On July 10, Bob Beckel made the following remarks as co-host of the Fox News Channel program, The Five: “The Chinese are the single biggest threat to the national security of the U.S. They have been, they will be and they can wait, they’re very patient. Do you know what we just did? As usual, we bring them over here and we teach a bunch of Chinamen – er, Chinese people – how to do computers and then they go back to China and hack into us.”
The Committee of 100 denounces Mr. Beckel’s statement, as his use of the racial slur “Chinamen” disparages all people of Chinese descent, including Chinese Americans. More importantly, the Committee cautions the news media against attributing cybersecurity concerns to the presence of Chinese students in the U.S. Mr. Beckel’s suggestion that Chinese students attend U.S. universities to learn to engage in cyberespionage discounts Chinese students’ interest in pursuing America’s unparalleled educational opportunities and their considerable contributions to American society.
Advances in science and technology in the U.S. have come in no small part from Chinese-born and Chinese American scientists and engineers, many of whom studied at American universities and some of whom have won Nobel Prizes for their achievements. Today, Chinese immigrants continue to play a crucial role in driving entrepreneurship and elevating Silicon Valley as a global magnet for technological innovation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian Americans and non-citizen Asians made up 50.1% of all tech workers in the Bay Area in 2010. More broadly, 25% of American start-ups and 44% of start-ups in Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants, producing substantial capital and creating thousands of U.S. jobs.
Tensions that arise between the United States and Chinese governments should not negatively affect bilateral relations on the people-to-people level. The United States is a leader in science and technology precisely due to the inclusion and participation of people the world over, including people of Chinese descent. Bob Beckel’s misguided remarks only serve to alienate these people and foster racism, thereby damaging America’s prospects for recruiting and educating future leaders in science and technology, and undermining the uniquely American principles that, historically and presently, solidify the U.S. as a world leader.
The Committee of 100 is an international non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 20 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org.
Contact: Ping An, Director of Public Relations
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