China jails man for espionage over islets disputed with Japan

By Reuters   April 20, 2016 | 07:16 pm PT
China jails man for espionage over islets disputed with Japan
China Coast Guard vessel No. 31239 sails in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in this handout photo taken and released by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard December 22, 2015. Photo by Reuters
China has jailed for seven years a man who gave information to an unnamed foreign power about Chinese military and other ships patrolling islets in the East China Sea disputed with Japan, state media said.

The man, named as Chen Wei from the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, was recruited while working overseas, state television said late on Wednesday, in its second report this week on people jailed for security-related crimes.

Chen's recruiter, Ji Tian, whose nationality was not specified, roped him in by initially feigning an interest in Christianity and saying he also wanted to learn Chinese, the report said.

Ji used their growing friendship to ask Chen to take pictures of harbours in Zhejiang - which lies close to the disputed and uninhabited islands, called the Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

Chen was caught in December 2013 after taking pictures of a military base and sentenced to seven years in jail, state television said.

The report did not say when he was sentenced.

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