It’s one of the biggest underreported stories of our time. While our nation is distracted with a Senate impeachment trial, our main geo-political rival is busy not just harvesting organs on its own shores but harvesting American technology and national secrets on ours. The latest on this front concerns charges brought Tuesday against an esteemed Harvard professor, and two Chinese nationals who’d been researchers at American institutions, for lying about alleged links to the Beijing government.
As Reuters reports:
The charges are part of an aggressive effort by U.S. authorities to block what they say are Chinese attempts to steal American scientific and technological advances.
“This is a very carefully directed effort by the Chinese government to fill what it views as its own strategic gaps,” Andrew Lelling, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, told a news conference.
Prosecutors charged Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, with lying about participating in China’s Thousand Talents Plan, which aims to attract research specialists working overseas.
Two Chinese researchers were charged with being agents of a foreign government. They were Yanqing Ye, a Boston University robotics researcher who prosecutors said lied about being in the Chinese army, and Zaosong Zheng, a cancer researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who was arrested last month allegedly trying to smuggle research samples out of the country.
Prosecutors said Ye is a lieutenant in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which she did not disclose when she obtained a visa to enter the United States. She is accused of passing information on research conducted at Boston University to China’s government.
As for Lieber, he apparently was feeding, rapaciously, at both Chinese and American troughs. “According to an affidavit by an FBI agent in the case, Lieber was a ‘strategic scientist’ at Wuhan University of Technology between 2012 and 2017, where he was paid $50,000 a month — and $150,000 a year for living expenses,” Universal Hub informs. That’s some high livin’.
“He was charged with ‘making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement,’ by failing to disclose the Chinese payments when applying for and winning a total of $15 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health,” the site continues.
The U.S. Attorney’s office states that Lieber also failed to inform Harvard about the payments, which the university discovered only in 2015. It would be interesting to learn what the Chinese government received that it thought was worth 50 grand a month.
Unfortunately, Yanqing Ye, 29, will escape justice. She was not arrested Tuesday “because Customs and Border Protection agents let her fly back to China last April, even after questioning her at Logan Airport,” Universal Hub also reports. She “was indicted on one count each of visa fraud, making false statements, acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy for her time in Boston, which started in 2017.”
“Ye is … a member of the Chinese Communist Party who was busy spying when not doing classwork in the Physics, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering Department at Boston University, the US Attorney’s office alleges,” Universal Hub further relates.
“According to the indictment against her, she was particularly interested in issues related to deciphering encoded information and rocketry.”
Ye is also accused of:
• Using her BU login credentials to access US military base websites that had been configured to block Chinese IP addresses;
• Giving those credentials to a superior in China so he could explore such websites remotely; and
• Giving a superior instructions on finding “publicly accessible CV and research information about a computer-security professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio,” writes Universal Hub.
As for cancer researcher Zaosong Zheng, he isn’t accused of spying but of attempting to spirit out of the United States 21 biological-sample vials, which were wrapped in a sock in his checked baggage. He was allegedly planning to return to China and continue his research there.
Unfortunately, the above are just a few cells in a malevolent, Machiavellian, Middle Kingdom monster, the threat of which is little known to Americans because the mainstream media are more interested in distorting than reporting.
First consider that a Beijing law dictates that every Chinese company and all China’s 1.4 billion citizens are required to, at the government’s behest, engage in spying. This raises a question: If every Chinese citizen is a potential government agent, should we tolerate Chinese nationals’ long-term presence on our soil at all?
• China has infiltrated hundreds of American universities, colleges, and classrooms via entities called “Confucius Institutes.” Run by Confucius Institute Headquarters, known as Hanban — essentially an arm of the Chinese Ministry of Education — these entities buy their place in academia and then use their leverage to stifle debate and influence curricula. This situation is much as if the Cold War United States had invited Soviet agents to openly teach in American schools.
• Beijing’s powerful State Administration of Radio, Film and Television is also advancing Chinese culture in America — by censoring our movies — using the economic carrot and cudgel that is its 1.4-billion-strong market to compel compliance.
• In the South China Sea, Beijing is building artificial islands as it builds an empire and tries to claim international waters as its own.
• There was a report that a Beijing general, Chi Haotian, proposed in a 2005 speech that genome-specific biological weapons could possibly be used to eradicate non-Chinese in the United States and make way for Chinese colonization.
China is unique among geopolitical threats. One of the oldest civilizations, it boasts an economy that’s 10 times the size of Russia’s and that is, by one measure, already the world’s largest; it also creates 10 times as many scientists as we do with just four times the population.
More significantly and little understood by most Westerners, the Beijing government believes it oversees a superior culture and race and may be ego-bruised (“losing face” is a serious matter in China) over past Western domination. It thus apparently also believes that its civilization has a right and a reason to dominate the world.
Napoleon Bonaparte once warned, “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”
China is not sleeping anymore. We are.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.