Many Americans first heard about China’s Thousand Talents Plan when FBI agents led Charles Lieber out of his Harvard office in handcuffs earlier this year. The world’s leading chemist, Lieber mentored hundreds of students and chaired Harvard’s Chemistry Department while allegedly deceiving the university about his connections to the Wuhan Institute of Technology and Thousand Talents.
Lieber’s arrest alerted the U.S. public to China’s long-standing efforts to recruit overseas scientists. By itself, participating in a talent recruitment program does not constitute a crime—but some participants concealed their affiliations with Chinese universities and double-dipped into the purses of American research institutions. Facing heightened scrutiny, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) issued a gag order on any references to the Thousand Talents Plan, its largest and most infamous talent recruitment initiative, before rebranding it entirely in 2018. But China’s recruitment efforts have only expanded and grown more sophisticated since the reinvention of Thousand Talents.
Read the full article at Foreign Policy.