With media attention focused on the November US elections, domestic protests against globally condemned police violence, and a lingering pandemic brought on by the Corona Virus, the continued decoupling between the US and China has received less attention than would be expected. Integration between China and the Western world has driven much of global growth for the past 30 years, and this disentangling will be a major driver for the next 30. There are no shortage of articles with political angles, such as the National Review’s American Universities and Their Ugly Relationship with China.
The two main events that caught media attention earlier in 2020 and late 2019, prior to the lockdowns due to COVID 19 occurred at the University of Texas and Harvard, as indicated the in quotes below:
“Investigators allege that beginning in 2011, Lieber became a “Strategic Scientist” at Wuhan University of Technology in China, unbeknownst to Harvard University. From at least 2012 through 2015, according to prosecutors, Lieber was a contractual participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan.
“Under Lieber’s program contract, prosecutors say he was paid $50,000 a month by WUT and living expenses up to $158,000. He was also awarded more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at the Chinese university, prosecutors said.NBC News Boston June 10, 2020 “Top Harvard Professor Indited in China Case
“University of Texas professor Bo Mao, prosecutors say, took proprietary technology from an American Silicon Valley start-up and handed it over to a subsidiary of Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications conglomerate.”NBC News February 2, 2020 (Link)
Concern about this activity is not contained to the US, as Australia reports that the Chinese Communist Party is organizing efforts to reduce free speech at two Universities where protests supported Hong Kong independence;
“Other Chinese students in Australia say they are afraid of speaking out against the party line, fearful they will be reported by their compatriots to the Chinese embassy or have their families in China targeted.”Sydney Morning Herald; August 5, 2020 China ‘exporting CCP speech controls to Australia’ as second university caught in row