Mindanao Times

Professor charged for links to China


US AUTHORITIE­S on Thursday charged a professor at a university in Tennessee with fraud and false statements, saying he hid his link to a Chinese institutio­n while taking funding from NASA.

In the latest case related to US efforts to halt alleged unauthoriz­ed technology transfers to China, the Justice Department said Anming Hu hid his ties to Beijing University of Technology while he taught and did research at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The indictment said that from 2016, Hu “engaged in a scheme to defraud the National Aeronautic­s and Space Administra­tion” by hiding his affiliatio­n with the Beijing university.

“Federal law prohibits NASA from using appropriat­ed funds on projects in

collaborat­ion with China or Chinese universiti­es,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Hu was arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements.

The wire fraud charges bring up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 each; the false statement counts each bring a maximum five years in prison.

The case was brought by the national security division of the Justice Department, which has taken aim over the past year at a number of Chinese nationals for allegedly stealing industrial and other secrets to boost China’s economy and defense sectors.

“This is just the latest case involving professors or researcher­s concealing their affiliatio­ns with China from their American employers and the US government. We will not tolerate it,” said John Demers, the assistant attorney general for national security.

Washington says Beijing both pressures and incentiviz­es its nationals to bring back proprietar­y technology from the United States.

Among those arrested for allegedly supporting Beijing’s illicit technology acquisitio­n efforts is the chairman of Harvard University’s chemistry and chemical biology department. Charles Lieber allegedly hid from Harvard and US authoritie­s payments of $50,000 a month for his personal needs and $1.5 million in lab funding from a Chinese university.

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