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5/21: China university rebukes US espionage allegations
Released 13 June 2015  By Xinhua News Agency (China)

China university rebukes US espionage allegations

May 21, 2015
Xinhua News Agency (China)

TIANJIN --A famous Chinese university refuted US spying accusations against its three professors on Thursday, saying their achievements abide by international scientific research rules and academic ethics.

Tianjin University said it is gravely concerned over the arrest of Zhang Hao, a professor at the School of Precision Instrument and Opto-electronics Engineering of the university, in the US over economic espionage charges.

Zhang was arrested on May 16 at the International Airport of Los Angeles as he entered the US, with invitation to attend an international microwave conference.

US prosecutors accused six Chinese nationals, including Zhang and two other teachers from Tianjin University, Pang Wei and Chen Jinping, of stealing wireless technology from the US, according to reports.

In a statement issued by its publicity department, the university expressed indignation over and firmly denied US media reports that implied that the university has gained illegally in the case.

Both Zhang and Pang got a doctor's degree in electronic engineering at the University of Southern California in 2006. After graduation, Zhang was employed by Skyworks while Pang worked in Avago Technologies. The two were employed by Tianjin University in 2009.
The three professors and their team have published 42 theses in international and domestic magazines, with nine patents accredited by the US and seven patents approved by China.

The 120-year-old university said it holds a zero-tolerance attitude toward irregularities in the academic field and enjoys good academic fame both at home and abroad.

The university "strongly condemns any groundless accusations and act to tarnish its fame and reserve the right to safeguard the university's fame with legal means", said the statement.

Tianjin University will closely follow the case and provide necessary humanitarian and legal assistance for Zhang and his family, it said.

The statement said the US act has seriously harmed the normal academic exchange between the two countries.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also expressed concern over the case on Wednesday.

Hong said China would make sure the legitimate rights of its citizens are guaranteed.

A Statement from Tianjin University

June 5, 2015

On May 16, 2015, Professor Zhang Hao from the School of Precision Instrument and Optoelectronics Engineering of Tianjin University was arrested on his way to an international conference in the United States of America. Currently, Professor Zhang is being imprisoned at San Jose Prison for accounts of accusation involving economic espionage. Pang Wei and Chen Jinping, who are faculty members of Tianjin University, were charged together with Professor Zhang and three other people. In the accusation of Zhang Hao and five other Chinese nationals as well as in American media reports, Tianjin University was indicated or mentioned more than once as making improper profits. Tianjin University strongly denounces all groundless accusations that damage the university’s longstanding reputation, and reserves the rights to apply legal means for protection.

Tianjin University is the first university in China with a history of 120 years and an academic reputation of prestige at home and abroad. The university’s motto of “Seeking Truth from Facts” and guideline of “Precise in Learning and Strict in Teaching” have been formed and followed through in its history. The university places great emphasis on academic integrity, and encourages its faculty members and students to explore the unknown so as to advance knowledge to contribute to the society, improve the well-being of humans on the premise of complying with the laws and regulations, and academic standards.

The governance of Tianjin University adheres to international regularity, that talent training and recruitment is given the highest priority. Renowned scholars from home and abroad are welcome to join the university. Extensive and dynamic academic ties are also encouraged at the global level. In the first University Charter announced before the establishment of the university (which was formerly called Peiyang University), a statement can be found that “the first and foremost priorities for a top-university is in its recruitment of faculty members and students.” Upon its commencement, Dr. Charles Daniel Tenney, a graduate from Dartmouth University and Oberlin College, was appointed as the first General Supervisor (or Executive President) of Tianjin University for 11 years. Until this day, this legacy has been passed down that talents are greatly valued, respected, fairly treated and highly regarded.

Zhang Hao, an outstanding young faculty member, has worked at Tianjin University since 2009. Arrested in the United States of America and faced with accounts of accusation, he can only protect his rights and prove his innocence by legal means. However, it is very likely for him to lose the opportunity to access sufficient legal protection that he deserves as he is from a rural home with ordinary background. Tianjin University hereby states that the university will fully support Zhang Hao in his access to legal resources, and at the same time, appeals to scholars with conscience from all over the world and individuals who uphold justice and truth from all walks of life to support Zhang Hao.

We will continue to watch the development of this case closely, and take further actions to defend the honor of Tianjin University and the legitimate rights and interests of our staff members when necessary.
Tianjin University
June 5, 2015

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