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Archive for April, 2016

My Take on the Arrest of Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin.

April 12th, 2016 5 comments

Edward Snowden has revealed that U.S. spies on everyone around the world, for Chinese Americans, citizens or just green card holders this comes as doubly given, and especially those in STEM fields or sensitive jobs like military this will be triply true. Expect you would have your phone listen in and any communications with foreigners whether in China or Taiwan documented.
Recently there were a bunch of cases of presumed espionage arrests of Chinese American scientists but prosecutions dropped afterward for insufficient or false evidences. Dr. Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University, Shuyu Li, and a few others. Here I quote from Google,
“Chris Kang, president of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), said the FBI has arrested and later released five Asian-American scientists in the last year alone. “I don’t know if it’s a series of good faith mistakes or not,” Kang said. “But at the very least, we are seeing a pattern of disturbing behavior.”
For details you can just google under “Chinese American scientists arrested for espionage” and you can read them for yourself. As for Lt. Cmdr. Edward C Lin., from what I read from today’s NYT, he was seeing some girlfriend other than his wife, maybe even a prostitute, probably from Taiwan, they can’t tie her with China yet, probably something about his job, maybe he was complaining about his tedious work at sea, doing surveillance work on P-8, and got pick up by FBI microphone. Unlike former CIA director Petronius who revealed classified information to his mistress, Lin is not likely to get away scot free.
I myself was investigated by FBI after I naively wrote a letter addressed to Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. in Chinese expressing my admiration for what China has achieved and inquired information on how to get a visa to visit China immediately after the establishment of diplomatic relations. I have a secret clearance for my job in Alaska, and 2 weeks later a charter aircraft flew in with an FBI agent to interview me. Nothing came off it, but I am sure if I use the Freedom of Information Act I can probably access a thick file of my activities for the last 40 years.

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America at a Crossroad: Rethinking Trade, Geopolitics, and Economic Well-Being

April 8th, 2016 6 comments

China U.S. Free Trade[An edited copy of this article under the title “America should not blame trade – or its trading partners – for its ills ” is initially published at the South China Morning Post (pdf archive here)]

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are leading a new American awakening on global trade.  According to the new emerging consensus, America has been the victim of bad trade deals – including the yet-to-be-ratified Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – for decades.  These deals have shipped millions of good-paying American jobs abroad and in the process hollowed out the American middle class.

When Sanders and Trump recently began questioning the merits of trade with allies such as Japan as well, however, many believed them to have crossed a line. It is one thing to attack China for “stealing” jobs but quite another to sell short a close and faithful ally.

Americans have long harbored schizophrenic attitudes on trade, however. Read more…