China Issues Punishment For US Citizen

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( – On May 15 in China, a 78-year-old US citizen reportedly received a sentence on spying charges following a more than two-year detention. According to the sentence, he is being placed behind bars for life.

John Shing-Wan Leung, who lives in Hong Kong, was first put by China’s counterintelligence agency in Suzhou under detention on April 15, 2021. According to the city, $70,000 of Leung’s property was also confiscated and the details of the charges against him had not been released at the time.

Leung’s sentencing comes at a time when the relations between Washington and Beijing have become more tense. President Biden was also set to visit Japan and Papua New Guinea this past week. China has in the past targeted Papua New Guinea for its attempts to increase its influence in the Pacific Ocean.

The US Embassy in Beijing has not released a statement about the sentence. The only thing they noted was that the Department of State’s primary priority was ensuring the safety of US citizens living abroad.

Leung is not the only American to be charged with espionage charges in recent years. In Russia, many Americans have also been detained or charged on similar counts. Among those detained is The Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in Russia earlier this year on spying charges. Both the publication and the US have denied all accusations about Gershkovich being a spy.

The White House has been pushing Russia to release not only Gershkovich but also other Americans who were “wrongfully detained” in Russia. Many have also criticized the Biden administration for not making this issue enough of a priority.

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