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China outlines control over foreigners surveying, mapping 2007-01-22 20:38:13

    BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Foreigners in China require government approval before conducting mapping surveys, according to a regulation issued on Monday.

    "Foreign organizations and individuals, who engage in surveying and mapping must obtain approval from the central government and accept supervision from local governments above the county-level," said a regulation issued by the Ministry of Land and Resources.

    Chinese law on surveying and mapping states that foreigners must cooperate with a Chinese partner and the activities must not involve state secrets or jeopardize national security.

    The regulation forbids foreigners from conducting land surveys, aerial photography, mapping of administrative borderlines and the drawing of navigation maps.

    The number of foreigners conducting surveying and mapping in China is on the rise and many field projects have been carried out illegally, which have threatened the security of the country, said the ministry without mentioning the number of such cases.

    Last year, two Japanese scholars were fined a total of 80,000 yuan (10,000 U.S. dollars) and deported for collecting materials and coordinates of an airport and water facilities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It was feared their results could be put to military use.

    According to the State Bureau of Survey and Mapping, foreigners who illegally survey, gather and publish geographical information on China will be severely punished.

    Chinese partners or translators will be fined if they fail to stop illegal mapping activities.

Editor: Gao Ying
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