HomeCampusFBI calls on universities to monitor Chinese students and scholars

FBI calls on universities to monitor Chinese students and scholars

Yale University
Harkness Tower at Yale University

The FBI is asking American universities to keep a close eye on Chinese students and scholars, reports. NPR.

The public radio network reports authorities have visited at least 10 universities to make that request.

“We are being asked what processes are in place to know what labs they are working at or what information they are being exposed to,” Fred Cate, of Indiana University, said. “It’s not a question of just looking for suspicious behavior — it’s actually really targeting specific countries and the people from those countries.”

All these comes against the backdrop of what FBI director Christopher Wray said at a speech in New York back in April.

“China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation in any way it can from a wide array of busi­ness­es, universities and organizations,” he said to the Council on Foreign Relations, according to the South China Morning Post. “Put plainly, China seems determined to steal its way up the economic ladder at our expense.”

As AsAmNews previously reported, Xifeng Wu was recently asked to step down as director of public health for the Center for Public Health and Translational Genomics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center under suspicion of strong ties to China.

The ask by the FBI has left many universities confused and uncertain. Yale University president Peter Salovey is among them.

He said he was “working with my presidential colleagues in the Association of American Universities (AAU) to urge federal agencies to clarify concerns they have about international academic exchanges. The AAU has encouraged agencies to use the tools already in place, such as export controls, while affirming the principle of open academic exchange for basic research.”

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