On Thursday, April 4, 2019, the China Center co-hosted the event, “Pitfalls for All STEM Professionals in a New Era of U.S.-China Relations: National Security, Economic Espionage, Racial Bias?” Over 170 people from the fields of science, engineering, law, and others attended the event at the McNamara Alumni Center. The discussion centered around two competing and ever-emerging phenomena in the US justice system: potential threats to national security and economic espionage with the ascendancy of China on the one hand, and on the other, the potential racial profiling of Asians and Asian Pacific Americans resulting in accusations.

Three engaging panelists shared their perspectives. Jay Bratt, the chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, spoke about U.S. efforts to safeguard national security and curb economic espionage.  Brian Sun, the Los Angeles lawyer who represented Dr. Wen Ho Lee, discussed Dr. Lee’s case and offered a historical perspective of racial profiling of Asian Americans in the United States. Peter Zeidenberg, a Washington D.C.-based attorney who represented Professor Xi Xiaoxing and hydrologist Sherry Chen, discussed Dr. Xi’s case and the 60 Minutes segment on the case that increased public awareness on the issue of racial bias in indictments.

A lively Q&A session followed the presentations, which included a discussion of the U.S. government’s response to China’s Thousand Talents Program. Prior to the panel discussion, attendees gathered for a reception and enjoyed refreshments. China Center Director Joan Brzezinski and Associate Vice President Meredith McQuaid welcomed guests and provided introductory remarks at the start of the panel. Acknowledgements and introductions were also provided by Honorable Tony N. Leung, Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota; Honorable Michael J. Davis, Senior District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota; and W. Anders Folk, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Chang Wang, partner of Kingsfield Law, and Benjamin Kwan, managing partner of Haller Kwan, provided introductions to the panel and the topic at hand.

The program was co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota's China Center, the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association's Diversity Committee, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota's Outreach Committee, and Kingsfield Law Office.