Denouncing the defamation of academic freedom as “a charge against all of us”
Chen Gang, a famous Chinese American scientist and professor of institutional engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was arrested in the United States last week. He was charged with four charges one day before the departure of former US President trump. The prosecution accused him of failing to disclose a number of cooperative relations with Chinese institutions to the US Department of energy. Chen Gang’s prosecution is the latest US government crackdown on Chinese scientists, which is a serious incident As many as 100 MIT professors recently sent a joint letter to the president, criticizing the accusation against Chen Gang as a slander of normal scientific research behavior and academic freedom, and questioning the lack of reasonable grounds for the accusation. The purpose is to suppress Chinese scholars (see the attached table for the contents of the joint letter).
Chen Gang, 56, was sued by the U.S. Department of justice on January 14. Chen Gang denied the charges and was released on bail after appearing in court. The federal grand jury sued Chen Gang on January 19 to replace the original criminal charges, saying that he was suspected of failing to disclose contracts, appointments and awards signed with various Chinese institutions to the Department of energy. Chen Gang was charged with two counts of wire transfer fraud, one count of failing to submit a foreign account report, and one tax return The maximum penalty for wire transfer fraud is 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of US $250000 (about HK $1930000).
The charges were not disclosed in relation to China
According to the accusation documents, Chen Gang, a Chinese American, graduated from Huazhong University of science and technology, is now the director of the parpado micro nano engineering laboratory and the director of the solid state solar thermal energy conversion center of MIT. Since 2013, Chen Gang’s research in MIT has received more than one year’s support from the federal government, According to the US Department of justice, since 2012, Chen Gang has held a number of positions in China with the purpose of providing advice and expertise to promote the development of science and technology in China and to obtain financial compensation. Since 2013, he is said to have accepted about 2, Foreign capital of US $9 million (about HK $224 million), including US $19 million from South University of science and technology of China.
The US Department of justice documents also show that Chen Gang held a number of advisory positions in China from 2017 to 2019 at least. He also applied for and obtained funding from the US Department of energy to fund part of his research at MIT. In the process, he did not disclose his relationship with China as required by the Department of energy. In addition, Chen Gang did not report to the IRS in his 2018 tax return It was disclosed that he had a bank account of more than US $10000 (about HK $77500) in China in 2018.
China urges us to stop political manipulation
After Chen Gang’s arrest, all teachers and students of MIT and American academic circles expressed concern. The president of MIT described Chen Gang as a widely respected scholar, and the news was “surprising, deeply distressed and incomprehensible”. In response to Chen Gang’s arrest, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also said at a regular press conference on the 15th that some US departments should stop stigmatizing China’s talent introduction program In dealing with relevant cases, some US departments should act professionally and fairly, stop engaging in political manipulation, stop interfering and sabotaging the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States in the fields of science, technology and humanities.
A few days ago, 100 MIT professors also jointly supported Chen Gang. In their letter, they refuted the government’s accusations that the accusations against Chen Gang defame normal academic and research activities, and the reasons for the accusations are seriously flawed and misleading. At best, these accusations are a deep misunderstanding of MIT’s scientific research activities or funding by the US government, describing the accusations against Chen Gang as “false” It’s a charge against all of us, and it’s an offence to all who value science and the cause of science.
The joint letter also questioned the motive of the prosecution, pointing out that federal prosecutor lailin sued Chen Gang in the last few days of his term of office. Lailin was appointed by trump and is a member of the steering committee of the Ministry of justice’s “China Initiative”, which is full of racism. The joint letter said frankly that the federal government has carried out a lot of activities in recent years The survey of Chinese American scientists, as well as other Asian and Asian American scientists, “makes us more worried.”