Chinese American falsely accused of economic espionage criticizes unfounded racial prejudice

Sherry Chen criticized the US Department of Commerce for having prejudice against Asian Americans like her.

A Chinese American, who had worked for a US government agency and had been falsely accused of economic espionage for foreign interests, on Friday lashed out at the US government's unfounded prejudice against naturalized Asian people like her.

Sherry Chen, a US citizen from China, made her first public appearance at a press conference in Santa Clara, about 62 km south of downtown San Francisco, on the eve of a major annual conference of the Committee of 100 (C100), a non-profit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans, after she won a lengthy legal battle against the US government.

Chen criticized the US Department of Commerce for having prejudice against Asian Americans like her.

She had been working for the US National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, where she forecast flood threats along the Ohio River, before she was wrongly charged with "economic espionage" for a foreign country in 2014.

Chen, 59, finally won her legal battle after prosecutors dropped all charges against her in 2015.

Nevertheless, she lost her job at the NWS, but she continued to fight for her lawful rights through the Merit Systems Protection Board, an administrative system meant to protect hard-working public employees such as her.

Last month, the MSPB ruled that Chen be returned to her work at the NWS on behalf of the public and be given back pay, which was viewed as a resounding victory for her.

"The FBI took out all my records at NWS over the past 20 years, but found nothing that needs 'improvement'," Chen told Xinhua on Friday.

"If it is not surprising to find a person to be praised for doing a good job for some days or even months, it's by no means easy to find one like me that has been commended for her on-job performance over two decades running," she said.

Chen has been supported by C100 through its Legal Defense and Education Fund during her campaign for fairness.

She will attend the 2018 C100 annual conference as an invited VIP guest on Saturday, when a few prominent leaders and experts will give keynote speeches on political, trade, economic, and technology issues, including US-China relations and Chinese-American advancement.

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