3:08 pm - Tuesday October 19, 4077

US woman held in China for spying

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BEIJING: Even as Xi Jinping left on his first visit to the United States as president, Chinese foreign ministry confirmed that an American woman was being held on suspicion of spying.

The woman, Sandy Phan-Gillis from Texas in the US was suspected of “endangering China’s national security”, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.She is being investigated by “relevant Chinese authorities”. Her family said that Phan-Gillis is under detention for about six months.She is suspected of spying and stealing state secrets, the family said. Phan-Gillis, who has Chinese ancestry , heads a non-government organization.

Hong said the government has permitted her at least six consular visits.

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