Saturday, February 22, 2020

You KNOW There's a Han "Epstein" Up In this "Thousand Talents" Program...,


SCMP |  Lieber’s arrest dovetails with Washington’s aggressive “China Initiative”, which began in 2018. Earlier this month, the Trump administration launched a “whole of society” counter-intelligence strategy to further guard against Beijing “stealing our technology and intellectual property in an effort to erode United States economic and military superiority”, the administration said.

Chinese intellectual property theft costs the United States up to US$600 billion annually, according to US trade representative figures. FBI officials characterise academia as a weak link in their efforts to stem the loss.

“The Chinese government doesn’t play by the same rules of academic fairness and freedom,”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a speech on February 7. “They’re doing all they can to exploit the openness of our system.”
 
Academics and legal experts acknowledge the growing threat from China and admit they need more safeguards to avoid becoming a pawn in Beijing’s hands.

But turning universities into fortresses and jealously guarding basic research is counterproductive, threatening to undermine the economic leadership and innovation Washington seeks, they argue.

Academic watchdogs say they have long warned researchers that standards were tightening – foreign talent programmes were, until recently, viewed as prestigious – as Washington’s distrust of Beijing increased. But their warnings were often brushed off, they add.

“The Lieber case has been the biggest help we could possibly get,” said Mary Sue Coleman, the American Association of Universities’ president. “Before the view was, if you’re not a Chinese national, not a naturalised American citizen, it didn’t affect you.”............

FBI agents are investigating an estimated 1,000 China-related cases from its 56 field offices, Wray said, while US attorneys in five cities oversee their prosecutions. Law enforcement authorities have arrested 19 people in such cases since October, compared with 24 the previous year.

Lelling denied any administration bias in choosing which China-related cases to investigate and prosecute. Investigating Lieber’s many Chinese students without specific cause, for example, would be problematic, he said.

“This isn’t racial profiling,” the US attorney said. “You have a rival nation state made up almost 100 per cent of Han Chinese. Unfortunately there’s going to be tremendous overlap. We’re looking for the conduct, then the person.”