China Jails US Citizen For Life on Espionage Charges

    Image copyright: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • On Monday, a 78-year-old US citizen and permanent resident of Hong Kong was sentenced to life in prison on spying charges by a Chinese court in the southeastern city of Suzhou.

    • Without elaborating on the charges, the Suzhou Intermediate People's Court announced that John Shing-wan Leung was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to life in prison, with his political rights revoked for life.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    The dubious ruling in this case is just the latest example of how repressive China's crackdown on individuals and companies has become. The more powerful Beijing becomes, the more authoritarian its behavior becomes both internally and externally. As a result, China is not only jeopardizing the trust of foreign companies in the world's second-largest economy but also threatening the liberal, democratic US-led order.

    Pro-China narrative

    No details of the case are yet known, but one thing is certain: China is facing increasingly extensive and complex espionage attacks and related activities on its own soil. As the US-led West expands its espionage activities in China, the PRC has the right and duty to protect its national security through enhanced anti-espionage measures. While the Western media feigns outrage, individuals and companies doing normal and legal business in China have nothing to fear.

    Go Deeper

    Establishment split



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