Recently, Chen Gang, an international leader in heat transfer, a member of the American Academy of Engineering and a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Although the New York Times reported on the 27th that Professor Chen has been released on bail, the incident still attracted great attention from the Chinese aesthetic community.
On the day of Chen Gang’s arrest came out, Rao Yi, a famous Chinese biologist, led the academic circle to questioning that “the FBI’s arrest of Professor Chen Gang is a typical racist act”; on the 26th, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and more than 160 faculty members also signed an open letter in support of Chen Gang.
What on earth did Chen Gang do to anger the United States so much? Why does the FBI repeatedly attack Chinese scientists? What kind of psychology does the United States reveal behind this?
Is it about “loyalty”?
In the early morning of January 14th, local time, Chen Gang, a well-known Chinese professor, was arrested at his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The sudden arrival of the arrest warrant surprised many people: Why did Chen Gang, a scientist, anger the United States?
The United States detailed Chen Gang’s “all kinds of crimes”.
The website of the U.S. Department of Justice published a 23-page criminal indictment against Professor Chen Gang written by Agent McCarthy, with very “sentimental details”.
The indictment shows that Chen Gang faced three charges: “wire transfer fraud” (failure to disclose contracts, appointments and awards obtained from multiple institutions in China when applying for funding from the U.S. Department of Energy), “failure to submit reports on foreign banks and financial accounts” and “making false statements to U.S. government agencies”.
Chen Gang’s email was not let go by the United States. After hacking into the mailbox and flipping through all Chen Gang’s emails, the FBI claimed that it had “a huge amount of information”.
The FBI said that Chen Gang has cooperated extensively with China and guided China’s scientific and technological progress in related fields.
The key details disclosed include: Chen Gang said he wanted to promote cooperation with China and suggested that China should take innovative science as the key and core.
“The lawsuit allegation shows that Chen Gang’s actions are not only about money, but also about loyalty to China.” Boston federal prosecutor Lai Lin said he believed that Chen Gang, who had been a member of the United States for more than 20 years, remained loyal to his country of birth.
On January 15, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in response to reporters’ questions about Chen Gang’s arrest: “Some departments of the United States should act professionally and fairly when handling relevant cases
Stop engaging in political manipulation, stop stigmatizing China’s talent plans, and stop interfering with and destroying the Chinese and American government in the field of science, technology and humanities. Constant communication and cooperation.”
In addition, the unconvincing accusation of the United States has also triggered a collective counterattack in Chinese and foreign academic circles.
Rao Yi, a famous Chinese biologist and professor at Peking University, first stood up to fight against injustice.
Rao Yi wrote to the president and vice president of MIT at the first time.
In the letter entitled “Raise your head, straighten your spine”, Rao Yi said bluntly: “The FBI’s arrest of Professor Chen Gang is a racist act.” He pointed out that Chen Gang’s relationship with China is very normal in academia.
MIT responded quickly. On the 22nd, MIT President Rafael Reeve issued an open letter, saying that the “19 million US dollars from China” quoted in criminal proceedings was not Chen Gang’s personal income, but part of a well-known cooperation between MIT and China Southern University of Science and Technology.
On the 26th, Chen Gang’s colleagues publicly protested that the behavior of the U.S. prosecutors had exceeded their due range.
The MIT president and more than 160 faculty members jointly signed an open letter in support of Chen Gang.
Maggie Leves, a law professor at West East University, also criticized the United States of its behavior in an article.
She said that the strong support Chen Gang has received shows that the U.S. Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” plan has failed, and the Chen Gang case highlights the main problem of the “China Initiative”, which is to put too much emphasis on national security and prejudice.
Levi’s “China Initiative” was launched in November 2018 to eradicate the delivery of sensitive technologies to Chinese American researchers.
The prosecution of Chen Gang is the latest action of the U.S. Department of Justice to implement the plan.
Some analysts pointed out that this heralded the re-ramping of the ghost of McCarthyism.
Everything seems to have a omen. Chen Gang has already felt the change of the domestic political atmosphere in the United States.
In 2019, Chen Gang shortened the time he used his academic leave to work at the University of Science and Technology of China and returned to MIT ahead of time to avoid being suspected of disclosing his professional knowledge to his Chinese counterparts.
In July of that year, the U.S. government launched a large-scale investigation into the links between Chinese scientists and foreign governments. Chen Gang said frankly in an interview with Nature magazine: “The current atmosphere creates a lot of psychological fear.”
Last January, Chen Gang was detained by customs officers at Boston Logan Airport when he returned to the United States from China.
His mobile phone and computer were detained for 60 days. After carefully searching Chen Gang’s emails, WeChat and documents, investigators claimed to have found many “suspicious records” of communication with China.
Chen Gang is not alone who has encountered this. Discrimination, expulsion, arrest, persecution…
For years, as an aspect of the science and technology and talent war against China, the United States has been taking action against Chinese scholars and scientists and Chinese scholars and scientists who have cooperated in scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation with China.
As the United States wishes, although these actions will cause losses to China, it must ultimately hurt the self-conplacent United States itself.
“Tasting from history, American science can only flourish by attracting overseas talents.
Exclusion is not a winning strategy.” Bloomberg wrote in an article entitled “Stupid Acts: Criminalizing Science”.