The arrest of Chinese-American geologist Xue Feng on charges of violating state secrets has been a thorny issue for US-China relations ever since his arrest and imprisonment three years ago. Recently, the Chinese courts have upheld his conviction despite the American government’s attempts to overturn it. From CNN:
“I am extremely disappointed in the outcome although it wasn’t completely unexpected,” said U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. “We ask the Chinese government to consider an immediate humanitarian parole of Xue Feng thereby allowing him to get back to his family and his way of life.”
The geologist, a naturalized American citizens, was convicted on charges of violating state secrets and faces a fine of 200,000 yuan (about U.S. $30,400). Xue has spent about three years in prison since his arrest.
University of Chicago’s Dr. David B. Rowley, Xue’s former professor who has rallied for his release, said in July that Xue was languishing in prison on vague charges.
Xue had been working as a geologist for energy consulting firm IHS and was gathering information on China’s oil-wells. His lawyers argue this information does not fall under the category of “state secrets”.