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China sentences U.S. green-card holder for spying.

BEIJING, Dec. 12 Kyodo

A Beijing court on Tuesday sentenced a Chinese national with U.S. permanent residency to three years in prison for ''leaking national security information to foreigners'' regarding the crackdown on the banned Falun Gong meditation group, a human rights group said.

The sentence came despite a U.S. request for Teng Chunyan's release made after her three-hour, closed-door trial Nov. 23, the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said, quoting the woman's relatives.

A U.S. diplomat said China has yet to confirm the sentence.

Teng was arrested in May on suspicion of providing foreign journalists with information on the Chinese government's crackdown on Falun Gong members.

Teng, married to an American, worked as an acupuncturist in New Jersey before becoming a Falun Gong adherent and returning to China last year, according to the human rights group.

It said Chinese authorities claims she returned to gather information on the government crackdown on Falun Gong and provided information to foreign reporters under the pseudonym Hannah Li.

The Beijing court accused her of clandestinely obtaining digital footage of jailed Falun Gong adherents and classified information about others being held in psychiatric wards.

China has in the past expelled Falun Gong practitioners with permanent residency in the United States but this is the first time it has sentenced one to prison, the human rights group said.

A U.S. diplomat said that while the U.S. is ''not happy about the outcome'' of the trial, the case appears to have been tried in accordance with Chinese law so the U.S. government does not have a strong position from which to appeal for leniency.

Because Teng is not a U.S. citizen, ''there is no treaty basis for pursuing an appeal,'' he said.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Dec 18, 2000
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