New York: China has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for espionage, a court statement said this week. John Shing-wan Leung, an American passport holder and Hong Kong permanent resident, “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life”, said the statement from the Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern 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.
The court statement provided no further details on the charges, and closed door trials are routine in China for sensitive cases. Such heavy sentences are relatively rare for foreign citizens in China. The jailing is likely to further damage relations with Washington, which are already severely strained.