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Geologist gets eight years for spying

[ 2010-07-07 10:38]     字号 [] [] []  
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China rejected US criticism of its sentencing of an American geologist for spying and collecting state secrets on Monday.

"The case is China's internal affair. Other countries cannot interfere with it and China's judicial sovereignty," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Tuesday.

Stressing judicial independency, the United States called for Xue Feng's immediate release and deportation to the US on Monday after the 44-year-old was sentenced to eight years in jail.

The US Embassy in Beijing was "dismayed" at the sentence and will continue to discuss the case with Chinese officials, US embassy spokeswoman Susan Stevenson said.

US President Barack Obama also discussed the case with President Hu Jintao during a visit to China in November, according to US diplomats.

Xue, who was born in China, received documents on the geological conditions of onshore oil wells and a database that gave the coordinates of more than 30,000 oil and gas wells belonging to China National Petroleum Corporation and subsidiary PetroChina Ltd., according to the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

That information was then sold to IHS Energy, a US consulting company Xue worked for. It is now known as IHS inc.

The eight-year sentence is within the recommended legal limit of 10 years, but was considered "very harsh" by John Kamm, an American campaigner the US State Department turned to for help last year to lobby for Xue's release.

"China's judicial departments have handled this case strictly by the law. All of the defendant's legal rights were guaranteed in accordance with the law," Qin said.

Another Chinese-born foreign national, Australian Stern Hu, who worked for global mining firm Rio Tinto, was sentenced in March for bribery and infringing on trade secrets that dealt with iron ore sales to Chinese companies.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Geologist gets eight years for spying

About the broadcaster:

Geologist gets eight years for spying

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.