PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ Larry Wu-tai Chin, a retired CIA analyst who committed suicide in his jail cell after being convicted of spying for China, was proud to be an American, his daughter said at his burial.

His daughter, Roberta Murai, said her father wrote a letter to one of his former supervisors in January, saying he had passed government documents to China to show Peking that the United States held a positive attitude toward the communist country.

''He did break some laws, and he knew he was taking some risks,'' said Homer Chin, a son. ''But he had ideals, and he thought he was doing good for the world.''

Chin, 63, was found dead Feb. 21 at the Prince William-Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center in Virginia. An autopsy showed he died of asphyxiation after tying a plastic bag over his head.

Chin, a native of Peking who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1970, was convicted Feb. 7 of 17 counts of espionage, conspiracy, tax evasion and failing to report overseas bank accounts.

He testified he stole secret U.S. documents to help improve relations between then-President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai.

Prosecutors said Chin had been paid $10,000 a year by the Chinese government plus other amounts ranging up to $150,000 after he retired from the CIA in 1981.

Chin was the first American ever convicted of spying for China.