United States moves to drop cases against Chinese researchers accused of hiding military ties

NS judicial last week moved to remove cases it brought last year against five visiting researchers accused of concealing their ties to Chinaof the military, raising questions about the ministry’s efforts to counter China’s national security threats.

The department filed petitions on Thursday and Friday to dismiss visa fraud and other allegations it made last summer against researchers as the Biden administration grapples with the hold Beijing accountable for its cyber attacks and harsh crackdowns in Hong Kong and in the far west of Xinjiang. Dismissal also occurs when Foreign Officeofficial number 2, Wendy Sherman, is meeting in the coming days with Chinese officials in Tianjin.

“Recent developments in a number of cases involving defendants with alleged, undisclosed ties to the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China have prompted the ministry to re-evaluate the cases. this prosecution,” said Wyn Hornbuckle, a Department of Justice spokesman, gave some specifics. “We have determined that it is now in the interest of justice to fire them.”

The arrests were part of a series of cases last summer involving researchers and academics with ties to China as the Trump administration actively sought to thwart Beijing’s efforts to steal funds. intellectual property, corporate secrets, military intelligence, and other information that the country can use to expand its global reach. affect. At that time, USA ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, accusing it of being the center of “large-scale illegal influence and espionage activities”. China denied the accusations and retaliated by forcing the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu.

Under a Trump-era initiative, the Justice Department has prosecuted people with ties to the Chinese government for mainframe computer breaches and for economic espionage. It also cracked down on China’s efforts to cultivate and influence academics at American colleges and research centers, arresting scholars accused of improperly sharing technical expertise. art and other studies.

Officials say more than 1,000 researchers affiliated with the Chinese military left the United States following their arrest last summer.

Hornbuckle said that the latest moves do not reflect a departure from this initiative and that the Department “continues to place a very high priority on countering the threat to American research security and the integrity of our research.” academic” of Beijing. | United States moves to drop cases against Chinese researchers accused of hiding military ties


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