Sunday, November 22, 2009

US calls for release of geologist held in China as spy

world.globaltimes.cn
The United States called Friday for the release of Xue Feng, a China-born US oil geologist being held on suspicion of stealing State secrets, according to AFP.

"We encourage China to grant Dr Xue humanitarian release and immediately deport him back to the United States," Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Beijing, told AFP.

"It is an espionage case," the counter-espionage official from the Chinese government department said. "The Chinese side has very solid evidence to prove that Xue Feng stole State secrets and violated China's law."

Xue was detained in China in November 2007 as he prepared to fly back to the United States after trying to purchase a database of information about China's oil industry on behalf of his employer at the time, IHS Inc, according to Jerome Cohen, a New York University law professor who is seeking Xue's release and spoke with The New York Times Sunday.

An anonymous source told AFP that Xue was formally arrested in April the following year and charged with procuring State secrets.

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