PHILADELPHIA — A college librarian held in China for nearly six months on charges of smuggling state secrets returned Saturday to the United States.
"During the past 30 years, I never cried, but last night I cried all night," said Song Yongyi, looking tired but smiling broadly as he arrived at Philadelphia International Airport.
Song was detained in August and charged under China's vague secrets law. He had been collecting newspapers and documents concerning the Cultural Revolution, the period from 1966 to 1976 when Mao Tse-tung unleashed a wave of violence against opponents and a million people were killed.
Song, who is from Shanghai, spent five years in prison during that time, accused of being a "counterrevolutionary."
He moved to the United States in 1989, earned master's degrees in Chinese literature and library science and has worked at Dickinson College since 1997.