According to a U.S. senator, a Department of Defense report revealed that China is using federal programs to steal technology. The report stated that China, and not the U.S. Government, was the ultimate beneficiary of DoD research investments.
Senator Joni Ernst (Republican from Iowa), who examined the report, but did not wish to share it, stated Wednesday that American companies that receive taxpayer funding from the Department of Defense or other agencies to develop technology were “recruited by China to continue working at institutions associated to the People’s Liberation Army.” The U.S. company is disbanded and the intellectual property and research that was paid for with U.S. tax dollars were transferred to a Chinese subsidiary.
“Just like this, American-made ingenuity was shipped overseas to our top global adversary… and we, America taxpayers are funding it!” This is not just another instance of intellectual property theft. According to the Pentagon, this ongoing scheme has national security and economic security implications,” Ernst, who is a member of the Senate committees for small business and armed services, said in a statement shared by The Daily Wire.
One case involved a co-founder and researcher of an American company who received four grants to help develop space and drone technology. Ernst explained that the Chinese government then recruited them and disbanded their American company. They now work for the Communist power’s defense ministry.
She said that similar grants, worth tens of millions of dollars in tax dollars, funded research that ended up in China thanks to “double-crossing businesses”.
Ernst stated that the report indicated that grantees were exploiting Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR). A bill to amend the programs was introduced by the senator, which passed unanimously in the Senate. It is scheduled to be considered by the House next week.
The bill links a reauthorization of findings for the two programs with a requirement that agencies involved perform a risk assessment of grant applications to detect ties between China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran. It also requires funding applicants to disclose “individuals of small business concern” who are part of any foreign talent recruitment program of any country of concern, including China.
Ernst stated, “This must stop immediately.”
China has taken many steps to penetrate the U.S. brain trust, sometimes with unwitting help from Americans. Despite being required to disclose Chinese donations, more than 100 U.S. universities did not comply with the requirements. Sen. Republicans published a detailed investigation into how China used Confucius Institutes in American colleges to promote government propaganda and cultivate relationships. The U.S. was denied the ability to do the same on Chinese campuses.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield was later nominated by President Joe Biden to be ambassador to the United Nations. She was paid to address an event in Savannah State University’s Confucius Institute. Her speech praised China. Reports say that President Biden canceled plans to closely monitor Confucius Institutes shortly after taking office.