FBI investigators discovered that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ambassador in Washington had secretly helped recruit U.S. scientists to illegally transfer their knowledge to the Party.
The senior official is covered by the “highest degree” of diplomatic immunity granted to such foreign personalities, but the State Department said such immunity “is not intended to serve as a license for persons to flout the law,” according to the June 25 Washington Examiner.
In this case, the FBI’s counterintelligence service pointed to a scientist in Connecticut who was “knowingly and willfully working in the United States on behalf of entities controlled and directed” from abroad by the CCP.
The scientist was one of the speakers at a science summit in Boston, which was also attended by the CCP’s ambassador [whose name does not appear in the released document] and another CCP diplomat in New York to “recruit” researchers of interest to him, according to an affidavit filed in federal court and opened in April.
He also spent 300 days outside the United States between 2017 and 2018, had numerous communications with representatives of the CCP, and is the president of the Chinese Association for Science and Technology.
Although the CCP instructed its recruiters to change the strategies used in the covert hiring of American scientists, the FBI found that one of the universities linked to these events is Yale.
A follow-up of nearly two years revealed that the scientist, whose name was not released because he has not yet been charged, would be linked to the CCP’s Thousand Talent Program, which seeks to bribe scientists and businessmen to illegally obtain intellectual property and trade secrets.
The CCP is ranked by the FBI as the greatest threat to the U.S. economy and its democratic principles, according to Fox News on June 24.
FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed that his agency is investigating more than 2,000 cases related to the CCP.
At least 54 scientists were fired from their jobs for not disclosing their financial links to foreign governments, and some U.S. universities are being investigated for hiding millions in revenue from Beijing.