Cornyn Seeks Release of Houstonian from Two-Year Detention in China

Cornyn Seeks Release of Houstonian from Two-Year Detention in China

 WASHINGTON – Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s scheduled visit to Beijing on Saturday, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) joined a bipartisan letter to China’s ambassador to the United States seeking the release of Sandy Phan-Gillis, a Texas resident who has been held without trial in China since March 19, 2015.  

“We write to you to express serious concerns about the continued detention of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen, in China,” the senators wrote. “On the eve of her two years in detention, we urge your government to immediately release Mrs. Phan-Gillis. The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most consequential relationships in the world. We appreciate the importance of constructive relations between the United States and China. However, we do not believe that Mrs. Phan-Gillis’ continued detention serves the shared interests of Washington and Beijing.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led the letter, which was also signed by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

 Full text of the letter is included below, and a signed copy is available here.

The Honorable Cui Tiankai

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

3505 International Place NW

Washington, D.C. 20008

 

Dear Ambassador Cui:

 

We write to you to express serious concerns about the continued detention of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen, in China. On the eve of her two years in detention, we urge your government to immediately release Mrs. Phan-Gillis.

The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most consequential relationships in the world. We appreciate the importance of constructive relations between the United States and China. However, we do not believe that Mrs. Phan-Gillis’ continued detention serves the shared interests of Washington and Beijing.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s upcoming visit to Beijing presents an invaluable opportunity for the United States and China to create an atmosphere for strengthening relations between the United States and China under the new U.S. administration, including possible plans for a summit meeting between President Trump and President Xi.

The release of Mrs. Phan-Gillis would go a long way towards creating such an atmosphere, and we urge your government to do so without delay.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.

 

 

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