Us media article: “China action Plan” is hanging by a thread

2022-06-02 0 By

“How China’s Plan of Action went wrong” was published on the website of foreign Policy, a bimonthly magazine in the United States, on February 13.On November 1, 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the launch of a program to combat what he claimed had been a rapidly growing “Chinese economic espionage” targeting the United States.By pooling resources across the federal government, the China Action Plan seeks to guard against “new and evolving threats to our economy, not just against defense and intelligence targets, but also against universities and research institutions.”But now the China Action Plan itself seems to be hanging by a thread.Last month, federal prosecutors dropped charges against Gang Chen, a mechanical engineering professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was arrested last year on charges including failing to disclose his ties to a Chinese university in a grant application to the Energy Department.The government’s dismissal of the case follows the September acquittal of Anming Hu, a nanotechnology expert at the University of Tennessee who was charged by China Action Plan 2020 with “committing fraud and false statements.”The arrests sparked a backlash from academics, activists and lawmakers across the COUNTRY, who warned of a chilling effect on vital exchanges between the United States and China.Last September, more than 170 Stanford faculty members wrote an open letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland (and was signed by their counterparts at several other universities) calling for the China Action Plan to be dismantled.They may soon get their wish.The New York Times reported that the Justice Department is considering dropping the China Action Plan name and putting the program’s work back under the purview of the National security division.Under the China Action Plan, FBI agents fanned out to colleges across the country to teach professors proper procedures for disclosing foreign ties.But many scholars find the rules so confusing that they would rather avoid communicating with China than risk legal scrutiny.The Biden administration has taken steps to allay those concerns.Last August, then-White House science adviser Eric Rand announced that the administration would work to simplify disclosure requirements for researchers.But the damage may already be done.The suspect’s racial identity – has been charged in the “action plan” in China, nearly 90% of the staff is Chinese – has sparked throughout the research community in the cold snap, American colleges and universities to have dried up because of the outbreak of the Chinese talent pose a threat to the pipeline, and prompted born Chinese researchers considered to continue his career elsewhere.Reversing this trend may require more than a simple technocratic approach.”Just because the rhetoric has softened under Biden doesn’t mean concerns about bias have gone away,” said Margaret Lewis, a law professor at Seton Hall University.