PRESS RELEASE: Committee of 100 Expresses Concern About Unfair Prosecution of Chunzai Wang


Contact: Frank H. Wu, Chairman or 212-371-6565



Committee of 100 Expresses Concern About Unfair Prosecution of Chunzai Wang

(New York, NY, March 2, 2018) — In another example of the harsh treatment of Chinese Americans, United States District Judge Cecilia Altonaga recently criticized the federal government for prosecuting Chunzai Wang. Judge Altonaga, who presided over the case involving Wang, said “[m]y only regret . . . is that I have to adjudicate Mr. Wang.” The judge, whose court is located in Miami, Florida, holds a lifetime appointment from President George W. Bush, confirmed by the United States Senate.

Accepting a plea deal in which Wang, a naturalized citizen of the United States, was sentenced to one night in jail, which he served while being held prior to the case starting, the judge added, “given the nature of Mr. Wang’s contributions to an area that is at the forefront of our daily review of news, climate change, given the nature of the research he conducts and – and the information he supplies and how valuable it is to all of us, certainly he made certain mistakes here, but it’s regrettable that it could not have been taken care of, I think, by some type of pretrial diversion so that he would not be an adjudicated felon.” She added, ” And I wish you and your family the best of luck,” and reminded him that “you are a citizen of this country and should be able to come back and enjoy time with your family.” (These statements were made in an open hearing on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. The transcript, which is a verbatim record, is available here.)

The judge’s sentiments should not be surprising. Wang was charged with supplementing his income in violation of law, because while on annual leave from a federal civil service job, he was a Guest Professor at a Chinese university and was paid a small fee per diem for mentoring students and helping them with their research.

In the American system of checks and balances, the independent judiciary serves to ensure due process, equal protection, and fairness. At a time of prejudice toward Chinese Americans, even those who have served the interests of the United States, officials such as Judge Altonaga are crucial to protect our principles. Like Wen Ho Lee, Sherry Chen, and Professor Xiaoxing Xi, Wang has been subjected to unfair treatment. He has had the benefit of a judge taking unusual measures to explain the situation. His predicament also shows the importance of being aware of all of the rules governing the American workplace, some of which can be technical in nature.

The lawyer for Wang, Peter Zeidenberg, has stated, “Dr. Wang was unfairly targeted and victimized by his own government, a fact recognized by the judge in his case. He is collateral damage in the United States government’s campaign against Chinese-American scientists.”

In a letter to the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Zeidenberg added that the prosecutors had issued a press release with unproven allegations presented as if they were established facts. He commented, “There can be only one reason to issue a false and misleading press release: not satisfied with making Dr. Wang unemployable in the U.S., the government now seeks to vindictively impact his job prospects in China. It should disturb all Americans who believe in the rule of law that the Department of Justice violated its own policies to smear Dr. Wang in order to extract an extra-judicial penalty in a case that the Court believed should never have been brought.” Zeidenberg, who successfully represented Chen and Xi, has defended against many unfair prosecutions being conducted against Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans.

The Committee of 100 reiterates its support for protection of our national security and commitment to civil rights. The United States is harmed, not helped, by turning away and rejecting people who can make it more competitive. These cases are damaging the lives of people who are innocent and people who are being punished even when others who have done worse are not.

The Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. Founded by world renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution for U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage to join by invitation based on their extraordinary achievements. For over 25 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the twin missions of promoting full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China.


联络人:百人会长吴华扬 或 212-371-6565





(美国纽约州纽约市,2018年3月2日) — 在又一起严厉对待美籍华裔的案件中,美国联邦地区法官塞西莉亚·阿尔托那加(Cecilia Altonaga)最近批评了联邦政府起诉已加入美籍的华人科学家王春在一事。作为王春在一案的主审法官,阿尔托那加表示:“(我)唯一后悔的……是我必须对王先生进行宣判。” 阿尔托那加是佛罗里达州迈阿密市所在地区法院的法官,在乔治·W.布什总统任内获得的终身任职已获得美国参议院批准。

法官表示,王春在所接受的认罪协议给予其监禁一天的处罚,而这在案件开始审理前的收押阶段就已服完,而 “鉴于王先生对占据我们日常观念及气候变化领域之前沿的方面所作出的贡献之伟,更鉴于他所做的科研及其科研所提供的信息于人类而言多么有价值,虽然说他确实犯了错误,当然犯下的这种错误很令人遗憾且不可挽回,但我认为这都是完全可以通过庭审前采取其他办法,而可以避免令其成为受审判的罪犯的。”法官还对王春在表示:“我祝你和你的家人好运,”并也提醒说:“你是这个国家的公民,你应该可以回来并享受和家人在一起的时光。”(以上陈述出自2018年2月20日的公开听证。听证的全文记录也在此随附。)



王春在的代理律师彼得·蔡登博格(Peter Zeidenberg)表示:“王博士被自己的政府不公正地当成了靶子并迫害,这是法官在案件中承认的事实。他只是美国政府针对美籍华裔科学家攻势的牺牲品。不幸的是,他不会是最后一个。”

蔡登博格在致美国国会亚太裔党团会议的信函中还表示,检察官发布的一篇新闻稿中,把未经证实的指控当做已获确证的事实一样来陈述。他还评论道:“发布虚假和误导性新闻稿的目的只有一个:政府不满足于仅仅破坏王春在在美国的声誉还恨不得影响他在中国的就业前景。司法部违反自己的政策,对王博士进行诽谤,以获得本案审理法庭所认为根本不该获得起诉的法外处罚,这种做法应该让所有相信美国法治的人感到不安。” 蔡登博格曾作为陈霞芬和郗小星的代理律师获得胜诉,目前已为很多被调查并受到不公正起诉的中国移民和美籍华人进行了辩护。




 Please note this current version corrects a translation error in the original Chinese release.


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