Tester Statement on the Release of Guthrie McLean

(Big Sandy, Mont.)- U.S. Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after working through diplomatic channels to help secure the release of University of Montana student Guthrie McLean:

“As a parent, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than being concerned about your child’s safety. I am overjoyed that Guthrie is safe and sound and will be reunited with his mother. This really is a testament to what can be accomplished when we turn up the heat and hold government accountable.”

Here is timeline of Tester’s work to secure McLean’s release:


  • The University of Montana notified Senator Tester’s office that Guthrie McLean had been detained by Chinese police.
  • Within minutes, Senator Tester’s office was in touch with the State Department.
  • The State Department replied and forwarded the request along to the Consular Office in Beijing.


  • Senator Tester’s office followed up with the State Department and the US Embassy to check in on the case.


  • Senator Tester sent a letter to Secretary of State Tillerson and US Ambassador Terry Branstad demanding swift action.
  • Senator Tester’s office was in contact with Mr. McLean’s mother.


  • Senator Tester received a reply from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing confirming they had made contact with Mr. McLean and he reported no physical or mental health concerns. The Embassy also says it secured authorization to share information about Guthrie’s case. The Embassy also confirmed that the police have 7 days from the time of the arrest to file charges. The embassy says it provided Mr. McLean with a list of law firms that can help him navigate the legal issues.
  • Senator Tester spoke to Ambassador Branstad.
  • Senator Tester’s office contacted Mr. McLean’s mother again.


  • Senator Tester contacted the State Department, U.S. Embassy, and Mr. McLean’s mother.


  • Senator Tester’s office was in contact with Mr. McLean’s mother.


  • Senator Tester’s office contacted the State Department and Mr. McLean’s mother.