A court in China has sentenced a 78-year-old US citizen to life in prison on espionage charges. John Shing-Wan Leung, who has a U.S. passport and permanent residence in Hong Kong, was convicted by the court in the eastern city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, on Monday.
Leung’s assets worth about 500,000 Yuan (72,000 dollars) were also confiscated. Few details are known about the allegations against Leung beyond that he was arrested in April 2021. U.S. officials are yet to comment.
Before the sentencing of the US citizen, the relationship between China and the US hadd deteriorated in recent years. The United States has also increasingly taken action against Chinese nationals accused of spying. The US has shot down a giant Chinese balloon that it says has been spying on key military sites across America.
The Department of Defense confirmed its fighter jets brought down the balloon over US territorial waters. Footage on US TV networks showed the balloon falling to the sea after a small explosion.
An F-22 jet fighter engaged the high-altitude balloon with one missile – an AIM-9X – and it went down about six nautical miles off the US coast at 14:39 EST (19:39 GMT), a defence official told reporters