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March 2021

CHINA HAS RECRUITED HUNDREDS OF AUSTRALIAN ACADEMICS

By Australian Newsletter

The Chinese Communist Party has recruited more than 300 scientists and scholars at Australian tertiary and government research institutions through its talent recruitment programs, and maybe as many as 600, a new submission to a parliamentary inquiry has revealed. The submission, by China expert Alex Joske, warns that the secretive recruitment programs could be associated with up to $280m in grant fraud and raises concerns that Beijing could obtain backdoor access to sensitive technology and lucrative innovations.

Dozens of researchers have been recruited as part of Beijing’s Thousand Talents Plan, which offers them lucrative salaries and perks but requires that their inventions must be patented in China and obliges them to abide by Chinese law. Some academics targeted by the scheme worked in fields of research with a military application, which FBI director Christopher Wray described as both economic espionage and a national security threat. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry was launched after revelations that the Chinese government was actively recruiting our scientists to take part in a secretive program that requires intellectual property to be patented in China.

Source: Compiled by APN from media reports

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