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China’s rule of law doesn’t exclude Westerners   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-8-12 00:35:06 |Display all floors
The Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court sentenced a British corporate private investigator, Peter Humphrey, to two-and-a-half years in prison and his American wife and business partner, Yu Yingzeng, to two years in jail, for illegally obtaining private information about Chinese citizens.  It is the first time foreigners have faced privacy-law charges.

The court broadcast the conviction on Weibo. US and British consular representatives in Shanghai attended the trial. Such an open and transparent trial silenced boisterous Western media which had been hyping China's "secret trial." Public opinion also shifted its focus to the crimes foreigners commit in China.

The couple was detained last year while working for UK drug giant GlaxoSmithKline which was involved in a separate government corruption investigation.

The Western media rarely support any trials when Western citizens are arrested in China. The Western community hasn't got used to the fact that its citizens are sued in developing countries. On the one hand, it has nostalgia for the colonial era; on the other hand, it feels a sense of superiority over the rule of law in the third world. Once Western citizens are convicted, Western opinion instantly expresses objections and dissatisfaction.

Recently, Western media has created an online atmosphere suggesting that China has begun to suppress foreign companies and foreigners in China, so as to add pressure on China.

China doesn't buy this tactic. It used to have loose regulations over foreigners and overseas companies, making many believe that it was a preferential policy that they could enjoy in China. The change in this situation has nothing to do with China's investment environment, nor is it a political decision. This is a natural process, meaning China's rule of law has an impact on foreigners and foreign enterprises.

As long as China has a clear path for the rule of law and the judicial process against Westerners is justified, the Western community will not feel that shaken. This is a procedure through which Chinese law will build up authority in the world.

Humphrey and his wife said they were unaware their acts were criminal, which was what they staked out as the moral ground for their innocence. But as private detectives, they shouldn't be unfamiliar with the laws of the country where they carried out their work.

Compared with the legal system in the West, China's is not that rigorous. Meanwhile, as information transparency is not mature, Western opinion can easily find room to speculate when there's a case involving Westerners.

Humphrey and his wife did violate Chinese law, which they finally admitted. The open trial and conviction made the world see the truth. It is believed that Western opinion will have less room to speculate about this case.

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Post time 2014-8-12 02:41:00 |Display all floors
This political change in which China is now putting into place in order to charge westerners with criminal offensives is a step in a more independent and rational China. Additionally I feel like when you pointed out the idea that the western people had colonial age nostalgia is obviously present throughout areas which were once occupied by the westerners, especially in regions such as Hong Kong or Singapore. Regardless even as a westerner China did what was necessary to ensure justice within it's nation.

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Post time 2014-8-12 03:31:20 |Display all floors
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Post time 2014-8-12 04:59:58 |Display all floors
If law is broken, the people who break the law should pay, no matter if they are Chinese citizens or visiting citizens of other countries.

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Post time 2014-8-12 08:00:15 |Display all floors
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Post time 2014-8-12 11:16:39 |Display all floors
Just like the traffic laws, means nothing.
I'm just here for the money

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Post time 2014-8-12 11:25:31 |Display all floors
We hear from two wannabe foreign spies.
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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