Between 2014 and 2019, entities linked to the Chinese military allegedly gave at least $88 million to universities in the United States, according to a new report. Some of those entities were involved in cyber attacks and espionage targeting the United States, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Ian Easton, the senior director for the Project 2049 Institute think tank, told the Free Beacon, “It is imperative that the U.S. government dams up the torrent of CCP-linked money currently flowing into our education system. For U.S. national security, the implications of a continuation of the current arrangement are grave. …The CCP’s armed-wing, the People’s Liberation Army, has access to any and all information collected by Chinese entities at American universities. (Chinese president) Xi Jinping’s military-civil fusion strategy has removed even the thin cloak of plausible deniability Chinese companies and other civilian organizations could hide behind.”
“Duke University operates a joint-campus in China with Wuhan University, a public university that repeatedly carried out cyber attacks on behalf of the Chinese military. Northwestern University and the University of California Irvine have together received more than $4 million in research funding from an entity controlled by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a Chinese defense contractor that used stolen designs of American F-35 fighters to build planes for the Chinese military,” the Free Beacon wrote, adding, “The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign collectively received more than $28 million from Zhejiang University. In 2013, the FBI charged a Chinese researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin for stealing U.S. cancer research to pass onto Zhejiang University.”
Last July, FBI Director Christopher Wray, speaking at the Hudson Institute, stated: “To achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognizes it needs to make leaps in cutting edge technology, but the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimizes, in effect, cheating twice,” adding that China targets “research on everything from military equipment to wind turbines.”
In March 2019, The Wall Street Journal noted, “The Navy and its industry partners are ‘under cyber siege’ by Chinese hackers and others who have stolen national security secrets in recent years, exploiting critical weaknesses that threaten the U.S.’s standing as the world’s top military power, an internal Navy review concluded. The assessment, delivered to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer last week and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, depicts a branch of the armed forces under relentless cyberattack by foreign adversaries and struggling in its response to the scale and sophistication of the problem.”
As far back as 2010, a Congressional advisory group warned that China was increasing its cyber espionage efforts. Information Week reported, “Echoing its 2008 and 2007 reports, which labeled China’s espionage efforts ‘the single greatest risk to the security of American technologies,’ the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) said in its 2009 annual report that ‘there has been a marked increase in cyber intrusions originating in China and targeting U.S. government and defense-related computer systems.’”