International incident

U.S. woman, 55, detained in China on espionage charges

Sandy Phan-Gillis (

A 55-year-old businesswoman from Texas was arrested in China and is being accused of spying and stealing state secrets, her husband said. Sandy Phan-Gillis was visiting China in March with a group of entrepreneurs when she mysteriously vanished at a border checkpoint. She’s been incarcerated in China ever since and her husband, Jeff Gillis, said Sandy suffers from high blood pressure and has been hospitalized twice over the last six months. Sandy was born in Vietnam and is of Chinese descent. She’s lived in the Houston area for the last 20 years. Gillis has kept his wife’s detention in China a secret for the last six months, but is speaking out now to coincide the news of his wife’s plight in China with the official state visit China’s president, Xi Jinping, is making to the White House this week. “If nothing else, at least convey to the Chinese about the idiocy of arresting an American citizen on these politicized charges of spying and stealing state secrets,” Gillis, who’s set up a website dedicated to winning Sandy’s release said, adding that he hopes the publicity will pressure China to release his wife.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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