DETAINED SCHOLARS WIFE REJECTS SPY CHARGE


2001-05-17
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WASHINGTON, May 18, 2001 - The wife of a Chinese-American scholar whom China has held since February and now charged with spying has rejected the accusations against him, saying her husband "has never done anything wrong." Liu Ying Li, whose husband disappeared in the Chinese border city of Shenzhen on Feb. 25, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that Li Shaomin "does only what he's supposed to do. He has never done anything wrong. "I know he didn't do anything wrong. He's a scholar, a professor - as a scholar, he does research. That's his work, and his articles have appeared in some of the world's leading publications," Liu said. An official from China's State Security Bureau phoned her on Tuesday to relate that Li had been formally arrested and charged with spying for Taiwan, Liu said. "That's all he said, 'He has been formally arrested' for engaging in spying activities," she said, noting that her husband's exact whereabouts are unknown. Along with Li, who is a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, Chinese authorities have detained four other Chinese-born Americans or U.S.-based Chinese academics in the past six months. Only one of them, U.S. permanent resident Gao Zhan, has been formally charged - a grave step in the Chinese legal process that usually precedes a conviction. The rationale for this string of detentions remains unclear, though some China analysts believe the arrests could be related to publication of The Tiananmen Papers. Li Shaomin was a doctoral student at Princeton University in the United States during the 1989 protests, and he actively promoted Chinese political reform at that time. His father Li Honglin - onetime adviser to the late Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang - spent 10 months in jail in 1989 for backing the pro-democracy protests that year. The elder Li now lives with his son in Hong Kong. RFA will broadcast its full interview with Liu Ying Li at 11 a.m. Chinese time, Saturday, May 19. The interview will also be available on the World Wide Web, at www.rfa.org. Radio Free Asia is a private, nonprofit corporation broadcasting news and information to those countries in Asia where full, accurate, and timely news reports are unavailable. Created by Congress in 1996, RFA aims to deliver such news reports - along with opinions and commentaries - and to provide a forum for a variety of voices and opinions. RFA currently broadcasts in Burmese, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, the Wu dialect, Vietnamese, Tibetan, and Uyghur. It adheres to the highest journalistic standards and aims to exemplify accuracy, balance, and fairness in its editorial content.

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