China detains American woman over national security

China detains American woman over national security

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are investigating an American businesswoman on suspicion that she threatened China's national security, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, confirming earlier media reports that Phan Phan-Gillis of Houston was detained earlier this year while traveling in the country.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the woman was healthy & was able to meet with American officials. He said Beijing is handling the case according to China's laws.

The U.S. State Department said Phan-Gillis is being held by the Chinese Ministry of State Security in the southern city of Nanning & that she was visited six times by American consular officers since her March 20 arrest. The department said in a statement Tuesday it was closely monitoring the case.

p>Phan-Gillis is a Vietnamese-American of Chinese descent. The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that she was in a trade delegation to China when she was stopped on her way to Macau.

Her husband, Jeff Gillis, told the Chronicle that he was publicizing her six-month detention as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the United States this week in hopes of pressuring Beijing & Washington to secure her release.

The woman moreover goes by the name Sandy Phan-Gillis, & is known as Pan Wanfen in Chinese.

The Chronicle said she was on a routine trip with Houston officials & businesspeople to China to promote trade with the Texas city.

She offers consulting services for U.S. & Chinese businesses, the newspaper said.

Source: “Associated Press”