The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has put 189 researchers under investigation for failing to disclose their financial ties to foreign powers. Over 90% of the ties in question involve China. The NIH is the top research institute under the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Those found to have breached conditions on disclosing ties to foreign governments are being fired. Although the NIH is funded by American taxpayers, researches fund their work in part through grants. Failure to disclose grants received from foreign governments is justification for termination.
— RosesArentAlwaysRed (@Chugarz) June 17, 2020
Hundreds of taxpayer-funded scientists fired for secret China ties
#China's government has been using American researchers and professors to steal our sensitive scientific data for years.
Thank you @NIH for taking this issue seriously.
— Michael Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) June 15, 2020
The investigation started in 2018. So far, 54 researchers have been fired or have resigned for failing to disclose foreign funding of their work. The NIH employes about 6,000 researchers like Anthony Fauci with a total budget in the billions of dollars.
The investigation into undisclosed foreign funding found that researchers were often guilty of three forms of deception. First, failure to disclose foreign funding such as employment arrangements or grants. Second, failure to disclose financial conflicts of interest or patents. Third, researchers were found guilty of peer review violations.
About 93% of the undisclosed foreign funding came from the Chinese Communist Party. The average sum of foreign financing was $678,000. About 400 researchers were initially under suspicion, with just under 200 ultimately pursued for disciplinary action.
The investigation reveals part of China’s industrial and scientific espionage program aimed at the USA. The FBI is currently investigating the breadth of China’s espionage. Chinese President and Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping declared in 2013 that, “Only by controlling core technology in one’s own hands, can one seize the initiative in competition and development, and absolutely guarantee national economic security, defense security.”
Investigation shows the success of Chinese espionage
Like the FBI, the NIH has identified China’s Thousand Talents Plan as a framework of that country’s espionage efforts in America. China finds ways to use American taxpayer-funded research for its own benefit.
Under the Thousand Talent Plan, researchers sign contracts with Chinese research institutions. The contracts provide incentives for researchers to lie on American grant applications, duplicate research in Chinese labs and transfer expertise to that country. Other aspects of many of these contracts, like NDAs and the inability to get out of a contract without the agreement of the Chinese Communist Party, are also contrary to American ethical standards.
Demographically speaking, over 80% of the researchers who have been fired were Asian males, as this is the demographic targeted by China’s Thousand Talents Plan. Without due scrutiny, universalist liberal ideals of inclusivity are easily manipulated by parties, like the Chinese government, who do not share such ‘universal’ values.