Reality Check of U.S. Unilateral Demand for China to Close Consulate-General in Houston

Chen Zhuo
2020-07-29 17:41:52

The US accuses China of stealing its research outcomes. Such accusations are a total disrespect to the hard work of Chinese scientists and malicious slanders against China’s COVID-19 response. They have seriously undermined international cooperation on vaccine research and disrupted the global response against the disease.

◆ The Houston Chronicle, Cable News Network (CNN), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), and British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) all called the reason “to protect American intellectual property”, as cited by the US State Department in its order to close the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston, suspicious.

The real aim of the US decision was to deflect people’s attention from the US administration’s poor handling of COVID-19. Closing the Chinese Consulate-General prior to the election was a measure by Trump to “play tough on China”, hold up his declining approval rating, and turn China into a convenient target to vilify and shore up votes. New moves acting on the absurd logic that “China is ripping off America” pop up almost every single day in the US.

In the midst of a presidential re-election campaign and with the US economy battered by the disease, Trump is convinced that playing the “China card” gives him political advantages. The actions taken by the US side, which are largely driven by internal politics, would only make China-US relations even more strained.

2. False: China is using its talent recruitment programs to steal scientific research and intellectual property from research institutions such as the MD Anderson Cancer Center and from energy and high-tech companies in the Houston area.

True: These are trumped-up charges made by the US under the presumption of guilt against the normal scientific and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. China’s efforts in attracting talent from abroad are no different in essence from customary practices of other countries. These efforts are above-board and beyond reproach.

◆ The cross-border movement of talent in the era of globalization has facilitated technological and economic advances worldwide. Countries are all actively carrying out international exchanges and cooperation on talent. What China is doing in this respect is in essence not different from other countries’ practices.

◆ Closer exchanges and cooperation between China and the US on science and technology serves the interests of both sides. According to the Global AI Talent Tracker released in mid-June by MacroPolo, the in-house think tank of the Paulson Institute, 29% of top-tier AI researchers working in the US received undergraduate degrees in China. Thus, the US global lead on AI has much to do with the talent supply from China.

◆ What the US government is doing conflicts with its self-claimed ideals of openness and freedom as well as the commitments publicly made by its leaders. It runs counter to the global trend of talent exchanges worldwide, and has brought grave negative impact on the normal people-to-people exchange and personnel inter-flow between the two countries.

Related News