A ‘Significant Threat To National Security’: China Has Been Embedding Scientists At Los Alamos For Decades


At least 154 Chinese scientists who worked on government-sponsored research at Los Alamos National Laboratory have been recruited by China to perform scientific work over the past two decades – including helping advance China’s military technology that now threatens America’s national security, according to a new private intelligence report obtained by NBC News.

The report, by Strider Technologies, describes what it calls a systemic effort by the government of China to place Chinese scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where nuclear weapons were first developed.

Many of the scientists were later lured back to China to help make advances in such technologies as deep-earth-penetrating warheads, hypersonic missiles, quiet submarines and drones, according to the report. -NBC News

The scientists – paid as much as $1 million – were recruited through Chinese government “talent programs” designed to funnel them back to China.

As Peter Schweizer wrote last week, The Chinese approach is to “capture” elite institutions and individuals in the US: politicians, leading universities, large pension funds, social media, and Hollywood among them. My latest book, Red Handed, documents this capture in the areas of politics, diplomatic and business consulting, Big Tech, academia, and on Wall Street. There is insight in the Soviet-era statement, attributed to Lenin, about capitalists “selling us the rope with which to hang them.” Yet, it is the Chinese that understood how to sell the rope at a good price.

Much as they are doing with products such as solar panels, the Chinese realize that cornering the market in an area where reach equals access is critical to their long-term plans to dominate. Their pattern includes stealing technology they cannot create themselves and using any means available to aid in that theft. Therefore, every bit of access to information they can scour is of more value to them than the product used to get it.

Understanding these patterns is crucial to recognizing that the Chinese do this to their own people as well. As Gordon Chang’s recent piece for the Gatestone Institute discusses, the Chinese Communist Party maintains tight control of Chinese people overseas through many different forms of what we may baldly call blackmail. The many stories of intimidation of Chinese students and academics in the US who speak up about human rights abuses by China, or in support for democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwanese independence, all demonstrate this.

Universities have put up with this in exchange for foreign funds for decades. They are only recently being confronted by the costs of this indulgence. For example, the former chairman of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department was convicted by a federal jury for lying to federal authorities about his affiliation with the People’s Republic of China’s Thousand Talents Program and the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in Wuhan, China, as well as failing to report income he received from WUT.

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According to Greg Levesque, co-founder of Strider and the lead author of the report, China’s talent transfer “poses a direct threat to U.S. national security,” adding “China is playing a game that we are not prepared for, and we need to really begin to mobilize.”

Current and former US intelligence officials tell NBC that the Strider report shows how the Chinese government has been acquiring insights into US technology in order to strengthen their military – and in a way which poses a ‘significant threat to national security.’

In 2020, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that “Through talent recruitment programs like the Thousand Talents, China pays scientists at American universities to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China — including valuable, federally funded research,” adding “To put it bluntly, this means American taxpayers are effectively footing the bill for China’s own technological development.”

Read the rest of the report here


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