As drug companies downsize and research grants in big universities dry up, Chinese scientists in the United States are taking a more aggressive stance toward their own professional and economic development.

Chris Pak
As though taking the cue from President Bill Clinton and Premier Jiang Zemin, whose open TV debate a few months ago shocked and surprised many Chinese and Americans, Asian scientists in the United States are going after a base of political power. A few are adopting roles ranging from international diplomat to investment liaison to entrepreneur, forming close alliances with receptive members of Congress who want to broaden scientific and business ties with East Asia. Still others are carving out coalitions, international scientific networks, and new spheres of biotech/infotech influence, something like setting up miniature Silicon Valleys throughout the country.

The avowed goal is to help fellow Asian scientists in the United States succeed as scientists and...

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