The chemical spy Does the competition between China and America threaten the future of scientific research?

Deadly crash in Chile kills 9 people  A deadly accident in the town of Peumo in the O'Higgins region of central Chile left nine people dead and two others seriously injured, the Chilean government reported on Wednesday (29/12).  According to local official Ricardo Guzman, a large truck and van carrying workers collided and fell into a ravine, killing eight people.  One more person died, after being taken to the Rancagua Hospital near the scene.  "Once we arrived at the scene, there were around 11 injured. We confirmed that eight people died on the spot and three people are in critical condition," said Peumo fire service chief Luis Maldonado.  Chile's Directorate of Labor announced that it would investigate the accident.XINHUA NEWS   The chemical spy Does the competition between China and America threaten the future of scientific research? The story of academic chemist Charles Lieber, accused of spying for China, reveals the nature of the threat to scientific research from the fierce rivalry between China and America.  On December 21, a Boston court found renowned Harvard chemistry professor Charles Lieber guilty of "lying to federal authorities" for concealing his regular income from China to a Chinese bank account he owned.  The chemist is awaiting a sentence of up to 26 years in prison and a fine of about $1.2 million, according to a report on his story published by The Economist.  At first, Lieber tried to avoid prison by circumventing federal investigators, who questioned him as part of an investigation into allegations that China had stolen scientific insights and discoveries from the United States.  Lieber concealed any form of cooperation between him and the Chinese during the past decade, but later those lies collapsed with irrefutable evidence and the authorities accused him of being involved in the transfer of important scientific achievements to China.  The heated geopolitical rivalry between America and China has called into question any form of relations with Chinese academics, as proving the involvement of some academics in espionage always remains a difficult task, and with the US authorities targeting any Chinese espionage attempt, the field of science development in the United States may suffer severely.  How was the American chemist involved? From the details of the investigation, it appears that the spark of money was the main incentive for Charles Lieber to cooperate with China.  Although it received about $15 million in grants from the NIH and DOD between 2008 and 2019, China has made competition even fiercer.  In 2011, Lieber signed an agreement with Wuhan University of Technology, aimed primarily at cooperation in research in the field of "nanotechnology." And one year later, he signed a 3-year contract to participate in a Chinese talent program, specialized in attracting foreign scientists and giving them employment opportunities in China. The program guarantees $1.5 million to fund a new laboratory in Wuhan.  As for Liber's monthly salary, it reached $50,000, some of which was found in the Chinese bank account, in addition to his living expenses compensation.  Mr. Lieber did not provide this information to investigators, of course, nor to the IRS or the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.  Despite the legality of forming partnerships with foreign universities, the US authorities are asking scholars to periodically disclose the details of their relationship with those universities.  China Initiative China is seeking to acquire important technologies through espionage, and has allocated billions of dollars to obtain these technologies in key sectors, including "nanotechnology", Charles Lieber's field of specialization.  Although some of these areas do not pose a security threat to the United States, others such as space may have military applications.  To counter this orchestrated Chinese effort, the US Department of Justice launched the "China Initiative" in 2018, a campaign designed to focus on Chinese economic espionage cases.  Law professor Margaret Lewis explains that "the campaign was unprecedented, as it focused on targeting China-related espionage crimes only, and attention to non-traditional intelligence sources" such as academics, according to the "Economist" magazine.  However, some legal obstacles prevent this initiative from being implemented optimally. Proving economic espionage is inherently very difficult, as prosecutors must prove that any knowledge transferred was indeed a “commercial or technological secret,” and prove that it happened with the aim of benefiting a foreign government.  In light of these legal challenges, and with the United States increasing fear of leaking any technologies that China exploits economically or militarily, academics may be forced to completely avoid any cooperation with their Chinese colleagues, even in areas of mutual interests, which threatens the future of scientific research, according to the magazine. The Economist".

Deadly crash in Chile kills 9 people


A deadly accident in the town of Peumo in the O'Higgins region of central Chile left nine people dead and two others seriously injured, the Chilean government reported on Wednesday (29/12).

According to local official Ricardo Guzman, a large truck and van carrying workers collided and fell into a ravine, killing eight people.

One more person died, after being taken to the Rancagua Hospital near the scene.

"Once we arrived at the scene, there were around 11 injured. We confirmed that eight people died on the spot and three people are in critical condition," said Peumo fire service chief Luis Maldonado.

Chile's Directorate of Labor announced that it would investigate the accident.XINHUA NEWS


The chemical spy Does the competition between China and America threaten the future of scientific research?

The story of academic chemist Charles Lieber, accused of spying for China, reveals the nature of the threat to scientific research from the fierce rivalry between China and America.

On December 21, a Boston court found renowned Harvard chemistry professor Charles Lieber guilty of "lying to federal authorities" for concealing his regular income from China to a Chinese bank account he owned.

The chemist is awaiting a sentence of up to 26 years in prison and a fine of about $1.2 million, according to a report on his story published by The Economist.

At first, Lieber tried to avoid prison by circumventing federal investigators, who questioned him as part of an investigation into allegations that China had stolen scientific insights and discoveries from the United States.

Lieber concealed any form of cooperation between him and the Chinese during the past decade, but later those lies collapsed with irrefutable evidence and the authorities accused him of being involved in the transfer of important scientific achievements to China.

The heated geopolitical rivalry between America and China has called into question any form of relations with Chinese academics, as proving the involvement of some academics in espionage always remains a difficult task, and with the US authorities targeting any Chinese espionage attempt, the field of science development in the United States may suffer severely.

How was the American chemist involved?
From the details of the investigation, it appears that the spark of money was the main incentive for Charles Lieber to cooperate with China.

Although it received about $15 million in grants from the NIH and DOD between 2008 and 2019, China has made competition even fiercer.

In 2011, Lieber signed an agreement with Wuhan University of Technology, aimed primarily at cooperation in research in the field of "nanotechnology." And one year later, he signed a 3-year contract to participate in a Chinese talent program, specialized in attracting foreign scientists and giving them employment opportunities in China. The program guarantees $1.5 million to fund a new laboratory in Wuhan.

As for Liber's monthly salary, it reached $50,000, some of which was found in the Chinese bank account, in addition to his living expenses compensation.

Mr. Lieber did not provide this information to investigators, of course, nor to the IRS or the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health.

Despite the legality of forming partnerships with foreign universities, the US authorities are asking scholars to periodically disclose the details of their relationship with those universities.

China Initiative
China is seeking to acquire important technologies through espionage, and has allocated billions of dollars to obtain these technologies in key sectors, including "nanotechnology", Charles Lieber's field of specialization.

Although some of these areas do not pose a security threat to the United States, others such as space may have military applications.

To counter this orchestrated Chinese effort, the US Department of Justice launched the "China Initiative" in 2018, a campaign designed to focus on Chinese economic espionage cases.

Law professor Margaret Lewis explains that "the campaign was unprecedented, as it focused on targeting China-related espionage crimes only, and attention to non-traditional intelligence sources" such as academics, according to the "Economist" magazine.

However, some legal obstacles prevent this initiative from being implemented optimally. Proving economic espionage is inherently very difficult, as prosecutors must prove that any knowledge transferred was indeed a “commercial or technological secret,” and prove that it happened with the aim of benefiting a foreign government.

In light of these legal challenges, and with the United States increasing fear of leaking any technologies that China exploits economically or militarily, academics may be forced to completely avoid any cooperation with their Chinese colleagues, even in areas of mutual interests, which threatens the future of scientific research, according to the magazine. The Economist".
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