American professors, Chinese spies

We already knew that countless American professors in the humanities and social sciences encourage their students to despise the US while cultivating in them an admiration for Marxist ideology, the Castro revolution in Cuba, and other totalitarian regimes, past and present. But that, it turns out, is just the tip of the iceberg. For In recent months, as Kyle Houten noted earlier this month at Campus Reform, it has become increasingly clear that a whole lot of faculty members and students at some of America’s top universities have been literally working for the most dangerous of all foreign Communist governments – namely, that of China.

Yi-chi Shih

Last July, for example, the Department of Justice announced the arrest of Yi-Chi Shih, an electrical engineer and professor at UCLA, who had been convicted on 18 federal charges. Yi-Chi, reported Newsweek, was involved in “a plot to illegally obtain microchips from an American company” that supplies parts to the US Air Force and Navy. These microchips, which can be “used in missiles, missile guidance systems, fighter jets, electronic warfare, electronic warfare countermeasures and radar applications,” were sent to a Chinese firm called Chengdu GaStone Technology, of which Yi-Chi had previously served as president. Yi-Chi, who was found “guilty of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, mail fraud, wire fraud, false tax returns, false statements to a government agency and conspiracy to commit cybertheft,” faced “a statutory maximum sentence of 219 years in prison.”

We wonder: did anyone at UCLA know that Yi-Chi had been president of a Chinese technology outfit – one that, as Newsweek noted, is listed by the Commerce Department as a threat to US national security? Did officials at UCLA know of Yi-Chi’s connection to the firm when they hired him? If so, did it cross their minds that his history of loyalty to America’s principal foreign adversary might be problematic?

Bo Mao

Also last year, Bo Mao, who is on the permanent faculty at Xiamen University in China, was arrested for stealing proprietary technology from a Silicon Valley startup while serving as a visiting professor of computer science at the University of Texas at Arlington. Bo turned the technology over to a subsidiary of Huawei.

Charles Lieber

Late January saw the arrest of Charles Lieber, who is nothing less than the chairman of the chemistry and chemical biology department at Harvard University. Lieber, it appeared, had accepted huge sums of money to build and maintain a laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Technology, where he worked as a “Strategic Scientist from 2012 to 2017, and was allegedly involved in China’s “Thousand Talents” program, which “recruits overseas scientists and induces them to sign secret contracts” that “violate U.S. standards of integrity.” He is accused, moreover, of engaging in “economic espionage, theft of trade secrets, and grant fraud,” and of having lied about his nefarious activities on behalf of China to the administration of Harvard, to the National Institutes of Health, and to the Defense Department.

Joseph Bonavolonta

There have been other such cases at the University of Kansas, at UCLA, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and at other institutions of higher education, with researchers being found guilty of stealing research materials, of sending technology to China, of recruiting spies, and of concealing their Chinese ties. “No country poses a greater, more severe or long-term threat to our national security and economic prosperity than China,” FBI agent Joseph Bonavolonta told the Associated Press. “China’s communist government’s goal, simply put, is to replace the U.S. as the world superpower, and they are breaking the law to get there.”

Lee Bollinger

The threat is clear. And yet many universities piously refuse to take it seriously, and take appropriate action, on the ridiculous grounds that it would be racist to do so. “No, I won’t start spying on my foreign-born students” read the headline of an August 2019 Washington Post op-ed on the subject by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger. The irony here, of course, is that the admissions policies of some of these same universities systematically discriminate against Asian-Americans.

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