Professor Xiaoxing Xi is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Physics at Temple University. Professor Xi is a naturalized American citizen who has lived and worked in the U.S. for over 25 years.
Professor Xi was born in Beijing, China and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. He earned top marks on his college entrance exam in late 1977.
After receiving his bachelors and PhD degrees at Peking University, Professor Xi and his wife came to the U.S. in 1989 to seek a better life and promising research opportunities. He joined the faculty of the Physics Department at Penn State University in July 1995, and stayed until June 2009, rising through the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor, before moving to Temple University.
He became chair of Temple's physics department in 2014.
On May 21, 2015, the same day the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus was holding a press conference to condemn racial profiling against Sherry Chen, the U.S. government arrested Professor Xi and charged him with 4 counts of wire fraud, carrying a maximum of 80 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The U.S. government claimed that Professor Xi schemed to violate a non-disclosure agreement by sharing U.S. company technology with Chinese entities.
However, Professor Xi did not share this technology with Chinese entities and did not violate the non-disclosure agreement. He committed no crime. These contentions were supported by affidavits from leading scientific experts, as well as one of the inventors of the U.S. company technology himself.
On September 11, 2015, the government dropped all charges against Professor Xi without apology or explanation.
Professor Xi filed a federal lawsuit in May 2017, alleging the lead FBI agent of falsifying the key piece of evidence and ignoring repeated warnings that he was investigating an innocent man. His family joined the civil rights lawsuit against the FBI in July 2017.
On October 31, 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
announced that it is representing the Xi family in their lawsuit (Case 2:17-cv-02132). The ACLU and the law firm Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin LLP filed an amended complaint in federal district court. The complaint challenges the government’s baseless arrest and surveillance methods as well as its discriminatory targeting of Chinese American scientists like Xi.
The lawsuit is pending at the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania.
Current State of Lawsuit
CBS 60 Minutes
2018/08/26 CBS 60 Minutes: U.S. fight against Chinese espionage ensnares innocent Americans
2018/08/26 CBS 60 Minutes Overtime: The Spy Who Wasn't
2016/05/15 CBS 60 Minutes: Collateral Damage
New York Times Editorial
2015/09/15 New York Times: The Rush to Find China’s Moles
Links and References
2019/08/19 Charged Affairs: Espionage and Discrimination in Science: China’s Complicated Role
2019/07/19 Washington Post: Scrutiny of Chinese American scientists raises fears of ethnic profiling
2019/07/15 Inside Higher Ed: Attacking Chinese on Our Campuses Only Hurts America
2019/07/12 Bloomberg: How the U.S. Is Purging Chinese Americans From Cancer Research
2019/07/03 South China Morning Post: Fear mounts that Chinese-American scientists are being targeted amid US national security crackdown
2019/07/02 South China Morning Post: Chinese-American scientists fear US racial profiling (video 4:26)
2019/06/11 Physics World: US energy department cracks down on foreign recruitment programmes
2019/01/25 WHYY: In Science We Trust
2018/02/20 Jeremy Wu: Professor Xiaoxing Xi Responds to Profiling Remarks by Senator Rubio and FBI Director Wray
2018/01/11 Vox: The House voted to allow the NSA to keep spying on Americans
2018/01/03 Google Talks: The United States of America vs. Xiaoxing Xi: Why It Matters
2017/12/13 The Edwardsville Intelligencer: The war on science grows deeper
2017/10/31 ACLU: Second Amended Complaint Case 2:17-cv-02132-RBS
2017/10/31 ACLU: The Chilling Surveillance and Wrongful Arrest of a Chinese-American Physics Professor
2017/07/17 NBC News: Family of Scientist Formerly Accused of Spying Joins Lawsuit Against FBI Agent
2017/07/14 Philadelphia Business Journal: Family of Temple professor joins lawsuit against FBI for false arrest
2017/07/13 Asian Law Caucus: Asian Americans Support Xi Family Lawsuit Over False Spying Charges
2017/05/12 Mintpress News: Physics Professor Sues FBI Agent Over Now Debunked Espionage Charges
2017/05/11 NBC News: Scientist Formerly Accused of Spying Sues Alleging FBI Agent Falsified Evidence
2017/05/10 Philly.com: Temple professor, once accused of spying for China, sues FBI agents
2017/05/10 New York Times: Former Espionage Suspect Sues, Accusing F.B.I. of Falsifying Evidence
2016/03/21 Philly.com: Lawyer: U.S. won’t file new charges against Temple physics prof
2016/01/14 Voice of America: 蒙冤华裔教授郗小星回归工作
2015/09/18 USA Today: To get my father, Xiaxoxing Xi, FBI twisted America’s Ideals: Joyce Xi
2015/09/18 Philly.com: Days after spy charges were dropped, Temple professor talks at D.C. forum
2015/09/11 New York Times: U.S. Drops Charges That Professor Shared Technology With China
2015/09/11 U.S. District Court: Unopposed Dismissal of Indictment Without Prejudice
2015/05/22 Philly.com: Temple professor is Chinese spy: Justice Dept.
2015/05/21 Department of Justice: University Professor Charged In Wire Fraud Scheme