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The Big Story

US spying fears spread to academia as tech rivalry with China sharpens

Scientists warn of racial profiling and threats to academic freedom

ALEX FANG, Nikkei staff writer | China

NEW YORK -- As science and technology emerges as a front line of U.S.-China rivalry, America's war on suspected Chinese espionage is rippling through the once-placid waters of academia.

In May, Emory University fired a husband-and-wife duo of neuroscientists, Li Xiaojiang and Li Shihua, for allegedly failing to disclose grants from Chinese institutions. The investigation into the pair -- both naturalized American citizens -- was prompted by a letter from the National Institutes of Health, warning research institutions of "foreign influence" at NIH-funded research labs. Similar firings also happened at MD Anderson Cancer Center, a prominent cancer hospital in Houston which receives NIH funding.

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