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Source: United States Senator for Ohio Rob Portman

November 19, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, as chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) held a bipartisan hearing entitled “Securing the U.S. Research Enterprise from China’s Talent Recruitment Plans”. The hearing focused on the new bipartisan report which documents how American taxpayers have been unwittingly funding the rise of China’s economy and military over the last two decades while federal agencies have done little to stop it. In response to the report, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a statement praising Portman’s efforts to bring light to this issue and committing to working towards a solution at the federal level. 

“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,” said Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “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.”

NOTE: Starting in the late 1990s through its “talent recruitment plans,” China began recruiting U.S.-based scientists and researchers and incentivizing them to transfer U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China for China’s own economic and military gain.  China pledged to spend 15 percent of its GDP, more than $2 trillion, on improving human resources from 2008 to 2020. The Subcommittee investigated China’s most prominent talent recruitment plan:  The Thousand Talents Plan (TTP).  Launched in 2008, 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. 

Over the course of an eight-month investigation, the Subcommittee examined seven federal agencies’ efforts to combat the theft of American taxpayer-funded research and technology through Chinese talent recruitment programs.  While China has a strategic plan to acquire knowledge and intellectual property from researchers, scientists, and the U.S. private sector, the U.S. government does not have a comprehensive strategy to combat this threat.  The seven federal agencies reviewed by PSI 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.