Fifty-four scientists have resigned or have been fired following a National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigation into failure to disclose foreign ties. Of the 189 investigated, 93% of the ties lead to China, according to an Epoch Times report.
Some 77 grantees have been removed from the NIH system as a result of the probe. At the time of the investigation, $164 million dollars in grants were at stake, according to the report.
Universities across the nation were warned in 2018 that NIH’s inquiries are part of a larger countermeasure against Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) infiltration of American academia.
The NIH inquiry has directly resulted in prosecutions by the DOJ.
A Harvard University professor and two Chinese nationals were indicted in late January in separate cases for allegedly lying about their involvement with the Chinese government.
Harvard professor, Charles Lieber, was federally indicted for allegedly lying about his ties to Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Chinese while his research groups received $15M of taxpayer funding through the NIH and the Department of Defense (DoD), according to US Attorney Andrew Lelling.
The two Chinese nationals worked as scientific and cancer researchers and were accused of intellectual property theft on behalf of the Chinese government.
Yanqing Ye, who worked as a scientific researcher at Boston University, admitted that she was a lieutenant with the People’s Liberation Army.
Zaosong Zheng, a cancer researcher who had been sponsored by Harvard University, allegedly tried to smuggle vials of biological material to China.
The CCP’s Thousand Talents Program recruits foreign researchers and has been scrutinized by the U.S. government as a cover for the theft of U.S. intellectual property, which is a primary objective in CCP’s agenda.
China is also being criticized because because of Article 7 of the Chinese National Intelligence Law, decreed in 2017, which requires that the nearly 400,000 Chinese students today in American universities must also “support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work according to law.”
Big tech companies, including Google and Twitter, are also coming under pressure for sharing advanced Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology with Chinese universities that are working for their military.
After the NIH flagged an Emory University professor’s failure to disclose foreign work on grant applications, the DOJ indicted Xiao-Jiang Li, 63, of Atlanta.
In May, Li was sentenced for tax fraud, not for failing to disclose or theft of intellectual property. He was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay $35,000 to the IRS for the income from China he concealed on his tax returns.
Similar cases involving individuals and universities have already cut deals and made restitution to avoid the spotlight of further prosecution.