American spy arrested in China
Chinese authorities have formally arrested an American citizen on charges of espionage amid a visit by President Xi Jinping to the United States.
On Tuesday, Chinese authorities confirmed they were holding and investigating Phan Phan-Gillis, detained six months ago on charges of spying.
China’s Foreign Ministry said the 55-year-old is suspected of “engaging in activities that endanger China’s national security.”
The woman was detained back in March while she was visiting the southern coastal city of Zhuhai as part of a delegation from Houston.
Her husband, Jeff Gillis, told The Wall Street Journal that his wife “isn’t a spy or a thief.”
The woman was born in Vietnam and has Chinese origins. She became a US citizen in the 1980s and goes by the name Sandy.
The Journal also said that she was president of the Houston Shenzhen Sister City Association and “ran her own business consultancy and had interests in project management and financing.”
Washington-Beijing ties are in tatters due to several issues including cyber security and espionage.