Yet Another US Professor Arrested for China Spying Ties
A professor from the University of Arkansas has found themselves in hot water recently. The crime that they are being accused of is a rather serious one. Allegedly, the professor had decided to conceal the connections that he has to the Chinese. Dr. Simon Ang was receiving NASA grant money at the time, which is a major conflict of interest.
The Chinese were rounding up all sorts of American academics and pumping them for information. Their Thousand Talents program was designed to find out more about what is taking place over here and Dr. Ang is just one of many professors who find themselves in serious trouble because of it.
Can you believe that five American professors are alleged to have participated in this affront to our democracy? Dr. Ang is facing charges of wire fraud and he’s got a long road ahead of him from a legal standpoint. No one can claim that the professor did not know what he was doing either.
He took the time to speak with one of his associates who was aware of this affiliation, telling them that they needed to be quiet. We do not wish to play judge, jury and executioner here but this does not look good for the professor. The financial arrangements that were put into place between him and China were kept secret for the duration of their partnership as well.
Simon Ang of the University of Arkansas, was arrested on Friday and charged on Monday with wire fraud. He worked for and received funding from Chinese companies and from the Thousand Talents program, which awards grants to scientists to encourage relationships with the Chinese government, and he warned an associate to keep his affiliation with the program quiet, court papers said.
He kept the financial arrangements secret, allowing him to secure other grants from American government agencies, including NASA, that the Chinese funding made him ineligible for, according to court documents.
The other professor, Dr. Xiao-Jiang Li, a former professor at Emory University in Atlanta, pleaded guilty on Friday to a felony charge of filing a false tax return that omitted about $500,000 that he received from the Thousand Talents program. He was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay $35,089 in restitution.
Professors who are willing to accept money from the Chinese are ineligible for any additional US grants but that did not stop Dr. Ang from making this terrible decision anyway. This whole sordid affair begs the question: how long did he think that he was going to be able to get away with this for?
Dr. Xiao-Jiang Li is another professor who is currently trying to dig himself out of an awful legal predicament. He was once a professor at Atlanta’s Emory University. This doctor was charged with a felony for filing a false tax return. As it turns out, he was trying to keep his Chinese funding a secret from the IRS, too.
Who would have thought that they wouldn’t look kindly upon that? Dr. Li received $500,000 from the Thousand Talents program and wrongfully assumed that he would be able to conceal it from the rest of the world. These treasonous professors are going to find it hard to explain away their crimes in a court of law, that is for sure.
Luckily for Dr. Li, he was able to escape without major punishment. He was sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to pay over $35,000 in restitution. This professor is the one who was asked to remain silent by Dr. Ang. He and his wife were terminated from the aforementioned university last spring, rightfully so.
How can any university allow for this sort of behavior to take place on their campus? The worst part of all is that Dr. Li had the chance to admit to his wrongdoing before things reached this point and elected not to. He disputed the claims when they were first made by Emory but a $500,000 payout has a way of making people say things that are not exactly true.
He even claimed to have disclosed the research he was doing in collaboration with China but that hardly seems true. We can’t see any American university being okay with that. It’s become very clear to everyone with eyes that he was lying the whole time.
Franklin Tao found himself in similar trouble with the University of Kansas. He signed a five year contract to work with a university in China and concealed the news from everyone. An indictment was filed against Tao and his attorney back in January. His attorney is trying to tell a different story about what took place, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Harvard professor Dr. Charles Lieber was placed on administrative leave for accepting funding from the same program that has gotten all of these other professors in so much trouble. There’s also the story of Anming Hu, an associate professor at the University of Texas who was also reporting to Beijing.
Chinese nationals are going to try to use their positions to engage in spy operations. It is up to American professors to think twice before they decide to start participating in espionage. All of this makes us wonder how many professors are currently engaging in the same practice who have not been caught yet. Now that the dominoes are starting to fall, it is only a matter of time before they are brought to justice.