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Hong Kong journalist gets five years' jail for espionage 01/09/2006

China's official Xinhua news agency has announced that a reporter for Singapore's Straits Times newspaper has been convicted of spying for Taiwan and jailed for five years.

Ching Cheong, 56, is a Hong Kong citizen and worked out of the Chinese territory.

He was arrested travelling on the mainland and has been in detention since April 2005.

Rights groups have called his arrest a warning for journalists working in China.

Singapore urges compassion

Singapore Press Holdings, which publishes the Straits Times, says it notes the sentence with concern.

It has appealed for Chinese authorities to show Ching leniency and compassion because of his poor health.

Produced by Radio Australia and Australia Network

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