Chen Gang Photo: Courtesy of MIT
The rejection of all charges against a Chinese-born MIT professor by the US Department of Justice is a “good sign” and shows that some in the US have realized that the “China initiative” is nothing but academic racism and a self-destructive plan to politically persecute scientists, Chinese observers said, noting that the United States’ anti-Asian sentiment in academia and society worsened a year after Joe Biden took office, and the worsening xenophobia shows that the United States is heading for widespread decline .
After acknowledging that it “could no longer meet its burden of proof” in court, a Boston federal court on Thursday dismissed the charges against Chen Gang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was accused of failing to disclose ties to China and arrested in January 2021. He was indicted as part of the controversial “China Initiative,” launched by the U.S. Department of Justice under then-President Donald Trump.
Following the dismissal, Chen said in a statement that “Although I am relieved that my ordeal is over, I am aware that this terribly misleading China initiative continues to bring unjustified fear to academia and other scientists who are still face charges. ”
“The China initiative has had a relaxing effect on American academic research and unfairly targeted Chinese-American researchers through racial profiling,” said Zhengyu Huang, chairman of the 100-member committee, according to a statement from the nonprofit American Leadership Organization of Prominent Chinese. Americans.
Huang told the Global Times on Friday that Trump’s policy of cracking down on Chinese scientists backfired.
According to research by the committee of 100 of over 2,000 scientists, including Chinese scientists, in the United States, many elite researchers are reluctant to apply for federal funding and decided to stop working with China. Some are even considering leaving the United States.
The United States has become a chime in the world economy because it attracted talent from all over the world. It has the world’s leading high-tech industry. Yet science is a global thing and needs interaction. From this perspective, what the United States is doing has backfired, Huang said.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the dismissal shows that some in the United States realize that the “China Initiative” is a witch-hunt, a self-destructive project that undermines U.S. scientific research capacity and international image.
The plan has met with setbacks in the United States, where many scientists and scientists are demanding the controversial initiative be completed immediately. MIT also expressed support for Chen by paying his legal expenses and placing him on paid leave, US media reported.
Despite the dismissal, other Chinese-born scholars, businessmen, and ordinary people have increasingly fallen victim to growing racial violence and targets of hate crimes, and Biden, who promised to step out of Trump’s shadow, has only caused the United States to fall deeper. myriads of systemic errors in racial discrimination.
Wang Wen, professor and executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that growing anti-Asian violence in the United States showed that from the Trump administration to the Biden administration, the United States has set in motion the biggest wave of McCarthyism for over half a century. The xenophobia revealed in the anti-Asian mood is proof of the U.S. decline, and the U.S. is heading into a general decline, Wang said.
The repression of scientists in the natural sciences is even worse than the era of McCarthyism from the Cold War, Lü Xiang, an expert in American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
Fight and fight
The daily fears and anxieties of Chinese Americans were pushed to a new climax with the tragic death of an Asian American Michelle Go, who was pushed to death in front of a subway train in New York on January 15th.
From being called “China virus” to being beaten and now life-threatening attacks on Asians, hate crimes became more violent in the United States and have struck fear in the hearts of many Asians, Keith Cheng, president of the New York-based Fukien American Association, told Global Times.
“Many Chinese Americans are scared, especially women and seniors, as they do not know who will be the next victim,” he said.
Asians have been bullied almost “every day” since the 2020 pandemic, and such anti-Asian hatred became more violent amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States as many released their anger and dissatisfaction with the worsening pandemic situation in Asians , said Cheng.
To combat such crimes, Chinese communities in Chinatown set up patrol teams made up of local residents.
Cheng and about 500 residents, mostly Asian Americans, protested Thursday against anti-Asian hatred in Chinatown and mourned the deaths of Go and Yao Pan Ma, who died months after being attacked, the third of these demonstrations, he attended for two months.
“We want the New York government to offer more protection to Asians in politics and to organize more police patrols in Asian communities,” Cheng said.
John Chan, president of the Asian American Community Empowerment and convener of the Coalition of Asian-Americans for Civil Rights, told the Global Times that the coalition and local communities will organize an emergency meeting on Sunday on how communities respond to security issues following the tragedy of Go.
Lü said the anti-China sentiment of American society was driven by Trump’s anti-China rhetoric during the final year of his tenure, and then that sentiment was further consolidated by Biden, who embraced Trump’s Xinjiang “genocide” slander .
Wang Huiyao, president of the Chinese Non-Governmental Think Tank Center for China and Globalization and vice president of the China Western Returned Scholars Association, told the Global Times that some Asian scientists in the United States are nervous and pessimistic about the US anti-Asian sentiment, which will not improve in the short term, Wang said, noting that Biden, who is facing midterm elections, needs to take into account congressional leaders who are eager to take a tough stance on China, even as he tries to improve.
The result will be that Asians, especially Chinese, will leave the United States forever, Lü said, noting that the repression and political persecution of scientists will only harm the United States.
Li said Democrats and Republicans benefit from or depend on such a divided and polarized situation, and they want to maximize their political interests, and some extreme-minded politicians may take advantage of the situation to take over in the midterm elections, such as possible Trumps return and violent populism, which will result in deep problems for American politics and society.