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Song Yongyi, a U.S.-based academic detained by China on
suspicion of gathering state secrets, left for home Saturday
after Beijing freed him in a gesture ahead of a pivotal
Congressional debate on its WTO entry.
Song, detained since August in a case that triggered appeals
to China by U.S. academics, lawmakers and diplomats, left
the Chinese capital on Northwest Airlines flight NW088 to
Detroit, a U.S. officiPolice detained Song in August while he was conducting
research on China\'s 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution. He was
formally arrested in December and accused of illegally
sending documents containing state secrets out of China.
The Chinese-born Song, who worked as a librarian and
researcher at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania,
left Beijing just days after a Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman said Song had ``confessed everything\'\' and faced
Lawyer Jerome Cohen, whom the college had retained, was
quoted by CNN as saying the sudden release was a
``face-saving gesture\'\' after the police were unable to mak