The 24-year-old son and friends of a local business woman are struggling to learn her status after she was detained upon deplaning in August in Shanghai, China.
Sue Jiang, a massage therapist and owner of Asian Natural Healing, 16751 E. Parkview Ave., and her son, Dawei (David), flew to China to attend the funeral of Jiang’s father.
When they landed Aug. 29 in Shanghai, Jiang was escorted off the plane, the son said.
“Someone came onto the plane before anyone got off and took us to a station surrounded by windows. My Mom showed her American passport. They took her phone,” he wrote in an email.
Jiang was traveling on her U.S. passport under her legal name of Shiping Peterson.
Dawei said his mother inquired where they were taking her, only to be told they would tell her later. She is reportedly confined to Shanghai Detention Center.
Located about 20 miles outside the city, the facility houses serious domestic criminals and foreigners suspected of infractions.
After a couple of weeks with no information, Dawei learned that his mother was being held for a “crime of provocation.” He returned to Fountain Hills.
Friends and clients –Merita Kraya, owner of Euro Pizza Café; Dina Galassini, a Realtor; Jim Doeden, local entertainer, and Mark Watson – have been financially supporting and feeding Dawei since his return to Fountain Hills.
“I’m scared for her,” said Kraya, who used to play tennis with Jiang. Kraya said the U.S. Embassy has confirmed that Jiang is physically OK.
Congressman David Schweikert has been contacted and asked to intervene with the State Department on Jiang’s behalf.
Schweikert said his office is “following procedure” and would not comment further about the case.
Jiang has lived in the United States for about 11 years. She received training in acupuncture and medicine at the university in Beijing, China. It has been customary for her to return every summer to visit her parents.
Galassini, a client for the past five years, acquired power of attorney in order to pay Jiang’s bills. She closed the business, notified clients of the situation and rallied friends to provide support for Dawei.
“A major part of the town is missing without her,” said Galassini. “She helped so many people get better.
“I hope she is keeping strong, mentally.”