Espionage

Chinese Historian Sentenced for Espionage in China After Teaching in Japan

Main image to the post Chinese Historian Sentenced for Espionage in China After Teaching in Japan

A Chinese historian and former professor at the Hokkaido University of Education, Yuan Keqin, was given a prison sentence for espionage by a district court in Changchun, Jilin Province, in January. The court handed down a six-year imprisonment term to Yuan, who had been out of contact since June 2019, when he returned to China after attending a family funeral in May of that year. This revelation is part of a larger crackdown by Chinese authorities targeting Chinese academics who engage in research in Japan, accusing them of alleged spying activities.

Chinese Foreign Ministry officials confirmed that Yuan had been detained in March 2020 and later announced his prosecution in April 2021. However, when asked about Yuan's current status, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to comment, stating that China abides by the rule of law in handling such cases. In addition to Yuan's case, other instances of Chinese academics facing difficulties have emerged recently, with reports of professors like Hu Shiyun from Kobe Gakuin University in Japan, and Fan Yuntao from Asia University in Japan, encountering issues after visiting or being in China. Hu Shiyun went missing after returning to his homeland last summer, while Fan Yuntao has been unreachable in China since February 2023, according to sources familiar with Sino-Japanese relations.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09