China re­leases four of six Ja­panese de­tained for ‘il­le­gal sur­vey­ing’

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Bai Yunyi

Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties said Thurs­day that four of the six Ja­panese cit­i­zens de­tained in March for “il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties” have been re­leased.

Two oth­ers are still be­ing held for ac­cu­sa­tions of steal­ing China’s clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion and break­ing the coun­try’s se­cu­rity law and coun­teres­pi­onage law, of­fi­cials said.

Hua Chun­y­ing, spokesper­son for China’s for­eign min­istry, said at a press con­fer­ence on May 22 that China had in­ves­ti­gated six Ja­panese cit­i­zens un­der sus­pi­cion of il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties and had no­ti­fied the Ja­panese con­sulate in China in ac­cor­dance with the China-Ja­pan Con­sular Agree­ment.

The six Ja­panese were ei­ther em­ployed by NC Geo­phys­i­cal Sur­vey Co. or He Yuan Hot Spring De­vel­op­ment Con­sul­tant Co.

The two still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion are the heads of the two com­pa­nies.

Of­fi­cials said the six had con­ducted il­le­gal sur­vey­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in Penglai, East China’s Shan­dong Province and Wuzhi Moun­tain in Sanya, South China’s Hainan Province in March, with­out any of­fi­cial reg­is­tra­tion, qual­i­fi­ca­tion or per­mit. They were found with ra­dioac­tive gamma mea­sur­ing de­vices in vi­o­la­tion of China’s Sur­vey­ing and Map­ping Law and Min­eral Re­sources Law, of­fi­cials said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions show that the two com­pa­nies had con­ducted il­le­gal sur­veys in China more than 30 times in the past 10 years.

One of the com­pany’s head had il­le­gally sur­veyed Mount Huang­shan in March 2016. The sus­pect told au­thor­i­ties he was “search­ing for hot springs.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tors dis­cov­ered clas­si­fied ma­te­ri­als on the sus­pects’ lap­tops, USB drives and other de­vices, in­clud­ing more than 80 maps. Two of the sus­pects are ac­cused of steal­ing and hold­ing China’s clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion, the of­fi­cials said.

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