Who Owns the Principle of Gravity? Deporting and Spying on Chinese Scientists and Students Will Not Make Us Smarter, Healthier or Safer


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On April 26, 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray gave an address to the Council on Foreign Relations in which he made the astonishing claim that “no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat than China.” He explained:

“China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation any way it can, from a wide array of businesses, universities, and organizations. They’re doing this through Chinese intelligence services, through state-owned enterprises, through ostensibly private companies, through graduate students and researchers, and through a variety of actors working on behalf of China.”

During his 2018 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Wray put it this way: “One of the things we’re trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end… And I think it's going to take a whole-of-society response by us.”

The above quotes are not from a paranoid intelligence officer from the movie Dr. Strangelove, although they sound like it. Hopefully the removal of John Bolton from his post as National Security Advisor will prove to be a step toward sanity in U.S.-China relations, but the danger to world affairs is too great to merely “hope” for a change. The anti-China fear-mongering must stop now.

After the firing of several top Chinese-American scientists, and the deportation of several Chinese post-doctoral students who were working on curing cancer and Huntington’s Disease, as well as the denial of visas to Chinese students trying to return for the new semester at several American universities, the FBI is demanding that university presidents, deans and professors assist in this McCarthyite witch hunt by carefully monitoring—i.e., spying on—the Chinese and Chinese-American students in their institutions, especially if the students are studying science, mathematics, IT or anything else with possible military applications.

Has China actually expressed an intent to destroy the United States? Or is it merely that some consider the development of China to be a threat to the United States? Is the threat actually the development of China, or is it the lack of development of the United States?

If a researcher discovers an effective treatment for a deadly disease, wouldn’t it be important to have a dialogue about how best to make this treatment available to those who are suffering, with appropriate patent laws and regulations, as opposed to taking action to halt the dialogue and shut down the research? Today, scientific research and journals are, by nature, international. Many research projects involve teams working in the West and in China, publishing papers together, on two continents. The actions of the FBI and related branches of government to persecute Chinese scientists in the US is nothing less than an assault on science itself.

What about the discovery of a universal principle, like gravity? If China makes the same discovery as an American researcher, or if a Chinese scientist observes an American experiment and tries to replicate it in China, has the principle been “stolen?” Does it no longer exist here because it also exists there? The great Hungarian-American physicist Dr. Edward Teller warned in a September 1987 interview with The Scientist that “exaggerated secrecy will drive away the best people. It is where secrecy gets married to bureaucracy, to doctrine—that is where secrecy does most of its harm.”

If we in the United States fail to act on a discovery of principle, by neglecting to put it into practice—as was the case with mag-lev rail, which was developed at Brookhaven Lab in New York, but never built in the United States—is that the fault of the Chinese?

It is true that China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty in the last 30 years, while deaths from poverty-related diseases have increased dramatically over the same time period in the United States. It is also true that China has landed on the far side of the Moon and sprouted seeds there. China has doubled its budget for fusion research, while in the United States, fusion research has been starved nearly to death for lack of funding.

These developments are not an attack by China on the United States, nor is it China which has prevented us from making desperately needed repairs to basic infrastructure, or investing needed funds in the space program, medical research or other scientific endeavors. This has been the policy of the elected government of the United States for the past 50 years, which is only now beginning to change with the announcement of the Artemis Project for a manned landing on the Moon in 2024.

The stifling of cooperation and dialogue among scientists trying to solve the same problems, especially from varying perspectives, is akin to putting an iron rod through the spokes of the wheels of human progress.

As demonstrated by Socrates, Plato, and Confucius centuries ago, the pathway to true knowledge is through dialogue and free exchange of ideas. Obviously, there will be specific areas of military application that may need to be classified for a period of time. But exploring our solar system and galaxy and curing devastating diseases, such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, are endeavors for the benefit of humankind as a whole. If Americans are not allowed to collaborate with the Chinese in these scientific endeavors, the Chinese will go elsewhere, as they are already doing with their space program.

Open and collaborative international cooperation promotes the self-interest, properly defined, of all people and nations.


We, the undersigned, demand the immediate cessation of the vilification and persecution of Chinese and Chinese-American researchers and students.

 

Who's signing

Del Pellicano
Gian Barrington
Karen Lemire
steve kaylor
Jim Stinziani
Dan Brookshear
Darius Jin
Bruce Zell
Massimo Lodi Rizzini
Bob Van Hee
Karen Nafziger
Rebecca Smith
Matthew Smith
Adrienne Fong
Daniel Quintanilla
Earl Staelin
Thore Vestby
Newton He
Jacob Lyons
diana gray
Wayne Baker
mark turner
Robert Wesser
S K Smith
Diane Sare
Eric Zuesse
Hussein Askary
81 signatures

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  • Del Pellicano
    signed 2019-09-21 18:00:10 -0400
  • Gian Barrington
    signed via 2019-09-21 17:53:19 -0400
  • Karen Lemire
    signed 2019-09-21 16:10:32 -0400
  • steve kaylor
    signed 2019-09-21 15:57:13 -0400
    Over the last 3 decades, China has brought 800 million of their own people out of poverty – by inventing patents & building the great infrastructure projects shown on the Smithsonian TV Channel. Then in 2013, they launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ( AIIB ) to fund similar projects in foreign nations. Along with the Belt + Road Initiative, they are building MagLev High Speed Rail + nuclear power plants in Indonesia. In Africa, China & Italy will be diverting 10% of the water from the upper reaches of the Congo River – all the way to Lake Chad. This Trans-Aqua Project will provide irrigation for 14 nations, along with water for city building etc. / With this Initiative already functioning, the next step would be to make it global, so that all nations can develop their physical economies. To make this happen, President Trump must ask the leaders of China, Russia, India [ a G-10 ], Japan and Italy to begin construction of a New Bretton Woods credit architecture. This would subsume a global Glass-Steagall Act, which would freeze all parasitic swindles – such as the $1.5 thousand trillion of future betting Derivatives. Then with more credit available – U.S. companies could, like China’s, build great infrastructure projects here + abroad. A New System would also improve cooperative science drivers – such as would invent fusion power + industrialize the moon. So with credit generating banks, science drivers and the modernization of all economies – the future will become an Economic & Cultural Renaissance!
  • Jim Stinziani
    signed via 2019-09-21 15:38:18 -0400
  • Dan Brookshear
    signed via 2019-09-21 15:19:56 -0400
  • Darius Jin
    signed 2019-09-21 15:07:51 -0400
  • Bruce Zell
    signed 2019-09-21 13:07:14 -0400
    Bruce Zell
  • Massimo Lodi Rizzini
    signed via 2019-09-21 13:04:01 -0400
  • Bob Van Hee
    signed via 2019-09-21 12:16:04 -0400
    We need progress, not regression
  • Karen Nafziger
    signed 2019-09-21 12:11:58 -0400
  • Rebecca Smith
    signed 2019-09-21 12:05:13 -0400
    This is terrible and confusing what with how ‘globalization’ is being pushed on us. No wonder America is falling behind other countries with regard to innovation and scientific achievement.
  • Matthew Smith
    signed via 2019-09-21 11:47:12 -0400
  • Adrienne Fong
    signed via 2019-09-21 11:17:41 -0400
  • Daniel Quintanilla
    @DanielplsLauren tweeted link to this page. 2019-09-21 11:04:36 -0400
    I just signed this petition to stop the anti-science witch hunt against Chinese scholars. Read, sign, and circulate. Let's make America smart again! https://action.larouchepac.com/petition_defend_chinese_students?recruiter_id=174997
  • Daniel Quintanilla
    signed 2019-09-21 11:04:03 -0400
  • Earl Staelin
    signed via 2019-09-21 11:02:17 -0400
    China is beating us because 80% of their banks are publicly owned, while less than 1% of our are publicly owned. As a result they invest in things people need and in the future, whereas Wall Street pumps money into real estate and other asset bubbles, credit default swaps, and buys back their own stock—all useless endeavors at best, and triggers for economic collapse at worst.
  • Thore Vestby
    signed via 2019-09-21 11:02:10 -0400
    Thore Vestby
  • Newton He
    signed via 2019-09-21 10:23:59 -0400
  • Jacob Lyons
    signed 2019-09-21 10:20:48 -0400
  • diana gray
    signed via 2019-09-21 10:17:04 -0400
  • Wayne Baker
    signed via 2019-09-21 10:10:59 -0400
  • mark turner
    signed via 2019-09-21 08:43:27 -0400
  • Robert Wesser
    signed 2019-09-21 08:36:26 -0400
    Robert M Wesser
  • S K Smith
    signed 2019-09-21 08:33:10 -0400
  • Diane Sare
    @DianeSare tweeted link to this page. 2019-09-21 07:33:34 -0400
    Please join me in signing this pet. to stop the anti-science witch hunt against Chinese scholars. Read, sign, and circulate. Let's make America smart again! https://action.larouchepac.com/petition_defend_chinese_students?recruiter_id=263714
  • Diane Sare
    signed 2019-09-21 07:31:51 -0400
  • Eric Zuesse
    signed via 2019-09-21 06:58:14 -0400
  • Hussein Askary
    @HusseinAskary tweeted link to this page. 2019-09-21 06:13:37 -0400
    I just signed this petition to stop the anti-science witch hunt against Chinese scholars. Read, sign, and circulate. Let's make America smart again! https://action.larouchepac.com/petition_defend_chinese_students?recruiter_id=95783
  • Hussein Askary
    signed 2019-09-21 06:12:35 -0400

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