It was recently reported that a United States geologist, Xue Feng, was released from a Chinese prison after serving all but 10 months of his 8 year sentence for possessing Chinese Secrets. Feng was arrested for possession of data on where certain Chinese oil wells were located. He was accused of sending the oil well location information back to the United States. China deemed that the oil well locations are Chinese secrets, and possession of this information is illegal.
The case is interesting though because it is accepted that the information Feng possessed is easily accessible and not considered to be sensitive. Also, Feng was detained for months before any charges were brought against him, and it has been said that the information Feng possessed wasn’t considered to be sensitive until after his detainment.
Feng is a U.S Citizen that was born in China. A New York University Law professor said the case “illustrates many of the risks that foreign business personnel, especially ethnic Chinese who were formerly (Chinese) nationals, encounter in dealing with China.” This case shows that China does what it wants when in comes to the legal system. This isn’t the first time someone in China has been detained for a long period of time before charges were brought against them.