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Commentary: Yet another case of groundless spying charges by Washington

by Xinhua Writer Wang Fan

NEW YORK, May 21 (Xinhua) -- For the past few years, Washington has been living in an odd sense of insecurity -- particularly from conjectured Chinese hackers.

In this climate, U.S. prosecutors have zeroed in on individuals often with a China connection before filing unwarranted, unfounded charges against them amid dubious investigative procedures.

On Tuesday, another six Chinese nationals fell victim to Washington's growing paranoia. The Justice Department accused the six in what it alleged was a decade-long scheme to steal "sensitive" trade secrets from U.S. tech companies on behalf of the Chinese government.

Data revealingly showed that more than half of the economic espionage indictments brought up by the Justice Department since 2013 have had a China connection.

The U.S. government should learn from its past mistakes and drop the practice of bringing unwarranted charges against innocent people without solid evidence.

Such behavior would not only dent China-U.S. relations, but also inflicts unmeasurable damage on those people's lives.

History is dotted with such tales. In 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused Sherry Chen, a hydrologist born in China and a naturalized American citizen, of spying for China, but later dropped all charges without explanation.

However, Chen is still haunted by the incident, including suspension from work and mental torture.

Wen Ho Lee, a Chinese-American scientist, was charged with betraying his country. But in the end, he was found guilty only for misusing his computer.

Fifteen years ago, when a U.S. prosecutor apologized to Lee after dropping 58 of the 59 charges against him, the judge said the government had "embarrassed this entire nation."

The United States, priding itself on respecting individual liberty and dignity, should avoid such embarrassing moments in the future.

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