Thu, Jul 29, 2004 - Page 3 News List

China arrests US man, charges him as Taiwanese spy

AP , BEIJING

China has arrested a Chinese-born US citizen on charges of spying on Beijing's diplomats in the US for Taiwan, an official newspaper reported.

David Wei Dong (董維), a US citizen since 1995, was arrested last September and is expected to go on trial soon, according to the Global Times, published by the main Chinese Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily.

Dong is accused of gathering and passing on Chinese "diplomatic secrets" since 1990, focusing on policy toward Taiwan, the semiweekly newspaper said in its Monday edition.

A spokeswoman for the US embassy in Beijing confirmed that Dong was detained in September and has received regular visits by a US diplomat, most recently on June 4. The spokeswoman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she had no other details.

Dong is accused of passing on information about China's views on Taiwan's economy, US policy toward the nation and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), according to the newspaper.

It didn't say how Dong obtained the information nor what penalty he might face if convicted.

Dong's arrest adds to a string of recent Chinese cases against Taiwanese businesspeople and others accused of spying in China for Taipei.

Other publicly disclosed cases involved accusations of spying within China's borders on military and economic targets. The Global Times didn't say how evidence against Dong was obtained or how his status as a US citizen allegedly carrying out spying in the US, rather than in China, might affect the charges.

Dong is accused of receiving a house worth US$268,000 and cash payments from Taiwan.

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