Relevant Information

Table of content

Relevant official documents

Reports and documents about some research security cases

Petitions/Open letters


Organizations working on related issues

Relevant official documents
  1. Fact sheet from Department of Justice about the China Initiative
  2. The National Security Decision Directive (NSDD)-189.
    This Presidential Directive with the title “National Policy on the Transfer of Scientific, Technical and Engineering Information” was established by the Reagan administration in 1985. Quotes:
    “It is also the policy of this Administration that, where the national security requires control, the mechanism for control of information generated during federally-funded fundamental research in science, technology and engineering at colleges, universities and laboratories is classification.”
    “No restrictions may be placed upon the conduct or reporting of federally-funded fundamental research that has not received national security classification, except as provided in applicable U.S. Statutes.”
  3. The JASON report.
    In 2019, the National Science Foundation (NSF) commissioned the advisory group JASON to assess how researchers and funding agencies could best respond to these concerns. Quotes:
    “JASON cannot recommend adoption of a CUI mechanism to secure additional categories of information generated by U.S. universities, beyond those currently covered by applicable laws designed to protect personal information (e.g., HIPAA, GINA, FERPA, Title 13, etc.). Rather, the general principle of creating high walls, i.e., classification, around narrowly defined areas should be adhered to, minimizing conflicts that might adversely affect U.S. open science practices.”
    “JASON concludes that many of the problems of foreign influence that have been identified are ones that can be addressed within the framework of research integrity, and that the benefits of openness in research and of the inclusion of talented foreign researchers dictate against measures that would wall off particular areas of fundamental research.”
    The NSF also provided a response to the JASON report.
  4. Report of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Federal Research: Agencies Need to Enhance Policies to Address Foreign Influence. Quotes:“In the absence of agency-wide COI policies and definitions on non-financial interests, researchers may not fully understand what they need to report on their grant proposals.”
  5. A statement by Dr. Eric Lander, President Biden’s Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, on Clear Rules for Research Security and Researcher Responsibility. Quotes:
    “We have to assiduously avoid basing policies or processes on prejudice — including those that could fuel anti-Asian sentiments or xenophobia. Prejudice is fundamentally unacceptable, and will backfire because it will make it harder to attract the best scientific minds from around the world.”
Reports and documents about some research security cases
  1. The dismissed case against Xiaoxing Xi, professor at Temple University.
    U.S. Drops Charges That Professor Shared Technology With China, a report by the New York Times.
    Charges withdrawn against professor accused of stealing US secrets for China, a report by the Guardian.
  2. The dismissed case against Sherry Chen, former employee of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
    Accused of Spying for China, Until She Wasn’t, a report by the New York Times.
    Abuse and Misconduct at the Commerce Department, a report by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
    ‘Rogue’ U.S. Agency Used Racial Profiling to Investigate Commerce Dept. Employees, Report Says, (see also an article by the New York Times about this report).
    Judge orders reinstatement of federal scientist fired after dropped spying charges, a report by NBC news.
  3. The case against Anming Hu, former faculty member of the University of Tennessee (UT) at Knoxville. This was the first China Initiative case to go to trial. Anming Hu is aquitted on Sep. 9, 2021.
    How the FBI manipulated the University of Tennessee to find a Chinese spy who didn’t exist, a report by Knox News. Based on testimony during the trial, the report described in detail how the FBI agent provided false information and manipulated UT, and how UT played a questionable role in its handling of the case.
    – Reports on the mistrial and the second trial of the Anming Hu case.
    “Ridiculous case”: juror criticizes DOJ for charging scientist with hiding ties to china, another report about the mistrial.
    Federal Judge Acquits Professor Accused of Hiding China Ties, a report by Wall Street Journal.
    Memorandum Opinion and Order by Judge Thomas A. Varlan granting the acquittal of Anming Hu.
  4. The case against Gang Chen, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
    Federal affidavit. One can read from the affidavit that normal academic activities such as serving as referees and writing recommendation letters are adduced as evidence of “extensive dealings with the PRC (People’s Republic of China)”.
    – Two letters from President Reif of MIT on Jan 14th and Jan 22nd, 2021, expressing concerns and clarifying some important facts
    A Scientist Is Arrested, and Academics Push Back, published by the New York Times
    What the Fear of China Is Doing to American Science, published by the Atlantic.
  5. The case against Feng (Franklin) Tao, associate professor at the University of Kansas
    U.S. Says Scientist Hid Job in China. Web Search Tells Otherwise, a report by Bloomberg.
    Kansas professor says FBI misled court in alleging hidden ties to Chinese government, a report by the Washington Post.
  6. U.S. Drops Visa Fraud Cases Against Five Chinese Researchers, a report by Wall Street Journal.
  7. For more information about relevant cases, see the Impacted Persons section of the APA Justice website.
  8. How International Students and Researchers Benefit the United States: Their Experiences, Their Stories, a report by the American Physics Society.
Petitions/Open letters
  1. American Physics Society (APS) board statement on open science and a Recommitment to Research Principles.
  2. Current US Policy on China: The Risk to Open Science, an article by the APS leadership describing concerns about the US federal government’s current approach to research security and its effects on open science and the scientific community.
  3. APS action alert to contact Congressional representatives.
  4. An open letter by Congressman Ted W. Lieu and 90 congress members to the Attorney General, requesting “a DOJ investigation into the repeated, wrongful targeting of individuals of Asian descent for alleged espionage”.
  5. Letters by professors in MIT, Stanford and University of California regarding the Gang Chen case.
  6. A petition to New York University president to stop racial profiling professors of Asian descent
  7. An open letter by the Asian American Scholar Forum, calling for immediate reinstatement of Prof. Anming Hu’s tenure
  8. Another open letter by AASF to Judge Thomas A. Varlan, calling on him to dismiss Prof. Anming Hu’s retrial.
  9. An open letter from Stanford faculty members to U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, requesting him to terminate the China Initiative.
  10. We are all Gang Chen, an article by Yoel Fink and Yasheng Huang
  11. The US should listen to scientists about how to counter influence from China, an article by Xiaoxing Xi.
  1. Webinar series organized by the APS.
  2. Congressional Roundable “Researching while Chinese American” led by Reps. Jamie Raskin and Judy Chu. (See more details here.) The participants include Sherry Chen, Steven Chu, Randy Katz and Xiaoxing Xi.
  3. Physics Colloquia at Harvard University and Stanford University by Professor Xiaoxing Xi (Temple University).
  4. A webinar series organized by the Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF)
  5. Combating Racial Profiling of Asian and Asian Immigrants: A Guide to Advocacy and How to Take Action, a webinar organized by AASF and Advancing Justice AAJC.
  6. Envisioning tomorrow: advancing science and rising above the gathering storms, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) President’s address by Prof. Steve Chu.
Organizations working on related issues
  1. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  2. APA Justice
  3. Asian American Scholar Forum