The spy scientist between Harvard and China

Spies can be everywhere. Even at Harvard, the prestigious American university. Harvard researcher Charles Lieber has been arrested this Tuesday. He is accused of lying about his ties to the Chinese government. He financed his research in the field of nanotechnology with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Two other Chinese scientists belonging to Boston University have been arrested along with Lieber. Authorities say it is an aggressive strategy of the Asian giant to delay US scientific and technological advances. Learn the history of the Harvard spy scientist.

The spy scientist, Lieber, Charles Lieber.
The spy scientist, Lieber, Charles Lieber.

Lieber, Charles Lieber

He is director of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. And an eminence in the field of electronics on a nanometric scale. He is known for his participation in the "Thousand Talents Program", whose objective is to attract research specialists working abroad. Lieber joined Harvard from 1991 to 2017. However, in 2013 he began working for the Wuhan University of Technology (China), lying about his participation in the Chinese foreign scientists recruitment program.

According to a court presentation, Lieber made "false, fictitious and fraudulent" statements to the US Department of Defense. UU. About their role in the program, as well as the National Institutes of Health. And also about his affiliation with the Wuhan University of Technology in China. As the New York Times explains, the American scientist would receive $ 50,000 a month as salary from the University of Wuhan. And 150 thousand dollars annually in expenses. In addition, he was awarded $ 500,000 to build a laboratory in Wuhan. On the other hand, Lieber and his team received $ 15 million from the American National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense since 2008.

The university is pronounced

The spy scientist denies his participation in the "Thousand Talents" program. But the authorities accuse him of having a relationship with him in "significant periods" between 2012 and 2017. At the moment, he is not accused of espionage, although it is studied whether he had motivations beyond the economic ones. "The charges filed by the United States government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious," says the university. "Professor Lieber has been placed on an indefinite administrative license."

The scientist worked for Harvard.
The scientist worked for Harvard.

On the other hand, the two Chinese investigators have been accused of being Chinese government agents. This is Yanqing Ye, a robotics researcher at Boston University who prosecutors accuse of lying about being part of the Chinese army. And Zaosong Zheng, an oncological researcher at the BethIsrael Deacons Medical Center. He was arrested for the last time trying to smuggle research samples outside the country.

Prosecutors claim that Ye is a lieutenant in the People's Liberation Army of China. He did not reveal it when he got a notification to enter the United States. She is accused of passing information on research done by the University of Boston to the Asian government. Zheng was arrested last month at Boston Logan International Airport. He intended to leave the United States with 21 vials containing sensitive biological samples. His intention: to continue the investigation in China, according to prosecutors.

Yes, spies can be anywhere.

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