• By The Financial District

China Targets Israeli Scientists, Tel Aviv Paper Claims

The recent conviction of Harvard Prof. Charles Lieber, a noted chemist, for not disclosing his role in the Thousand Talents program of China and his earning a $50,000 monthly salary, $158,000 in yearly living expenses, and a $1.5 million deal to establish a laboratory in Wuhan, has reignited interest in how Beijing buys professors for non-academic purposes, Assaf Orion and Dana Shem-Ur wrote for Haaretz late on Jan. 12, 2022.

Photo Insert: Harvard Professor Charles Lieber earned a $50,000 monthly salary, $158,000 in yearly living expenses, and a $1.5 million deal to establish a laboratory in Wuhan.

Lieber, who is believed to be set to win a Nobel Prize, was convicted by a jury in Boston for tax offenses and making false statements. He did not disclose his contracts with China’s Thousand Talents Program and the Wuhan University of Technology.

Prosecutors had said his Harvard laboratory had received more than $15 million in research grants from the US Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health between 2008-2019 – funding that requires the reporting of any activities connected to a foreign government or agency that may involve a conflict of interest.

Thousand Talents is perhaps the most famous of the 600 programs China operates around the world aimed at recruiting international experts in scientific research, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

According to Chinese government data, 60,000 foreign experts were recruited this way in 2008-16. The projects include collaborations with labs and research institutes, the operation of joint training programs for Chinese and foreign researchers, and the organization of international conferences on technology and innovation.

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