China Restricts Foreign Surveyors & Mappers
China Daily reports today that Beijing has issued new regulations that will greatly restrict foreign surveying and mapping projects in the country:
"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.
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.
China Daily reports that 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. China claimed that their results could be put to military use.