The Global Times published a breaking story in reference to the Science Magazine. At least 54 scientists resigned or were terminated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) due to their undisclosed ties to foreign governments. This investigation was initiated by the NIH in 2018, targeting 189 scientists at 87 institutions. 70% of them were found to have hidden ties to foreign funding, and 54% of them secretly joined foreign talent programs.
Approximately 82% of those scientists are Asians and 93% of them had been receiving funding from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research, was not surprised that majority of those scientists were Asians as the CCP had been recruiting Asian scientists.
According to the Global Times, U.S.-based Chinese scientists expressed their concerns to the Nature. They considered it was targeting Chinese on purpose as the majority of those 54 scientists had disclosed their ties to the CCP. Some institutions were also concerned about the negative impacts this investigation had on the academic exchange programs between China and the United States.
A search for the comments of the above researchers returned negative from various database for newspaper including ProQuest, Newspaper Source and Newsweek. It was likely a fabrication from the Global Times. These claims were not included in the original publication from Science. These scientists would not lose their position should they observe the disclosure requirements.
The Global Times aimed to mislead readers and stir up racial division. They emphasized on discussing the targeting of Chinese (Asian) scientists by the U.S. government so that they can play the victim in front of Chinese people. However, they omitted the fact that it was CCP who had been targeting Chinese and Asian scientists in the first place for recruitment. As an major campaign to steal core U.S. technologies and intellectual properties, the CCP launched the Thousand Talent Project since 2008. Economic incentives are the primary way that compromise targeted scientists.