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China sentences U.S. citizen on espionage charges

A vendor sets up food and beverages at a booth displaying Chinese and American flags during a Spring Carnival in Beijing on Saturday. Associated Press/Photo by Andy Wong, File

China sentences U.S. citizen on espionage charges

A Chinese counterintelligence agency sentenced 78-year-old John Shing-Wan Leung to life in prison on Monday. Leung is a permanent resident of Hong Kong and a U.S. citizen. China detained him in April 2021 and held his trial behind closed doors. It’s common for countries to keep spying investigations under wraps, but China has a 99 percent conviction rate, according to the China Justice Observer.

Is China detaining anyone else? China has held two Chinese Australians on national security charges since 2019 and 2020. In March, authorities also detained a Japanese employee of Astellas Pharma in Beijing on espionage charges. New Chinese anti-espionage legislation and a broader legal definition of spying take effect in the country on July 1.

Dig deeper: Read Erica Kwong’s report in World Tour on China cracking down on Western diplomats and businesses.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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