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Company to sue for right to sell lunar land
Updated: 2005-12-07 21:35

"Lunar Embassy to China," a Chinese company selling land on the moon, has vowed to sue even at the supreme court for the right to do so, challenging Beijing's commercial watchdog's insistence that the practice is illegal.

The hearing on Tuesday was held in Beijing at the request of a company calling itself "Lunar Embassy to China" after its business license was suspended on Oct. 28 on the grounds of speculation and profiteering, Beijing Times reported on Wednesday.

The company acted against the Provisional Regulations on Administrative Punishment on Speculation, two investigators from the Chaoyang District Branch of the Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce said at the hearing.

Li Jie, chief executive officer of the company, said "There is not a law or regulation in China that prohibits the selling of land on the moon."

Industrial and commercial authorities can monitor and supervise market economic activities in accordance with the Provisional Regulations while they remain valid, the investigators said.

Li Jie of the Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics Science and Technology Co. Ltd., which calls itself the "Lunar Embassy to China," also argued that China does not have sovereignty on the moon and the ownership of the land on the moon should not be ruled by the Chinese government.

Li pledged to fight for the right of selling land on the moon in China, "I have sued commercial authorities at the Haidian Court. If I fail, I will appeal to the Supreme Court," he said.

The investigators rebutted by saying that although the Outer Space Treaty stipulates none of the countries on earth has sovereignty on the moon, it provides that the exploitation of outer space should benefit all the human beings. Li's business, they said, just makes money for himself, contradicting the treaty.

The judge said at the end of the hearing that a report would be finalized ten days later, after further investigation, then the commercial watchdog would make a final decision.

The Haidian District Court accepted the lawsuit but did not inform the "Lunar Embassy" when the case would be heard, Li said earlier.

Li requested the court to undo an earlier ruling by the industrial and commercial authorities and return all the company'sproperty it has detained, including a business license, official seal and "title deeds" that promise ownership of land on the moon.

The company appealed for a public hearing the second day after it received the decision of the Beijing Municipal Administration of Industry and Commerce to revoke its business license and fine the company for 50,000 yuan (about 62,500 US dollars) on Nov. 23.

The incident of "Lunar Embassy" turned out to be a hot topic on local media since the establishment of the company,

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