pacific Ocean that China wants to use to gain more power.
The tweet below confirms the news:
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing told The Associated Press that it knew about the sentence but couldn’t say anything else.
In an email, the embassy said, “The Department of State’s top priority is the safety and security of U.S. citizens living abroad.”
Leung was sentenced on spying charges at the same time that several Americans in Russia were charged with espionage and held. Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who was arrested in Russia and accused of spying earlier this year, is one of them. The U.S. and the Journal have both said that this report is not true.
The White House has officially asked Russia to let Gershkovich and other Americans who are “wrongfully detained” in Russia go. But people who don’t agree with Biden have said that his administration hasn’t put the problem high enough on the list of priorities.
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