US lawmakers have introduced a bill to keep the Chinese military away from critical research on American college campuses and limit the economic surveillance activities of China in the US.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced identical resolutions that seek to ban Chinese military scientists from American labs. Individuals employed or sponsored by the Chinese military institutions will not receive student or research visas to the US.
“We cannot allow Chinese military institutions to obtain visas that give them a technological advantage,” said a lawmaker. “Permitting PLA members to access and research dual-use technologies in our universities and labs is damaging our national security. We can no longer provide them access to the same research opportunities afforded to Americans,” he added.
The bill was presented in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate. According to the resolution, the US government will have to develop a list of scientific and engineering institutions. These will have to be affiliated with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Besides other western countries, these scientists continue to research advanced dual-use technology in the US, alleged the lawmakers. Some estimates say, over the past decade, PLA sent more than 2,500 military engineers and scientists to study abroad. At times, these scientists have not disclosed their connection to the Chinese military, they alleged.
“The PLA openly admits that it leverages these efforts to support the development of new military technologies,” Congressman Gallagher said. “We cannot ignore the threat this poses to our national security,” he added.
This is a common-sense bill, the Congressman Hartzler said. It will help ensure China’s military arm is not collaborating with US universities and researchers on sensitive information. Many of these individuals often mask their PLA and Chinese Communist Party ties. This allows them to work at top universities without the schools’ knowledge of their military affiliation.