OCA Extremely Concerned by Terminations of Chinese American Academics


30 May 2019

Contact: Thu Nguyen | Communications Manager

202.223.5500 | tnguyen@ocanational.org

Washington, DC – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is extremely concerned by the recent terminations of two researchers at Emory University following that of three researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer center, all of whom are Chinese American.

The terminated researchers from Emory are a husband-wife duo, Li Xiao-Jiang and Li Shihua, who are U.S. citizens and have been working for Emory University for 23 years. The university had dismissed them both without giving them advanced notice of the termination or the investigation, nor a chance to respond to “unverified allegations.”

The investigations are part of a larger series of audits being conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH) in order to ensure that NIH grantees are properly reporting their foreign ties. This began out of fear that foreign governments were using U.S. research information. About 10,000 grantee organizations were urged to conduct investigations and work with their local FBI to protect their information.

“Seeing leading institutions rush to make judgements without giving the accused researchers a chance to stand up for themselves is discriminatory and unacceptable,” says Ken Lee, OCA National Chief Executive Officer. “While we understand the need for national security through protection of information, the auditing process must be unbiased. The NIH and other institutions, must avoid making assumptions based upon race or ethnicity.”

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national civil rights organization dedicated to improving the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).