Action urged after FBI arrests scientists

ESPIONAGE FEARS: Thirty-three Taiwanese have so far joined the Thousand Talents Program and the government will be closely monitoring their activities, the MAC said

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 14, 2018
By: Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

The government needs to draw up countermeasures against China’s 31 incentives, which allow Taiwanese to participate in Beijing’s Thousand Talents Program, academics said, after the US arrested several Chinese-American scientists participating in the program over espionage allegations.

Text advising against using the phrase “Thousand Talents Program” when inviting people to forums and academic conferences is circled on a leaflet issued by China’s National Natural Science Foundation.  Photo: CNA

The program, also known as the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, was launched in 2008 to attract overseas talent to boost development in China’s key technologies, the high-tech industry and emerging technologies.

Beijing has so far recruited 8,000 experts and academics through the program.

Most of them are ethnic Chinese who receive generous wages and financial benefits, but 33 of them are Taiwanese, government data showed.

The FBI has determined the program to be a key target for investigation, as the US believes that it is closely linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), foreign media have reported.

The scientists arrested on suspicion of spying include General Electric Co engineer Zheng Xiaoqing (鄭小清), former Virginia Tech academic Zhang Yiheng (張以恆) and climate scientist Wang Chunzai (王春在).    [FULL  STORY]

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