FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2016
CBS News Will Air a Story on 60 Minutes On Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi on May 15, 2016, 7 PM ET/PT
910 17th Street NW 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Media Contact: Dr. Larry H. Shinagawa
T: 954-233-0672 x 527
WASHINGTON, DC — New Asian Leaders (NAL), a non-profit Asian American leadership organization headquartered in Washington, DC, alerts that CBS News will air a story on 60 Minutes about Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi — two Chinese Americans who had been wrongfully accused of espionage by the U.S. Government and who are now trying to get restitution for their deeply affected lives.
Xiafen "Sherry" Chen, 59, was a hydrologist who worked for National Weather Service in Ohio. She was falsely accused of spying and arrested in October 2014. Charged with four felony counts, she was accused of illegally downloading data about national infrastructure regarding dams and waterworks. Five months later (in March 2015), persuaded by her lawyer, Peter R. Zeidenberg, a partner at Arent Fox in Washington, prosecutors dropped all charges against Mrs. Chen without explanation. Even after she was acquitted of all these charges, she was fired by the Department of Commerce from her longstanding position. She is now seeking reinstatement of her job.
In May 2015, the United States Department of Justice accused Temple University Professor Xiaoxing Xi, 58, of sending restricted American technology to China. Specifically, he was accused of sending information about the design of a pocket heater used in superconductor research. He was arrested by over a dozen FBI agents at his home, and faced charges carrying a maximum of 80 years in prison and a $1 million fine. His employer, Temple University, let him go because of these accusations and investigations. In September 2015, however, the DOJ dropped all charges against him after many scientists, including the co-inventor of the pocket heater, provided affidavits that showed that the schematics that Professor Xi shared with Chinese scientists were not restricted technology, and were not about a pocket heater. According to his attorney Peter Zeidenberg, the government did not understand the scientific evidence and failed to consult scientists before arresting him. The information he shared were found to be part of “typical academic collaboration,” and was about a different device, which was co-invented by Professor Xi and is not considered restricted technology.
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, major Asian American and Chinese American organizations, and international and national scientific associations have been outraged at the injustices faced by Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi. For further information and links to previous articles, check NAL's website: http://newasianleaders.org/sherry-chen.
CBS will be airing the story on 60 Minutes on Sunday, May 15, 2016, 7 PM ET/PT.
The story will be posted on its website, after the broadcast. There is a comments section below the story. There will also be Facebook posts about the story beginning Saturday at https://www.facebook.com/60minutes/posts/10154158646649395.
Helping Sherry Chen and Professor Xiaoxing Xi is to help ourselves. Again, we ask you to watch it, and post comments at https://www.facebook.com/60minutes/?fref=ts beginning Saturday May 14.
***If you would like to schedule an interview with Mr. Cliff Zhonggang Li, Executive Director of New Asian Leaders, please call NAL direct at 954-233-0672 x 527 or email us at press@NewAsianLeaders.org. New Asian Leaders (NAL) is committed to encouraging Asian Americans to participate in the political process and to ensure the establishment of future leaders in the Asian American community.