Report samples China’s nationwide infiltration of universities

by WorldTribune Staff, May 27, 2020

Communist China’s growing influence on U.S. college and university campuses has raised major alarm bells in recent years.

Charles Lieber leaves federal court in Boston after he and two Chinese nationals were charged with lying about their alleged links to the Chinese government. / Reuters

Now, colleges are being pressured to shut down their Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes which have been accused by U.S. public officials of stealing research and restricting campus speech that is critical of the Chinese government.

Campus Reform in a May 13 report detailed several U.S. university professors and researchers who in the past year have been charged over their connections to China.

Related: Nanotech research tied to Wuhan University involved Harvard professor, PLA officer, February 4, 2020

U.S. law enforcement officials have charged professors and students “with lying about their ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded research and even attempting to smuggle U.S.-funded research to China,” Campus Reform managing editor Jon Street noted.

Those charged include:

• Yi-Chi Shih, University of California-Los Angeles: In the summer of 2019, UCLA adjunct professor Yi-Chi Shih was found guilty of conspiring to steal U.S. missile secrets for China.

• Feng Tao, University of Kansas: The University of Kansas associate professor and researcher was indicted for allegedly lying about his ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded academic research.

• Charles Leiber, Harvard University: The Harvard University chemistry department chair was arrested for his alleged ties to a Wuhan, China laboratory, where he was paid up to $1.5 million to build the lab, plus an additional $50,000 per month.

• Xiojiang Li, Emory University: The Emory University associate professor and medical researcher was charged in late 2019 with allegedly lying about his employment at a Chinese university while simultaneously working at Emory. He pleaded guilty earlier this month.

• Simon Saw-Teong Ang, University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas professor was charged with lying to federal authorities about his ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded academic research.

• Anming Hu, University of Tennessee-Knoxville: The UT-Knoxville associate professor and researcher was charged in February with lying to the federal government about his connections to Chinese universities in order to receive a federal research grant.

• Zaosong Zheng, Harvard University: The Chinese national medical student at Harvard University’s Beth Israel Deaconess Teaching Hospital was arrested in December for allegedly attempting to smuggle vials of cancer research out of the U.S. on a flight to Beijing, China.

• James Lewis, West Virginia University: Former WVU professor James Lewis pleaded guilty to working for a Chinese university without disclosing the information. The former academic had taken paternity leave but then used the time off to board a plane for China, without his child.

A Bloomberg study in February found that more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have accepted money from China.

Harvard has received $93.7 million from China since 2013, according to the study.

The University of Southern California ($67.9 million) and the University of Pennsylvania ($67.6 million) received the second and third highest amounts from China, followed by Stanford University ($58.1 million) and New York University ($44.1 million), the Bloomberg study found.

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