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US Hopes Businessman Jailed in China Freed Soon

The U.S. Ambassador to China visited a U.S. citizen serving a 16-year prison sentence for tax fraud, and said he hoped the man would be released soon.

Ambassador Clark Randt said Friday, he is worried about the health of businessman Jude Shao, a graduate of a prestigious California business school at Stanford University who has served nearly half his sentence in a prison on the outskirts of Shanghai.

Mr. Randt says he is deeply concerned about Shao's medical condition and hoped the Chinese government would consider him for prompt medical parole. Shao's family has applied for his release on parole, citing heart conditions.

The Chinese-born, naturalized U.S. citizen was detained in 1998 on charges that his medical equipment sales company based in San Francisco evaded taxes in China. Shao's supporters contend he was wrongly accused after refusing to accept bribes.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.