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US citizen arrested for illegal mapping

By Shao Wei (China Daily)

09:12, March 07, 2012

Head of surveying bureau says maps are 'key to a country'

A citizen of the United States has been fined for illegal surveying activities in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the Xinjiang surveying and mapping bureau announced on Monday.

In August 2011, the bureau received a report from a local resident that a man was using a handheld GPS to collect geographic information and coordinates in an area near a People's Liberation Army headquarters in Manas county, Changji Hui autonomous prefecture.

According to the bureau, the US citizen came to Xinjiang from Beijing, allegedly to register a travel agency to offer outdoor tour services to foreigners in Urumqi, Changji and other places in Xinjiang.

The two GPS receivers that the man used in Xinjiang were both for professional surveying and mapping activities, and collected and archived more than 90,000 geographic coordinates of China's territory, with no permission from government surveying and mapping departments.

On Jan 31, the man was fined 20,000 yuan ($3,170) and the Xinjiang surveying and mapping bureau confiscated the surveying equipment and results.

"The man collected more than 40,000 geographic coordinates of Xinjiang, with the rest from other parts of China," said Zhang Qi, director of the bureau's law enforcement office.

Illegal surveying and mapping by foreigners in Xinjiang is "a threat to national defense and economic security", Liu Geqing, head of the bureau, told China Daily on Tuesday.

Xinjiang, which borders eight countries and is a key energy and resource base, should intensify the confidentiality of geographic data of "any key military and economic facilities" and crack down on illegal surveying and mapping, he said.

There are similar cases involving people from foreign countries every year, Liu added.

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victor mata at 2012-03-1290.220.74.*
To Shoa Wei- That person fined for mapping.I would like to know his previous jobs-what associates he had with him (if any) and depending on the croix of his defence.I would say he got off lightly.Turn this case around-Put a chinese in America with same circumstances result would be definitely different.
thomas at 2012-03-08203.127.128.*
Spys come in all guises, the more innocent and humane the vocation, the better.Then, if the mission runs into problems, the western media will act like cry babies.
PD User at 2012-03-07113.231.240.*
HuaQiao- you don"t need people on the ground to map areas. Satellite imagery is extremely accurate. They can put a bomb between your toothbrush and razor
PD User at 2012-03-0776.124.224.*
U.S has started to invade China.THAT"S THE COMING BACK TO ASIA-PACIFIC MEANS.Citizens MUST BE VERY VIGILANT.REPORT ANY UNUSUAL ACTIVITY BY BOTH FOREIGNERS AND OUR OWN CITIZENS.REMEMBER, U.S CIA HAS HIRED LOCALES AND FOREIGNERS TO SPY IN CHINA.IT"S ONLY A MATTER OF FINDING THEM.
PD User at 2012-03-0776.124.224.*
Spy!I suspect he is working directly or indirectly for US CIA.What punishment does our government impose on these people?Send them to jail and cancel their visa for lifeBe sure to fingerprint them so they can"t comeback using different names.It looks like we do nothing that"s why they kept on sending spies here!
  

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