The Chinese strategy is to “capture” eminent US organizations and people, including lawmakers, top universities, sizable pension funds, social media, and Hollywood. Towards this end, China has been embedding scientists at Los Alamos for decades.
Based on a recent private intelligence report acquired by NBC News, at least 154 Chinese researchers who worked on government-sponsored research at Los Alamos National Laboratory were hired by China to conduct scientific work over the past 20 years, which include assisting China advance military technology that now threatens American national security.
The scientists, who were paid up to $1 million, were recruited through Chinese government “talent programs” aimed to return them to China.
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The Chinese strategy is to “capture” eminent US organizations and people, including lawmakers, top universities, sizable pension funds, social media, and Hollywood, according to a piece by Peter Schweizer last week. Red Handed, his most recent book, details this entrapment in the worlds of politics, business and diplomatic consulting, Big Tech, academia, and Wall Street. The quote ascribed to Lenin during the Soviet era regarding capitalists “selling us the rope with which to hang them.” is insightful. However, it was the Chinese who knew how to charge a fair price for the rope.
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Much like they are doing with solar panels, the Chinese recognize that controlling the market in a sector where reach equals access is important to their long-term dominance goals. Their strategy includes stealing technologies that they cannot build and utilizing all means available to aid in that theft. As a result, whatever access to knowledge they may obtain is more valuable to them than the product used to obtain it.
Understanding such tendencies is critical to understanding why the Chinese are doing this to their own people. As Gordon Chang outlines in his latest post for the Gatestone Institute, the Chinese Communist Party maintains strict grip over Chinese individuals living abroad through a variety of blackmail tactics. The numerous examples of intimidation of Chinese students and academics in the United States who speak out against China’s human rights violations or in support of democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwanese independence all indicate this.
Universities have endured this for years in exchange for foreign funding. The price of this indulgence is only just now being brought to their attention. For instance, a federal jury found the former head of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department at Harvard University guilty of lying to federal officials about his participation in the Thousand Talents Program of the People’s Republic of China and the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in Wuhan, China, as well as for failing to disclose the earnings he obtained from WUT.
The report’s principal author and Strider co-founder Greg Levesque argues that China’s talent transfer “poses a direct threat to U.S. national security,” and that “China is playing a game that we are not prepared for, and we need to really begin to mobilize.”
According to current and former US intelligence officials speaking to NBC, the Strider study demonstrates how the Chinese government has been obtaining knowledge of US technologies to bolster its military, posing a “significant threat to national security.”
In 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that “Through talent recruitment programs like the Thousand Talents, China pays scientists at American universities to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China — including valuable, federally funded research,” adding “To put it bluntly, this means American taxpayers are effectively footing the bill for China’s own technological development.”
The report’s remainder can be read here.