Chicago Journal of International Law


In April 2010, the People's Republic of China revised its Law on Guarding State Secrets (State Secrets Law). In addition, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) issued Interim Regulations in March 2010 making it clear that the power to make determinations with regard to possible state secrets in the Central State-Owned Enterprises (Central SOEs) lies with those enterprises, while simultaneously providing very little guidance as to exactly what should constitute a state secret. This broad discretion is likely to cause serious problems for foregn enterprises operating in conjunction with the Central SOEs. This Comment uses as an example on the case of Xue Feng, an American citiZen who was convicted in July 2010 for violating an earlier version of the State Secrets Law after purchasing what he believed was a freely available commercial database. Because of the burden this places on the ability to do business in China, particularly given the vagueness and lack of transparency in state secret determinations, this Comment argues that the State Secrets Law, despite its revisions, violates numerous provisions found in China's accession to the World Trade Organization, and as such ought to be challenged.