A famous Chinese university refuted U.S. 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 U.S. over economic espionage charges.
Zhang was arrested on May 16 at the International Airport of Los Angeles as he entered the U.S., with invitation to attend an international microwave conference.
U.S. 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 U.S., according to reports.
In a statement issued by its publicity department, the university expressed indignation over and firmly denied U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.