A new study finds that Asians in America may face more accusations and charges of espionage than any other ethnic group. The study also finds that Asians are also about twice as likely to be found innocent of spying charges, compared to other races. Committee of 100, the Chinese-American organization that conducted the research, believes that this data demonstrates that Asians are being unfairly targeted for crimes they did not commit.
Committee of 100’s Chairman, Frank Wu, adds, “I have seen from case after case after case … that people continue to mistake us [Asian-Americans] for foreigners no matter how hard we assimilate and show our loyalty.”
With China being seen around the world as a titan of industry and a growing competitor to American interests, bias towards Asian-Americans in multiple fields may have increased. Wu also declared that “there is anxiety that China will overtake America, whether in military, economic, political, or cultural terms. That affects Chinese Americans, inevitably. We’re seen as representatives, potentially agents, of a rival power. So global politics affect domestic civil rights.”
The study, which Committee of 100 understands is too premature to be deemed completely conclusive, was performed by Andrew Kim of the South Texas College of Law. He sampled a random batch of cases involving those accused under the Economic Espionage Act between 1997 and 2015, and found that since 2009 a staggering 62% of defendants were of Asian descent. Half the time, the plaintiffs were in fact American while one third of the defendants were Chinese.
20% of the accused Asians were never found guilty (a high percentage), but people with Asian-sounding names that were found guilty received double the amount of prison time compared to those with more “Western” or traditionally “American” style names.
Dr. Xiaoxing Xi and hydrologist Sherry Chen come to mind as two Chinese scientists accused of espionage. The FBI notably stormed Dr. Xi’s house, causing him and his family much grief and stress over accusations that had no merit. The charges were abruptly dropped after their innocence was swiftly proven, but the case looks to be one of many in what some are calling a history of discrimination.
Paranoia of stolen trade secrets is coming at the cost of human and civil rights.