Home > Uncategorized > 又一华裔教授在美被捕 曾任“长江学者”, On the arrest of another Chinese American professor

又一华裔教授在美被捕 曾任“长江学者”, On the arrest of another Chinese American professor

Recently there were a bunch of announced arrests of Chinese American scientists and the indictments of Chinese nationals for spying or/and economic espionage. For Chinese who are naïve about American laws who aspire to be Americans this is a sobering warning that should be taken seriously. As Snowden revealed NSA spies on everyone, but especially foreign national that considers as enemy. Any innocent meetings with former colleagues and mentors and exchange of scientific ideas may be construed as spying or economic espionage. As China develops her own science and technology while U.S. lacks resources due to financial difficulty, many sees more opportunity in joining or starting their own company in China. They are somewhat naïve in believing the freedom of expression and exchange, but U.S. is very strict in interpreting the laws and embargo cutting edge science and technology to China. If you worked for U.S. government or any companies with contracts with government or even performed research resulting in patents that belonging to the company, then you may be in violation of obscure laws if you try to strike out on your own. Downloading files to your own computer as Wen Ho Lee discovered can result in spy charge. Recent case of Goldman Sack against Sergei Aleynikov, even if the 97 months jail term were reversed can be debilitating.

I was naïve also after 1979, when U.S. and China established normal relations. I was working in Alaska in a Dew Line communication site which was frontline against possible Russian nuclear attack. I wrote a letter to the new Chinese Embassy in Chinese expressing my pleasure on the new relation, and inquire about visa procedures to visit China. After about a month of no response I was surprised to learn from my boss in Anchorage, that an FBI agent will be chartering a plane to interview me. The agent spend a couple of hours asking my background and nothing affecting my secret clearance came to pass, but it was an unnerving experience, and I never did hear back from the Chinese Embassy.

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  1. May 23rd, 2015 at 12:35 | #1

    Hi,
    It would be helpful if you could post some links. I am not surprised that the US would screen mails sent to the PRC or the PRC embassy. However, I am surprised that you never got a respond back from the embassy. Do you think it was delivered?

    In Malaysia, even though official diplomatic relation was established with PRC in 1972, the Malaysian govn’t would place an age restriction on those who travel to PRC. Only those aged 60 and above can travel there. The restriction was finally lifted in the 1990s after fear of Communism subsided.

  2. N.M.Cheung
    May 24th, 2015 at 17:48 | #2

    @Ray
    Sorry I didn’t post links as the news was pretty well covered in major news outlets like NYT, or in Chinese media. This was from May22 NYT:
    “Two days after the United States Justice Department announced the indictments of six Chinese scientists suspected of stealing technology, including three professors from Tianjin University, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua published a response from the university titled: “Tianjin University Expresses Serious and Grave Concern Over Prosecutions of Its Professors.”

    The university defended by name Zhang Hao, 36, who was arrested by federal agents in Los Angeles, and two others who it said were working at the university. Their work “adheres to international standards for scientific research and is within the parameters of academic ethics,” it said.”

  3. May 25th, 2015 at 14:53 | #3

    @N.M.Cheung
    No problem at all, thanks for the update. The info is for future reader who would be clueless if reading this post.

  4. Black Pheonix
    May 26th, 2015 at 10:38 | #4

    @Ray

    Another case: http://www.scribd.com/doc/266226733/Xiaoxing-Xi-Indictment#scribd

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/temple-professor-accused-of-sharing-sensitive-technology-with-china/

    Xi Xiaoxing is a naturalized Chinese American Physics professor at Temple University.

    His accused criminal acts: 4 emails, where he offered to help 4 individuals in China to “build world class fab”.

    That amounted to supposedly 4 counts of “wire fraud”, which is now as overused and meaningless as “assaulting police officer”.

    http://archive.fortune.com/2010/01/04/magazines/fortune/fraud_law.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2010010609

    This case of Xi is particularly troubling as a case of prosecutorial overreach, because the indictment itself is so short on evidence, leading the obvious question of on what basis did the Grand jury reach the decision of indictment.

    The indictment sheet lists no obvious or overt criminal acts. The 4 emails Xi wrote are best gratuitous puffery. Yes, a physics professor do solicit money from all over the world, and Xi was a department chair. More than half of his job entails sending out emails and other communications to people all over, to build PR for his school, to ask for donations and money and grant.

    How does he do that? Why should people give him money, if he doesn’t “offer help” using his expertise??

    Does that mean that he’s selling secrets??

    What evidence is there that he was selling secrets? None.

    Granted, he did have access to US government funded technology, but did he actually offer to sell those technology? No evident of that.

    Then what was his crime? Was he NOT supposed to email people in China? No law against that.

    Was he supposed to even disclose the fact that he emailed people in China in 2010? Nope, he’s not a government employee/contractor that would require such a disclosure. (Temple University is a private school).

    Did he even receive money from China for his “emails”? Not bloody likely at all.

    *
    So to sum, Xi got charged for 4 emails, which he could legally write, and he didn’t have to tell the government about. That apparently is all you need for “wirefraud”, but I’m not clear on where the “fraud” part in all this.

    Because frankly, I have seen more pieces of “fraud” in US media than Xi’s 4 emails.

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