Chinese-Americans are more likely to be charged with espionage, according to a new study

Originally published at: Chinese-Americans are more likely to be charged with espionage, according to a new study | Boing Boing


Americans, I see a pattern here.


Chinese-Americans are really in a bad place right now. The last administration drummed up a lot of xenophobia over covid, trade issues, random scapegoating, etc. while conveniently ignoring stuff like the increasingly totalitarian surveillance state the PRC has become and the Uyghur genocide. On the other hand, many Chinese-Americans still have friends and family in the PRC, which is a source of leverage against them. Getting squeezed between xenophobia and Winnie’s PRC is a shite state of affairs.


Xenophobia has always been an infallible tool used by the Rich White Men In Suits to distract the plebes from their own crimes…
About those ‘plebes’…

The “xenophobia” has existed for quite a long time. It’s laid out explicitly in CRS reports

According to ONCIX, the governments of China and Russia are particularly “aggressive and capable collectors of sensitive U.S. economic information and technologies,” and “Chinese actors are the world’s most active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage.”100 The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) released a report indicating that U.S. firms lost approximately $1.1 billion in the year 2009 due to Chinese trade secret misappropriation.101 Between January 2009 and January 2013, China was involved in 17 criminal prosecutions (out of a total of 20) that the U.S. Department of Justice brought pursuant to the EEA.102

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation

So, the argument for aggressive prosecution of Chinese Americans, and Chinese Nationals (against whom sufficient evidence exists) rests on the assumptions that 1) trade secrets are worth protecting, 2) some foreign intelligence agencies are interested in obtaining trade secrets, and 3) the United States has a particular strategic interest in thwarting those schemes, perhaps to the detriment of purely domestic prosecutions.

You can quibble with those assumptions, but Congress has accepted them, explicitly.

Congress says it’s ok? I feel much better now.

that is, of course, an injustice on monumental proportions. But, would you also claim that George Dasch was unfairly persecuted?

Stop putting words in my mouth.

I made a general statement about the challenges Chinese-Americans face, which you used as a straw man. I followed up by referencing a historic example of how failing to differentiate between state actors and people with inconvenient national origins is deeply problematic and now we are in the Godwin zone, which means I am done with this thread.


It is intentional that Chinese spies face challenges. There’s an argument to be made that the people prosecuted by the US government aren’t in fact Chinese spies (very few people are), but mere statistics cannot make that case.

It’s hard for any of us who love or are in any way related to asian americans to deal with, particularly anyone with any ties to China.
Even among those who aren’t actively trying to make that worse, some people are just not going to ever be capable of understanding.
hugs… if you want em.


This is really too small a sample size to draw the sort of generalised conclusions the report’s authors seek to do. With such a limited sample, it could simply be that those punished more severely, for example, did worse things. It’s also quite a stretch to call concern about Chinese state espionage “a red scare”- China’s state run programme of acquiring foreign technology for both commercial and military applications is pretty well evidenced.

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