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China Has Reportedly Launched an Academic Espionage Program

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Chinese flagby Jon Dougherty, The National Sentinel

Top military, national security, and intelligence officials have repeatedly warned for years that America’s biggest challenger in the near- and long-term is China, so it should be no surprise that Beijing is targeting American academia for access to sensitive programs.

The Washington Times reports that, in fact, China has launched an ambitious, wide-ranging program to flood American colleges and universities with students in as part of an “academic espionage” campaign:

“Academic leaders, lawmakers, and military and intelligence officials say Washington needs to take a harder look at the number of Chinese who come to the U.S. to study engineering, aeronautics, astronautics, quantum mechanics and other fields that have direct connections to national security. The massive influx of Chinese students in recent years, they say, has led directly to Beijing’s advantage in the development of hypersonics and other cutting-edge technology — though U.S. officials say privately that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to track individual cases of students gaining specific insights in a given area and then taking that knowledge back home.

The issue of China’s “academic espionage” raises delicate questions about discrimination and academic freedom, and the education and military sectors have struggled to strike the right balance between protecting classified research and attracting the diverse, international student base prized by top universities.”

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