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Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

U.S. Senate holds hearing on Chinese talent recruitment plans

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The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing on a report on a Chinese program that captures U.S. Intellectual property.

Through its “talent recruitment plans” launched in the 1990s, China began recruiting U.S.-based scientists and researchers and providing incentives for them to transfer U.S. intellectual property to China.

The subcommittee investigated China’s most prominent talent recruitment plan, the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP), which was launched in 2008. The TTP incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development to transmit the knowledge and research they gain in the United States to China in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives.

The hearing, entitled, “Securing the U.S. Research Enterprise from China’s Talent Recruitment Plans,” reviewed the programs and efforts to stop them. It was led by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), chair of the committee, who Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, praised for his efforts to find a solution.

“The report from HSGAC’s subcommittee on PSI and today’s hearing contributes to the important work the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has been leading through our Joint Committee on Research Environments,” Droegemeier said. “Research must be done ethically and without foreign government influence. I’d like to thank Sen. Rob Portman for his great work in elevating this issue, and I look forward to shaping a solution that will ensure research integrity for industry, academia, and federal agencies.”

In their investigation, the subcommittee examined seven federal agencies’ efforts to combat these efforts by the Chinese. Currently, the U.S. government does not have a comprehensive strategy to combat this threat. The seven federal agencies reviewed by the committee include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, State Department, Department of Commerce, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.