Asian American Civil Rights Group Urges U.S. Attorney to Drop Case Against University of Tennessee Professor Wrongly Prosecuted Under the “China Initiative” After Trial Results in Deadlocked Jury

Trial against former University of Tennessee Engineering Professor Anming Hu resulted in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked and failed to reach a verdict.
For Immediate Release
Contact
Michelle Boykins 202-296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Vivin Qiang 202-780-9327 vqiang@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Knoxville, TN - Today, the trial against former University of Tennessee (UT) Engineering Professor Anming Hu resulted in a mistrial after the jury deadlocked and failed to reach a verdict. “It is clear that a number of jurors recognized the deep flaws in the case against Dr. Hu,” said John C. Yang, Advancing Justice - AAJC’s president and executive director. “After two years of failing to find any evidence of economic espionage, this case was built on fabricated evidence and flimsy charges rooted in racial bias and profiling under the Trump-era ‘China Initiative.’” Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC (Advancing Justice - AAJC) urges the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee to drop the case against Dr. Hu so that he can freely return to his life and finally be reunited with his family. 

Dr. Hu’s case is indicative of the damaging impact of the U.S. Department’s “China Initiative,” which often has initiated investigations of scientists, researchers, and scholars based merely on connections to China, which are often ancestral or professionally legitimate, rather than actual evidence of espionage.  

Yang continued, “The trauma that Dr. Hu, his wife, and children have faced are reflective of the deep scars inflicted on our Asian American and immigrant communities. Many, like Dr. Hu, potentially face decades in prison for administrative mistakes on a university or administrative form stemming from unclear direction from their universities or reversal on collaborations previously encouraged with international institutions. The ‘China Initiative’ unjustly criminalizes these mistakes. There must be an end to the racial profiling and criminalization of our Asian American and immigrant communities and an end to the ‘China Initiative.’”

The “China Initiative” has separated families and criminalized Asian Americans and immigrants, causing immeasurable harm to our communities. The prosecution has destroyed Dr. Hu’s career and left him, his wife, and children traumatized. He is not alone. There are many other Asian Americans and immigrants who are subjected to unjust surveillance, heightened scrutiny, and overzealous prosecutions.

Advancing Justice - AAJC has called for the Biden administration to put a moratorium on the “China Initiative,” conduct oversight on the DOJ initiative to address concerns of racial profiling, and commit to allowing scientists the opportunity to adjust their previous forms and provide any additional disclosures without being prosecuted or facing negative employment consequences.