The FBI accused him of spying for China. It ruined his life.

Advocates claim that the China Initiative has been used as an excuse to racial profiling. This is part of a long US history treating Asian-Americans like untrustworthy foreigners. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 prohibited Chinese immigrants from entering the United States for ten years. During World War II, hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans were detained by the federal government. There were a number of cases of espionage against Chinese-American scientists under the Clinton and Obama administrations. These included Wen Ho Lee, Temple Universitys Xi Xiaoxing and the National Weather Services Sherrychen.Frank Wu, president of Queens College, City University of New York, said that the China Initiative is founded on the idea of an ethnic affinity...on the part of people of Chinese heritage, regardless of whether they are citizens of the United States or Canadian. This theory allows them to act against American law in favor of Beijing. He claims that ordinary behavior, such as visiting your mother in China or scientific cooperation, suddenly becomes suspicious under this system.According to MITs Huang, it has also had a chilling impact on Chinese-American scientists. He says that others expressed fears of being arrested, fearing losing their funding and worrying about how they would be perceived by non-Asian colleagues during his meetings with the Asian American Scholar Forum. He says that young PhD students no longer seek out professorships in America, but that established scientists are looking for international opportunities. Many returned to China to take up prestigious positions, something the China Initiative had hoped for after their American careers were ended.It's quite bad, and it is very pervasive. Huang says that we are witnessing this fearful climate engulfing Chinese American scientists. China Initiative is causing the US to lose the most skilled people to other countries. It is bad news for science. This is bad news for America.The Hu case was decidedHus' case is not surprising to activists and researchers in civil society who have been following the China Initiative.Hu, a Canadian citizen of Chinese descent, is a well-known researcher in nanotechnology. He was recruited by the University of Tennessee to continue his research and teach in 2013. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Hu revealed that he had taught graduate students and researchers at Beijing University of Technology on multiple occasions."The China Initiative is founded on the assumption that people of Chinese descent will act against American law to benefit Beijing. Frank Wu, City University of New YorkAll of this didn't raise any problems at the time. Hu started collaborating with NASA. NASA is prohibited from funding research that involves collaboration or participation with China or a Chinese owned corporation. UT administrators assured Hu and the government agency that the part-time work did not violate this restriction. NASA is the only entity that can apply this law, and not its research collaborators.The FBI identified Hu in 2018 as a possible spy. Agent Sadiku stated that he had translated via Google a Chinese news release and flyer. This suggested Hu had received a contract from the Thousand Talents Program. This was enough evidence for Sadiku, to open a formal investigation.Hu claims that Sadikus was approached by Hus' agent during his first visit to the office.They said, "You are so smart." He told them, "You should be in the Thousand Talents Program," during his trial. I'm not that smart, I tell you.Sadiku tried to convince him to be a spy for US government using his Beijing University work to cover. After Sadikus' visit, Hu declined to email. After that, Sadiku increased his investigation and placed Hu and his sindhen under surveillance at UT.After nearly two years, Sadiku decided to ignore the espionage allegations and instead began building the fraud case Hu was eventually charged with. The university required academics to complete a form, which requires them to disclose any work they do that is more than $10,000. Hu didn't disclose his part-time work because it made him less than $2,000. Sadiku claims this is evidence that Hu deliberately concealed his China-affiliated work in order to defraud NASA. However, the jury could not reach a decision and the deadlock led to a mistrial.FBI under PressureAccording to observers, the details of this case mirror those brought under the China Initiative. A spy probe against an ethnically Chinese researcher opens with very little evidence. The charges are later amended when there is no evidence of economic espionage.German, a former FBI agent, said that this is because of the pressure on FBI agents across America, all FBI field offices [and] every US Attorneys Office to create cases to fit the framing because they must prove statistical achievements.The DOJ does not need to launch a special China-specific initiative to pursue spies. They should be able use their usual methods and procedures. Alex Nowrasteh. Cato InstituteThe House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice on Thursday, June 17th, shortly after the news of the mistrial. They asked that the DOJ investigate if there was sufficient evidence to allow the FBI to open this case. Also, they requested that the DOJ examine whether false information and false statements were used by the bureau and whether any untoward pressures were placed upon the bureau to engage in ethnic or racial profiling.This is in response to increasing calls for investigation into whether such profiling has occurred and calls to terminate the program.Alex Nowrasteh, director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute and Center for Trade Policy Studies, said that the DOJ does not need to launch a special effort against China in order to pursue spies. They should be able use their usual methods and procedures.The Hus trial shows that Chinese espionage may be much smaller than people believe, he says. You would think that if there were more, it would be easier to find and they wouldn't have to make up cases.Hu's nightmare is not over, however.He remains under house arrest while awaiting a decision by the Department of Justice to either renew or drop the case, or by the judge to dismiss all the charges against the government. Although he is currently unemployed since the expiration of his US work visa, he has not been allowed to leave house arrest to return to Canada to renew it. According to his lawyer, he could be subject to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.He can only wait for the US to move next.Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that 48% of China Initiative cases did not result in any actual charges of economic spying. AAJC.