Hong Kong resident John Leung Shing-wan was sentenced to life imprisonment and had his political rights stripped for life for espionage, according to a statement issued by the Suzhou Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu province on Monday.

The court rendered its verdict on Monday. It also confiscated personal property worth 500,000 yuan ($71,800).

Born in May 1945, Leung holds permanent residency in the Hong Kong Special Administration Region and also possesses a United States passport, the court said.

According to provisions of the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law, Suzhou's national security bureau detained him on April 15, 2021, on suspicion of spying.

No further details of the case were released.

Given the grave state of the current struggle against espionage, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, adopted a revision to the Counter-Espionage Law, which was first released in 2014, to safeguard national security in April.

According to the NPC Standing Committee's Legislative Affairs Commission, traditional and nontraditional security threats are intertwined, and intelligence activities are more complicated. Espionage now extends to more extensive fields, more diverse targets and uses more covert methods, requiring the amendment of the Counter-Espionage Law to meet current needs.

The revised law will come into effect on July 1, and will provide a strong legal guarantee in the battle against infiltration, subversion and the theft of secrets.