A court in southern China says prosecutors have indicted an American woman on charges of spying.

An official at Nanning Intermediate People's Court said Tuesday that the court accepted the case against Phan "Sandy" Phan-Gillis on July 11, and no date has been set for a hearing.

Her family and lawyer received the indictment recently.

Authorities detained the 56-year-old business consultant in March 2015 when she was on a visit to China as part of an American trade delegation that was promoting business opportunities in her hometown of Houston, Texas.

Her husband, Jeff Gillis, says she is charged with being a spy for a foreign government from 1996 to 1998, and that the charges are "absolutely false."

Spying convictions carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.