China sentences 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison for spying

A Chinese court has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison on spying charges.

John Shing-Wan Leung, who is a permanent resident in Hong Kong, was jailed on Monday.

The court in the south-eastern city of Suzhou gave no further details of the allegations against him.

Leung was arrested in the city two years ago by a local bureau of China’s counterintelligence agency, a news release from the court said.

He “was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment [and] deprived of political rights for life”, according to the statement from the Intermediate People’s Court, which was posted on the WeChat social media platform.

It is unclear where Leung was living at the time of his arrest.

A spokesperson for the US embassy in Beijing said they were aware of the reports. “The Department of State has no greater priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas,” they said.

At a news conference in Washington DC on Monday, the State Department declined to…

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