Boston, Massachusetts 2021-12-22 06:31:50 –
Beijing (AP) — China defended its international science exchange program on Wednesday after being convicted of a Harvard University professor charged with concealing relations with a recruitment program run by China.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China manages such exchanges with the same policies as the United States and other countries.
U.S. agencies and officials should not “blame” such programs, but “instead, do something that encourages scientific and human interaction and cooperation between China and the United States.” He said.
Charles Lieber, 62, a former chairman of the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, pleaded not guilty to filing false tax returns, false statements, and non-compliance with reports on foreign bank accounts in China. ..
Mark Mucagey, Lieber’s defense lawyer, claimed that the prosecutor had no evidence of prosecution and that the investigator had not recorded an interview with Lieber prior to Lieber’s arrest.
Prosecutors alleged that Lieber, who was arrested in January, deliberately hid his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents Program in order to protect his career and reputation. The Chinese program is designed to recruit people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property who can tell the secret to China.
Mr Lieber denied being involved in inquiries from US authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, which had provided millions of dollars in research funding, the prosecutor said.
According to prosecutors, Mr. Lieber also concealed income from Chinese programs, including $ 50,000 a month from Wuhan University of Technology, up to $ 158,000 in living expenses, and more than $ 1.5 million in grants.
In return, Lieber agreed to publish an article, hold an international conference and apply for a patent on behalf of a Chinese university, they said.
This case is one of the hottest from the US Department of Justice’s “China Initiative.”
Efforts launched in 2018 to curb economic espionage from China have been criticized for harming academic research and equating to racial profiling of Chinese researchers.
Hundreds of faculty members from Stanford University, Yale University, Berkeley University, Princeton University, Temple University, and other prominent universities have signed a letter calling on US Justice Secretary Merrick Garland to end the initiative.
Scholars say this effort has jeopardized the country’s competitiveness in research and technology and has had a chilling effect on the recruitment of foreign scholars. The letter also complains that the survey is disproportionately targeting researchers from China.
Lieber has taken paid leave from Harvard University since he was arrested in January 2020.
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