CGTN: U.S. drops charges against 5 Chinese researchers, but question not answered

My latest editorial for CGTN reminds us that there remains a troubling issue behind the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to drop visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers who had been working in the U.S.

A few days ago, the U.S. government announced it was dropping a series of charges against five Chinese scholars who were working in the U.S. All of them had been accused of visa fraud after the government claimed they had lied about their associations with the Chinese military. 

The U.S. government used the right kind of spin to explain the decision: Visa fraud carries only a one-year penalty under current U.S. law so the scrutiny these five researchers had faced over the past 12 months was a sufficient penalty. Therefore, pursuing the cases at this point would be the equivalent of subjecting them to unfair prosecution. According to the Washington Post, at least one of the Chinese researchers has already flown home. It seems logical that the other four will soon do the same. 

Case closed. End of story, right? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. 

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