World

Beijing investigates Houston businesswoman of Chinese descent on national security suspicion

Chinese authorities say they are investigating an American businesswoman on suspicion of threating China's national security, confirming earlier media reports that Phan Phan-Gillis of Houston has been detained.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Tuesday that Beijing is handling the case of Phan-Gillis according to China's laws. He said the woman was healthy.

Phan-Gillis is a Vietnamese-American of Chinese descent. The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that the woman was in a trade delegation to China when she was stopped on her way to Macau.

Her husband, Jeff Gillis, told the Chronicle that he was publicizing her six-month detention just as Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting the U.S. this week in hopes of pressuring Beijing and Washington to secure her release.