Press Releases

Senator Feinstein Urges President Bush to Advocate on Behalf of American Citizen Held in Shanghai Prison

- Jude Shao, a California businessman and Stanford Business School alumnus, has served 8 years of a 16-year sentence despite legal questions surrounding his case -

Washington, DC– U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today urged President Bush to raise the case of American citizen and Stanford Business School alumnus Jude Shao during the President’s meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao later this week.

In March 2000, Jude Shao, was convicted of both falsifying value-added tax (VAT) forms and tax evasion, and sentenced by the Shanghai No.1 People’s Intermediate Court to 16 years in prison. Mr. Shao, a medical equipment exporter, has maintained his innocence from the outset, and following his conviction, was able to secure documents from his San Francisco office that he claims exonerate him of the charges.

In 2003, a commission of Chinese legal experts from People’s University in Beijing reviewed his case and agreed, based on the new evidence, that a retrial was merited. Mr. Shao previously filed several petitions with both the Shanghai People’s High Court and the Chinese Supreme People’s Court requesting a retrial in his case. His final petition to the Supreme People’s Court was recently denied, exhausting his legal options for recourse.

Senator Feinstein has previously written two letters on Mr. Shao’s behalf. The following is the text of the letter Senator Feinstein sent to President Bush today:

April 19, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to urge you to raise the case of Mr. Jude Shao during your upcoming meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

As you may know, Mr. Shao is an American citizen and a graduate of the Stanford University School of Business who has now served eight years of a sixteen-year sentence in Shanghai’s Qingpu Prison on charges of tax evasion and fraud.

In 2003, six prominent Chinese legal experts reviewed Mr. Shao’s case and concluded that not only was there insufficient evidence to convict Mr. Shao, but according to Chinese law, Mr. Shao was entitled to a retrial. Since then the Chinese Supreme People’s Court has rejected Mr. Shao’s final petition to have his conviction overturned, though his legal advocates maintain the Court ignored several relevant facts in making their decision.

Mr. Shao has now served half of what would seem to be an excessive and lengthy sentence, and continues to maintain his innocence. He is currently suffering from a heart condition that prison doctors are unable to treat. Consequently, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has been calling on Chinese officials to allow Mr. Shao to receive medical parole, and Ambassador Randt has taken the unprecedented step of personally visiting Mr. Shao in prison to evaluate his condition.

In view of the unresolved questions surrounding Mr. Shao’s indictment and detention, along with his ongoing health problems, I would ask that you consider raising Mr. Shao’s case with President Hu and urge the State Department and U.S. Embassy in Beijing to continue strongly advocating on his behalf.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.



Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

cc: The Honorable Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State
The Honorable Clark T. Randt, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China