This report by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs exposes how American taxpayer funded research has contributed to China's global rise over the last 20 years. During that time, China openly recruited U.S.-based researchers, scientists, and experts in the public and private sector to provide China with knowledge and intellectual capital in exchange for monetary gain and other benefits. At the same time, the federal government's grant-making agencies did little to prevent this from happening, nor did the FBI and other federal agencies develop a coordinated response to mitigate the threat. These failures continue to undermine the integrity of the American research enterprise and endanger our national security. American taxpayers contribute over $150 billion each year to scientific research in the United States. Through entities like the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy's National Labs, taxpayers fund innovations that contribute to our national security and profoundly change the way we live. America built this successful research enterprise on certain values: reciprocity, integrity, merit-based competition, and transparency. These values foster a free exchange of ideas, encourage the most rigorous research results to flourish, and ensure that researchers receive the benefit of their intellectual capital. The open nature of research in America is manifest; we encourage our researchers and scientists to "stand on the shoulders of giants." In turn, America attracts the best and brightest. Foreign researchers and scholars travel to the United States just to participate in the advancement of science and technology.
Some countries, however, seek to exploit America's openness to advance their own national interests. The most aggressive of them has been China. China primarily does this through its more than 200 talent recruitment plans—the most prominent of which is the Thousand Talents Plan. Launched in 2008, the Thousand Talents Plan incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development in the United States to transmit the knowledge and research they gain here to China in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives. China unfairly uses the American research and expertise it obtains for its own economic and military gain. In recent years, federal agencies have discovered talent recruitment plan members who downloaded sensitive electronic research files before leaving to return to China, submitted false information when applying for grant funds, and willfully failed to disclose receiving money from the Chinese government on U.S. grant applications.
This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Contents: China's Goal to be the Science and Technology Leader by 2050 * 1. From Brain Drain to Brain Gain * 2. China's Systematic Targeting of Critical Technologies * 3. China's Military-Civilian Fusion Strategy * 4. China's Strategic Plan for Talent Recruitment * B. Congressional Testimony on Chinese Talent Recruitment Plans * C. China Deletes References to the Thousand Talents Plan * D. After Implementation of Talent Recruitment Plans, More Chinese Students, Researchers, and Scientists are Returning to China * IV. EFFORTS TO SECURE U.S. RESEARCH * A. THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION * 1. Fundamental Research * 2. The NSF Grant Process * 3. Foreign Support and Affiliation Disclosure * 4. The NSF is Unprepared to Stop Foreign Talent Recruitment Plan Members From Misappropriating U.S.-Funded Research * 5. Talent Recruitment Plan Members Misappropriated NSF Research