April 27 2021 — The FBI is harassing innocent Chinese-American scientists and this ongoing witch-hunt could have disastrous consequences for U.S. fundamental research. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
UPDATE (November 30 2021) — Give them some credit. Sure, it took 7 months, but the New York Times has finally written something about right regarding this case and its far-reaching consequences.
Every single source quoted by the NYT agrees with what I wrote in April. Better late than never….
In a piece titled “As U.S. Hunts for Chinese Spies, University Scientists Warn of Backlash,” the paper reports that “a chilling effect has taken hold on American campuses, contributing to an outflow of academic talent that may hurt the United States while benefiting Beijing.”
First thing first. Here is their summary of the case:
The F.B.I. agents spent nearly two years tailing the professor, following him to work, to the grocery store, and even keeping his college-age son under surveillance.
They told the university where he held a tenured position that he was a Chinese operative, prompting the school to cooperate with their investigation and later fire him.
But the F.B.I. was unable to find evidence of espionage, according to an agent’s testimony in court.
Federal prosecutors pressed charges anyway, accusing Anming Hu of concealing his ties with a university in Beijing and defrauding the government in connection with research funds he had received from NASA.
The trial ended in a hung jury. One juror called the case “ridiculous.”
In September, a judge took the rare step of acquitting the Chinese-born scientist on all counts.
The incompetence of the FBI is mind-boggling. These people are so incompetent that they do not even understand their incompetence.
And they do not even assess the consequences of their incompetence.
Professor Yiguang Ju is an expert in aerospace engineering at Princeton University. In 2010, NASA asked him to help develop a plan for the future of American rocketry and he was proud to accept.
Today, he would decline. “It’s not because I don’t want to serve,” he said. “I’m scared to serve.”
END of UPDATE
In May 2015, professor Xi was arrested by the FBI on charges of sending sensitive American technology to China. Once again, the indictment was totally false.
The government’s entire prosecution was premised on the faulty understanding of basic and non-controversial scientific principles and concepts.
The case was based on the presentation of a false and misleading testimony to the Grand Jury by an FBI agent who was not qualified to be the Government’s (sole) witness to the Grand Jury.
Four months later, the charges were dropped, and Xi was released, after independent experts convinced federal prosecutors that the schematics Xi had shared with his Chinese colleagues did not describe any sensitive technology. [NYT (Sept. 11 2015) — U.S. drops charges that professor shared technology with China.]
Over the past few years, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has arrested many scientists as part of a new initiative to counter intellectual property theft.
The FBI cases against eight Chinese-American scientists were ultimately dropped by the DOJ.
The FBI is playing a dangerous game that could have very negative consequences for the US. national interests.
Many Chinese scientists have already left the US fearing such prosecutions.
According to a 2012 State Department report, the US-China cooperation has “accelerated scientific progress in the United States, providing significant direct benefit to a range of US technical agencies.”
The importance of Chinese-American scientists to US research cannot be overstated. Here is a list of those who were awarded the Physics Nobel Prize.
Chen Ning Yang — 1957
Tsung-Dao Lee — 1957
Samuel Chao Chung Ting — 1976
Steven Chu — 1997
Daniel Chee Tsui — 1998
Charles K Kao — 2009
Did you know that the first engineer at Boeing was a Chinese man? Wong Tsu was hired in mid-1916 by the aircraft maker’s founder Bill Boeing to work in Seattle.
He immediately used wind tunnel data from MIT and research findings by the French engineer Gustav Eiffel to spearhead an effort that produced Boeing’s first military aircraft.
By November 1916, the Model C seaplane was flying. The plane was ultimately Boeing’s first commercially successful aircraft, which the biography credits largely to the “creative talents of its first engineer.” And the rest is History…
Scientific espionage is a very serious crime that should be taken very seriously. The idiots from the FBI are simply not up to the task.
Crackdown on Spying Damages US Science, Says Chinese-Born Physicist — APS
FBI — False Spying Accusations Damage US Science
FBI — False Spying Accusations Damage American Science [UPDATE : Even the NYT gets the point!]