The accused Chinese spies

There’s an above-average post about them over at east Asia Watch, and some interesting comments, too.

Unfortunately, if you dig around the the rightwing blogosphere you’ll see they are using this to bolster their dire warnings of an imminent “China threat” and to fan the flames of the “now’s the time to cut all ties with China” meme.

The Discussion: 15 Comments


You’re being a little short sighted by labeling this as a right wing conspiracy.

It has been known for some time that China has been exploiting America’s poor record in turning out physisists, mathematicians and engineers who are trained in pure mathematic disiplines, and has been using it for espionage.

Ask a technology security insider ‘who is the biggest risk?’ and you may just hear “A scientist with family on the Mainland”.

China has been producing high flying scientists, allowing them to travel overseas, and then using their family on the mainland as leverage. It has also been doing the same with Chinese Americans who have mainland families and Hong Kong businessmen who want home vist visas to see their mainland relatives.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:04 am | Comment

The above is so comon now that they even teach about it in business and economics classes in western institutes.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:05 am | Comment

above average for East Asia Watch? ouch, that stings ๐Ÿ˜‰

November 8, 2005 @ 7:09 am | Comment

ACB, come on, don’t put words in my mouth. They may well be spies and guilty of terrible things. But the right is seizing on it to reignite anti-China memes. Get it?

November 8, 2005 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Richard: Points well taken. Probably you don’t need to worry too much – readers just will not necessarily reach the same conclusion Washington Times wants them to. But people need to know what happened.

BTW, Chinese ethnic media have very little coverage about this case, which involves Phoenix TV, one of themselves. Are they embarrassed or something?

November 8, 2005 @ 9:34 am | Comment

The Right might be using this, but that’s no reason for the left to use this against the right.

November 8, 2005 @ 9:49 am | Comment

“fan the flames of the ‘now’s the time to cut all ties with Chine’ meme.”

They didn’t cut all ties over the Tiananmen Sq. massacre what makes you think a few spies will do it?

November 8, 2005 @ 2:07 pm | Comment

the right doesn’t really want to cut the tight. but they would use it as an excuse to get more defense budget:)

after the hype (and mistake) agaisnt WH Lee, it is good to see more people starting to think rationally about these events.

November 8, 2005 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

I had read about this a few days ago in the SCMP and boxun. Supposedly there was no comment from the lovely guys at Phoenix.
I’ve been trying to learn more about Phoenix, as I think it’s an interesting media phenomenon, and looking over the Internet, I had seen a few accusations that Phoenix was a “front for a spy ring,” but never really paid them any mind as there was no real evidence. I found it interesting that a Phoenix TV guy involved in this. The fact that there has been no coverage in the Chinese media would lead me to assume that perhaps this is perhaps a real case with some real spies who seriously got caught. Because if they were innocent, you know it would be covered in the Chinese media right away: “Innocent Chinese Arrested by Evil America.” The fact that such coverage has yet to appear, even, from what I have seen, on Phoenix, makes me a little suspicious.

November 8, 2005 @ 6:37 pm | Comment

I’m suspicious, too. Based on the little evidence I’ve seen, my initial instinct is to bet my money on these guys being real spies. China’s silence says a lot.

November 8, 2005 @ 6:51 pm | Comment

Do a little digging about Liu Changle the founder of Phoenix TV. Or General Liu as he should be called.

November 8, 2005 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

Every country spies. It doesn’t mean you don’t jump up and down and get upset when you catch them out … that’s all part of the game.

November 8, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

I remember talking to a director of a physics lab who talked about how hard it was to accept Chinese scientists. Often GRE scores from China are thrown out, meaning no new Chinese students that year. Then there are screenings for original, non-plagarized work — that takes a good percentage of applicants out of the running. For sensitive work, it’s near impossible to get anyone with ANY connections to the mainland through a security clearance. There are a lot of charges of racism against places like Los Alamos, because there are so few Asians or Asian-Americans who get into it. They’re just considered a liability if an investigation ever starts, and the directors don’t want to have their work stopped.

But the Chinese are supposed to be excellent at espionage. The US steals Chinese plans/designs… and can see that they’re based on US (or wherever) plans and designs. The US had just found that a project related to Wen Ho Lee’s had been stolen by the Chinese, and of course jumped on him when they got the chance. They were wrong, of course, but considering how rare it is that a Chinese spy gets caught, they took the chance.

China has a natural advantage, as ACB notes, because of the numbers of ethnic Chinese working abroad in the technical fields. The spy-handlers only have to hire a few agents for one-time thefts to get a lot of info.

Truly, the only way to stop it is to start exporting scientists to work in Chinese research firms. Forcibly if necessary. Our security depends on it.

November 8, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

I wish America would fire all the ethnic Chinese
who work at high tech institutions and forcifully
deport them back to China. That would teach
China a powerful lesson not to mess with America.

November 13, 2005 @ 5:30 am | Comment

China is the biggest threat to the US in the long run. However, we’re too preoccupied with Iraq and terrorism to worry about this threat. We also rely too much on China’s cheap labor to chastise the CCP in public. China knows this and will take full advantage. Let’s remember who’s secretly funding North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and even Myanmar. China is the puppet master of the axis of evil.

We should be encouraging more American students to study the sciences; it’s a matter of survival. We can’t allow an evil dictatorship to steal our most valuable military secrets and send more Chinese spies over here acting as students. Not to mention the 3500 front companies. I just read an article about an American who actually passed top secret info about our B-2 Bombers to the Chinese. That should be a wake up call to all Americans. Why aren’t our politicians taking a more active role in expelling any Chinese working in our sensitive, high-tech labs? Even naturalized Chinese citizens shouldn’t be working in these labs because, as recent news has proven, their loyalties lie elsewhere. Have we become so politically correct that we can’t even use the hundreds of Chinese espionage cases as evidence to start weeding out the bad ones. We should be focusing more on developing our own scientists, instead of looking abroad. There should be more government incentives given to our most promising scientists and engineers. Hopefully, NASA and our space programs will help launch a science and engineering renaissance in this country. As I’ve said before, this is a matter of national security.

If we don’t start relying solely on our own scientists and engineers, within a 10 year period, maybe China will be flying around in their own version of the F-22 Raptor. Scary!!

baowei meiguo, cong wo zuo qi!

November 18, 2005 @ 1:51 pm | Comment

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