Ling Wancheng, brother of a former Chinese presidential aide and sought by Beijing, wants to be “left alone” in the United States and write a book on golfing, his lawyer in
Breaking silence for the first time since his brother was investigated in December 2014, Ling issued a statement through Washington lawyer Gregory Smith denying he had passed top secrets to US intelligence.
Ling is the younger brother of Ling Jihua, the one-time top aide to former president Hu Jintao.
Ling Wancheng spoke out a month after Beijing confirmed for the first time he was in America and they were in talks with the US government over the issue.
The Washington Free Beacon and Financial Times claimed earlier this month that Ling Wancheng had revealed a large number of secrets including nuclear weapon codes and details about the leadership to US intelligence officials.
Reuters published a statement from Smith on Ling Wancheng’s behalf calling the claims an absurd rumour, “a baseless lie and a groundless defamation”.
When asked by the South China Morning Post whether Ling Wancheng would take legal action over the media reports, Smith said “that depends on how offending publications respond”.
READ MORE: Telling tales: brother of disgraced Chinese presidential aide Ling Jihua defects to US and reveals state secrets, says report
“But I can confirm that recent press reports stating that my client is engaged in debriefing with US intelligence officials are utterly false,” Smith said.
“My client frankly would like to be left alone so he can play more golf. He is presently working on writing a book about golfing, and he hopes to share with others his golf secrets that literally can add 10-15 yards to anyone’s drive off the tee.” Smith declined to comment on whether Ling Wancheng was seeking asylum in the US.
Last month, Liu Jianchao, director ofinternational cooperation at the Communist Party’s internal watchdog, confirmed Beijing was in talks with the US about Ling Wancheng.
The Post reported earlier that top security official Meng Jianzhu had tried to negotiate Ling’s return to China when he visited the US last September.
Ling Jihua was expelled from the party last year and is expected to be tried for corruption and illegally obtaining state secrets. In 2012, the Post reported that his political career was in jeopardy due to controversy surrounding the death of his son in a Ferrari crash that March. Speculation mounted in the ensuing years that Ling Jihua had fallen afoul of a power struggle in the party, but a spokesman for the political advisory committee, Lu Xinhua, last March said the investigation was more related to the ex-aide’s “personal problems”.