U.S. Geologist Released From Chinese Prison

Published on Author

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.

Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-said-to-be-deporting-u-s-geologist-jailed-on-spy-charges-1428094957

3 Responses to U.S. Geologist Released From Chinese Prison

  1. I wonder how the United States will react to China’s decision to detain an American citizen before charges are pressed.

  2. In some countries, being formally charged is tantamount to being found guilty — conviction rates are 90+%. But don’t forget that there are a tremendous amount of arrests made in the US where the target sits in jail, sometimes for years. without the chance to present a credible defense. Some people sit in the Rockbridge Jail for failure to make child support payments….and then there were the many executed in several states who were later exonerated. So arbitrary arrest is a universal problem, albeit worse in China.

  3. This is concerning for the business community I’m sure. This reminds me of a Richard Gere film “Red Corner.” In the movie, he is imprisoned because he he negotiating a huge telecom deal and one of the corrupt Chinese businessmen uses his sway over the government to have him put in jail. While this is just a movie, it’s entirely possible that businessmen from around the would could see “classified” information while in China and be arrested. I wonder how much of a real life concern this is for travelers in China these days.