HELENA, Mont. — A former U.S. senator and ambassador to China is encouraging patient and polite persistence in efforts to free an American university student from jail in China.

Max Baucus says he is in touch with diplomats in the U.S. and China to help bring University of Montana student Guthrie McLean back home.

The college senior was arrested Sunday in Zhengzhou in Henan Province after an altercation between his mother, who is deaf, and a taxi driver.

McLean’s mother says the driver was roughing her up when her son intervened. Chinese authorities say the taxi driver suffered a knee injury and are demanding 50,000 yuan ($7,400) for the 25-year-old student’s release.

Baucus tells the Helena Independent Record (http://bit.ly/2uJHYK0) similar incidents during his time as ambassador reached a positive resolution.

Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com

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