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Ambassador Huntsman Urges Chinese Government To Release Xue Feng

American ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, called for geologist Dr. Xue to be freed. “Now that the Chinese legal system has ruled, I believe the time has come for Dr. Xue, who has already been detained for two and a half years, to be released,” Mr. Huntsman said in a statement. “I urge the Chinese authorities to take into account the long ordeal he has suffered and in the spirit of justice allow him to be returned home and be reunited with his family.”
February 18, 2011

Dr. Xue was sentenced under a vague state secrets law, used in the past to prosecute cases ranging from military espionage to information leaks from state ministries. State security officials detained Dr. Xue in November 2007 after he signed a purchase contract on behalf of an energy consulting company based in Colorado, IHS Energy, for a database on the Chinese oil industry. The statement  by Huntsman said the United States government was dismayed by the verdict and concerned about Dr. Xue’s right to due process under Chinese law and his well-being in prison. The sentence, which some human-rights advocates called unusually harsh, seemed to underscore the Chinese government’s acute sensitivity to any matters related to its hunt for natural resources to fuel economic growth.

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