Other countries taking advantage of American generosity strikes again.
It turns out all those Chinese researchers populating American college campuses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the suspected theft of American know-how.
They’re also paying American professors for their help in stealing research and development.
Most recently, Charles Lieber, the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was charged with aiding the Chinese government and hiding his ties about accepting millions in funding. His involvement with the Chinese government included recruiting skilled individuals to the Thousand Talent Program, which in some cases has resulted in violations of U.S. law, such as espionage, theft of trade secrets, and grant fraud.
Apparently, the Chinese can’t do all of this on their own. Just like in industry, where companies are lured to China to build factories and then kicked out, the Chinese are dependent on using everyone else’s information to get ahead.
These arrests and indictments are occurring on campuses across the country. In 2019, a University of Kansas researcher was charged with collecting federal grant money while secretly working for a Chinese university and a professor at a university in Texas was accused in a trade secret case.
A 2019 Senate investigative report underscored the government’s growing concern about the theft of American intellectual property as well as the spread of Chinese propaganda on college campuses through the Confucius Institute. While the Confucius Institute’s stated purpose is to provide Mandarin Chinese language training, it has received heavy criticism for omitting parts of Chinese history that resulted in wide scale humanitarian strife and carnage, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Institute has also been criticized for its censorship. In 2018, a journalist speaking at Savannah State University’s Confucius Institute had the mention of “Taiwan” in her biography deleted, which she later wrote was due to what the Institute’s co-director perceived as the challenging of Chinese sovereignty. Experts worry this is a channel for the Chinese government to exert its “soft power” propaganda campaigns and encourage censorship.
And some Americans wonder why President Trump has put such a target on dealing with China.
Now we know trade was only part of the story.