Determined to end covert Chinese Communist Party operatives spying in U.S. institutions, a Trump Administration investigation resulted in the purge of 54 scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the organization testing potential coronavirus vaccines.
The probe has uncovered that upwards of 399 scientists likely hid financial ties to foreign governments, namely China. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has heightened concerns about 189 scientists embedded in 87 organizations that have been linked to receiving money from China.
NIH Director Francis Collins called the findings that point to a concerted effort on the part of China to steal information about the vaccine and other research “sobering.” More than 60 percent of researchers probed had troubling foreign financial links, primarily to China.
According to a report from Science Magazine, the investigation “has roiled the U.S. biomedical community, and resulted in criminal charges against some prominent researchers, including Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s department of chemistry and chemical biology.”
Lieber reportedly pocketed $1 million in grant payouts from Chinese government officials, according to prosecutors. It was also discovered he had secretly joined the Wuhan University of Technology in China as a scientist back in 2011. His payoff reportedly tallied included $50,000 monthly, $158,000 for living expenses, and a stunning $1.5 million to establish a laboratory, according to reports. The money doled out to these suspected operatives was largely funneled through China’s Thousand Talents Plan. We actually broke the story about this guy back in February.
Also caught up in the net, a Boston University robotics researcher, Yanqing Ye, concealed the fact she was actively working for the People’s Liberation Army. And a Chinese cancer researcher tried to board a passenger plane to Asia while in possession of 21 biological samples prosecutors believed was part of an espionage scheme.
“To be clear, this is not about the Chinese people as a whole, and it sure as heck isn’t about Chinese Americans as a group,” FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly said. “But it is about the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party.”
Although the investigation into China’s spying remains ongoing, at least 100 scientists refused to disclose receiving grant money and awards, 17 are suspected of patent violations and 16 broke agency regulations. China has been leveraging its nefarious Thousand Talents Program to perpetrate non-traditional spying on U.S. institutions.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone on the record stating the Chinese Communist Party has been inserting moles into the American university system. Many have access to vital research projects at the graduate school level and others linger in the U.S. securing jobs in the military, as well as biological, and medical research facilities.
“We have an obligation – a duty – to make sure that students they are coming here to study aren’t acting on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party,” Secretary Pompeo reportedly said. “This isn’t a red scare, this isn’t racist. Chinese people are a great people. This is like the days of the Soviet Union. This is a communist, tyrannical regime that poses a real risk to the United States.”
President Donald Trump announced reforms that would fully vet graduate students to identify spies posing as academics. In conjunction, Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marsha Blackburn introduced the Secure Campus Act to prevent Chinese operatives from accessing cutting-edge research.
China continues to push propaganda that it was transparent, after hiding facts about the Wuhan Virus that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Now the Communists want to steal American research aimed at defeating the virus and sell it back to suffering Americans.