Monday, July 05, 2010

China sentences American for industrial spying

China has tortured and sentenced to 8 years in prison a naturalized American citizen because he gather information on China's oil industry even though, according to the defense, most countries consider the same information to be public. The AP reports:

An American geologist held by Chinese state security agents who stubbed lit cigarettes on his arms was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for gathering data on China's oil industry — a case that highlights the government's use of vague secrets laws to restrict business information. . . . .

Xue's sentence punctuates a case that has dragged on for more than two-and-a-half years and is likely to alarm foreign businesses unsure when normal business activities elsewhere might conflict with China's vague state security laws.

Chinese officials have wide authority to classify information as state secrets. Draft regulations released by the government in April said business secrets of major state companies qualify as state secrets. . . . .

Like IHS, many multinationals have come to rely on people like Xue to run their China operations. Another China-born foreign national, Australian Stern Hu who worked for the global mining firm Rio Tinto, was sentenced in March to 10 years for bribery and infringing trade secrets that dealt with iron ore sales to Chinese companies. . . . .

During Xue's closed-door trial, which ran over three dates last July and in December, the court document said he defended himself, arguing that the information he gathered "is data that the oil sector in countries around the world make public."

David Rowley, Xue's thesis adviser at University of Chicago and a geologist, said that the location and seismic and other data of oil wells is commonly available and could not compromise Chinese security since the government controls access.

In the communist tradition, courts do not exist to protect the rights of individuals. They exist to enforce the whims of the communist political leaders. The American left, with its talk of a "living constitution" that bends to their will, wants America's courts to more like Chinese ones.

PREVIOUSLY on the rule of law:
Kagan: politics trumps law
Justice Scalia explains the rule of law
Obama administration overturns rule of law on immigration
The end of the rule of law
Obama and the rule of law
The AP mis-understands the rule of law

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics