China jails American geologist for eight years for stealing state secrets

      A Chinese-born American geologist has been sentenced to eight years in jail in China for collecting intelligence and illegally providing state secrets to his company in the US. Beijing's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court also fined Xue Feng 200,000 yuan. The 44-year-old was detained in 2007 after negotiating the sale of an oil industry database to his US consulting firm IHS Energy, now known as IHS inc. US Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, was at court for the sentencing. The embassy later issued a statement saying that it was "dismayed", and urged China to grant Xue "humanitarian release and immediately deport him". Talking about the conviction, John Kamm, an American who regularly campaigns for the release of Chinese political prisoners, said: "This is a very harsh sentence. It's a very sad day for justice in China." "It's a huge disappointment and will send very real shivers up the spines of businesses that do business in China," The Telegraph quoted Kamm, as saying. Three Chinese nationals were also sentenced for illegally providing intelligence abroad. Li Yongbo was sentenced to six years in jail, and Chen Mengjin and Li Dongxu were both given two-and-a-half-year sentences.

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