Reports the Daily Telegraph, [2/11/03]:

A Chinese dissident who has lived in America for 20 years has been jailed for life in China, accused of terrorism and spying for Taiwan.

Wang Bingzhang, 55, a father of four, all of whom have American citizenship, was arrested in mysterious circumstances last summer while on a trip ostensibly to meet Chinese labour activists in Vietnam.

The Chinese authorities say he was kidnapped by a local gang and that police found him bound and gagged in a Buddhist temple in the southern Chinese province of Guanxi last July after he could not pay a £6.5 million ransom demand.

The Free China Movement, which represents Dr Wang’s China Democracy and Justice Party in addition to other opposition groups abroad, says Chinese security agents kidnapped him in Vietnam and smuggled him across the border. Official media confirmed his arrest only in December, announcing that he was accused of selling defence secrets to Taiwan in the 1980s and of plotting terrorist attacks.

The charges were condemned as “trumped up” by the FCM.

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