For many years, civil rights organizations have accused the U.S. Department of Justice of racially profiling Chinese scientists. Today, a new report provides data that can quantify some of their claims.
this LearnPublished by the 100-member committee of the prestigious Chinese American Citizen Leaders Association, it found that Chinese individuals are more likely than others to be charged under the Economic Espionage Act-and significantly less Very likely to be convicted.
“The basic question this study is trying to answer is whether Asian Americans are being treated differently for suspected espionage,” said Andrew C. King, an attorney and visiting scholar at the South Texas Law School in Houston, the author of the report. Andrew C. Kim) said. “The answer to this question is yes.”
The study investigated data on economic espionage cases filed in the United States from 1996 to 2020 and found that less than half of the defendants were accused of stealing secrets that benefit China. This is far below the figure set by US officials to justify the flagship China initiative of the Department of Justice.
According to the report, 46% of the defendants charged under the Economic Espionage Act were accused of engaging in activities that benefited the Chinese people or entities, while 42% of the defendants were accused of stealing secrets that benefited American companies.
These figures directly contradict most of the information sent by the Ministry of Justice around the “China Initiative,” which was launched in 2018 to combat economic espionage.The department has publicly stated-for example, in The first line of the China Initiative homepage-FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that 80% of its prosecutions will benefit the Chinese government, reflecting “the scale of the theft is so large that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history. one” describe It’s in 2020.
Since 2019, the program is mainly aimed at academic researchers.
“The evidence is solid, the evidence is insufficient”
The report is based on an analysis of public court documents and press releases from the Ministry of Justice of all Economic Espionage Act prosecutions between 1996 and 2020.This is an update of an earlier analysis, published in Cardoso Legal Review, It covers the period up to 2016.
Allegations of “theft of trade secrets” and “economic espionage” are included. The charges of “economic espionage” require proof of “association with a foreign entity” with higher penalties. (These two categories only form part of the allegations under the “China Initiative”; Kim briefly mentioned “false statements and procedural crimes,” and people are also accused of grant fraud and visa application lying.)
Since the court documents did not contain demographic information and citizenship data, Kim used names as a proxy for race, and when names such as Lee and Park were not clear on race, he would use Google searches. Regarding citizenship, Kim noted that press releases usually highlight whether the defendant is a “foreigner”, so unless otherwise stated, he assumes that the defendant is a citizen.