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Biden admin quiet on saving American from China’s death row

By Jake Beardslee · November 14, 2023

In brief…

  • Mark Swidan imprisoned in China for over 10 years on false drug charges
  • His mother pleads with Biden to demand his release in meeting with President Xi
  • Texas legislators say Swidan's case should be a priority for Biden administration
  • State Department calls it a top priority but won't provide details on potential deal with China
The mother of an American imprisoned in China for over 10 years is urging President Biden to demand his release when meeting with President Xi, while legislators and the State Department call it a top priority but won't disclose potential negotiations.  The White House/Zeng Liansong/Wikimedia

Katherine Swidan, the 73-year-old mother of American citizen Mark Swidan who has been imprisoned in China for over 10 years, is pleading with President Biden to demand her son’s release when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week, Fox News Digital reported.

Mark Swidan, a 38-year-old Texas resident, was arrested in China in 2012 on fraudulent drug trafficking charges according to the United Nations, which determined he was not in possession of drugs and was not even in the country at the time of the alleged offense. Swidan was convicted based on visiting a factory that previously manufactured methamphetamine.

Swidan’s mother says her son has endured torture in prison leading to severe injuries and dramatic weight loss. She expresses frustration that the Biden administration claims to have a “plan” for her son’s release but has provided few details, she told Fox.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said Swidan’s imprisonment is “unjust” and urged the Biden administration to make his release a priority in talks with China. Senator John Cornyn said he will continue pushing the administration on Swidan’s case. Congressman Michael McCaul said China must release Swidan when President Xi travels to the U.S. this month.

The State Department says Swidan’s case is a top priority but would not provide details on potential negotiations. Swidan’s mother believes China may release her son if the U.S. makes a “billion dollar” offer, but the administration claims uncertainty around China’s demands.