According to a new report by Strider Technologies, at least 154 Chinese ex-Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) scientists over the last two decades have helped advance Chinese military technology, creating a greater threat to the United States from within.
LANL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s premier research institution, with a mission “to solve national security challenges through simultaneous excellence.”
The report details how many of the scientists were “lured” back to China “to help make advances in such technologies as deep-earth-penetrating warheads, hypersonic missiles, quiet submarines and drones,” according to NBC News.
“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is employing a “Talent Superpower Strategy” (人才强国战略) designed to incentivize academics, researchers, and scientists to go abroad, deepen their expertise, and then work to advance China’s strategic interests. What began in the 1980s as policy to encourage young talent to go overseas and enhance their skill set has since evolved to include initiatives and programs that ultimately seek to exploit their efforts in vital technology sectors for China’s gain, whether they return to China or stay overseas,” the report details.
Many of the scientists were paid as much as $1 million for participating in the Chinese government-run “talent programs” that have long been identified as a source of concern to national security.
The threat to national security is a chief concern in the report, which notes that close interactions between China’s People’s Liberation Army (PRC) universities and “the Ministry of State Security suggests that some postdoctoral researchers and visiting scholars are vetted by China’s security services before going abroad.19 While they do not have access to the most sensitive research at Los Alamos, they still pose risks of technology transfer and economic espionage. The Department of Energy (DOE) has acknowledged instances where researchers elsewhere have passed dual-use and export-controlled research to the PRC via visiting students and scholars.”
One shocking revelation from the report is that the PRC’s success, “along with support for China’s talent programs from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping and other top CCP leaders, suggest that similar recruitment efforts may be widespread among U.S. government-funded laboratories, academic research institutions, and major centers of innovation. Moreover, the Los Alamos case shows how China’s rapid advances in certain crucial military technologies are being aided by individuals who participated in sensitive U.S. government-funded research.”
With China becoming an increasingly hostile threat to the United States as Taiwan becomes part of the global spotlight, the gaping leaks in national security from LANL and other institutions appear to be significantly aiding Chinese military efforts.