US charges a reflection of 'anxiety'

Updated: 2015-05-25 07:37

By ZHAO LEI(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Chinese-born physicist accused of trying to sell technological secrets

US charges a reflection of 'anxiety'

The White House in file photo. [Photo/CFP]

Recent accusations against scientists and researchers with Chinese background show the United States' concern and anxiety over China's rising technological capability, experts said.

"I don't know whether the US prosecutors' charges are grounded in fact or not, but the recent cases actually show that the US government has growing apprehension about China's development in science and technology," Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told China Daily on Sunday.

"Such a notion has repeatedly appeared in President Barack Obama's State of the Union addresses and US government departments' reports, highlighting the possibility that China will surpass the US in science and technology," he said.

US charges a reflection of 'anxiety'

Xi Xiaoxing, naturalized US citizen charged in wire fraud scheme [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

"The Americans know exactly how their political and military superiority in the world is based on economic ascendancy, which relies heavily on the nation's leadership in science and technology, so they have spared no effort to make sure such leadership will continue to belong to the US."

Some people in the US have become convinced that the rise of China would pose a severe challenge to US global leadership, Tao said.

His remarks came after the US Justice Department accused a distinguished physicist of transferring technological secrets to China for personal gain.

Xi Xiaoxing, 47, a naturalized US citizen who was born in China, appeared in a federal court in Philadelphia on Thursday on four counts of wire fraud. Prosecutors at the US Attorney's Office in Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Xi, who was chairman of Temple University's physics department before the case, planned to provide a cutting-edge magnesium diboride thin film superconducting technology to China in exchange for "lucrative and prestigious appointments" for himself in China.

He was released on a $100,000 bond, facing a possible 80 years in prison and a $1 million fine if convicted, according to a US Justice Department news release. The case was investigated by the country's Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Also last week, US prosecutors accused six Chinese nationals, including three teachers from Tianjin University, of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.

In response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Wednesday that China "is seeking further details and will work to safeguard the rights and interests of its nationals".

Jin Canrong, deputy dean at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China, said US strategic suspicion toward China is continuing to grow while uncertainty over China's development is spreading among policymakers in Washington.

"As far as I know, most US policymakers believe that China's economy is likely to overcome that of the US in the future with some of them being afraid of China's rise. Sometimes, strategic suspicion can lead to strategic confrontation," he said.