Xu’s verdict is also a rebuff to Western governments who have expressed concern about his case.
“We are concerned that today’s conviction is retribution for Xu’s public campaign to expose official corruption and for the peaceful expression of his views,” said Daniel Delk, second secretary of the political section at the US embassy.
Xu pushed for officials to disclose their assets and campaigned for the rights of children from rural areas to be educated in cities.
During his trial, the court rejected the 68 witnesses the defense had applied to testify. It also barred diplomats from attending.