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Thomas Gallatin / December 23, 2021

Trump’s China Initiative Nets First Fish

A Harvard professor is found guilty on all charges of working with China.

One of the first individuals arrested following the Trump Justice Department’s creation of the China Initiative was found guilty on all charges. Harvard University Professor Dr. Charles Lieber was convicted by a jury following a short deliberation — he lied about his contacts with China, failed to report a foreign bank account, and filed a false tax return. Federal prosecutors claimed that Lieber represents just “a small sample of China’s ongoing campaign to siphon off American technology and know-how for Chinese gain.

Lieber, an expert in nanotechnology, was a member of a Harvard research group that had received $15 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Pentagon over a period of several years. Also during that time, Lieber was apparently moonlighting for the Wuhan University of Technology, via the ChiComs’ Thousand Talents Plan, a program Beijing used to target American academics in order to steal intellectual property and trade secrets.

National Review reports, "Video recordings of meetings with investigators showed Lieber explaining that he was paid in cash in China and held a bank account with over $200,000, although he did not end up using the money because he ‘didn’t believe it was the right thing.’” Prosecutors provided evidence that Lieber signed a Thousand Talents agreement with the Wuhan University of Technology, and that he received up to $50,000 a month in salary.

Last year, FBI Director Chris Wray warned, “There’s no country that presents a broader, more comprehensive threat to America’s innovation, to our economic security, and to our democratic ideas than China does.”

Much credit goes to Trump’s DOJ for creating the China Initiative to counter, investigate, and weed out Beijing’s long-running espionage efforts to steal American-developed technology. Predictably, many on the Left, especially academics, have objected to the China Initiative. Some 177 faculty from Standard University signed and sent a letter to Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on him to “develop an alternative response to the challenges posed by our relations with the People’s Republic of China, one that avoids racial profiling and discouraging beneficial and important collaborations and influx of talented personnel.”

The racial profiling concern is rich and nothing but a smoke screen — the first individual prosecuted under the China Initiative is a white man. But we digress. It would appear that the real motive behind some academics protesting the China Initiative has more to do with Chinese money than principle or even wokeness.

One example of this dynamic comes from Princeton University. Faculty members have also expressed opposition to the China Initiative, likely due to the fact that the Ivy League school has some $4.6 million in funding from Beijing. The Chinese communists funnel the funds through their own universities in an effort to disguise its source. In this case, Peking University sent money to Princeton for developing drug research and computer science labs.

As The Washington Free Beacon reports, “While Princeton faculty fume, the school’s donations from China are the sort of activity that the China Initiative is designed to monitor, according to one national security expert.”

The U.S. is in the midst of what’s becoming a cold war with China. The sooner our country admits it, the sooner we can more effectively counter all the misinformation, deception, and nefarious influence being dumped upon us.

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