Harvard University professor and two Chinese nationals are indicted in three separate China-related cases. The Department of Justice announced today that the Chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and two Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with aiding the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Charles Lieber, 60, Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University. The complaint alleges that Lieber had lied about his affiliation with the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and the contract he had with China’s Thousand Talents Plan, a programme designed to attract people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to the country. He was released two days later on a $1 million bond.
According to court documents, Lieber’s research group at Harvard had received over $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. Under Lieber’s Thousand Talents programme contract, prosecutors say, he was paid $50,000 (£38,000) a month by the Wuhan University of Technology in China and living expenses up to $158,000. He was also awarded more than $1.5m to establish a research lab at the Chinese university, prosecutors said.
Yanqing Ye, 29, a Chinese national and robotics researcher at Boston University, was charged with visa fraud, making false statements and acting as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy. Yanqing Ye was accused of lying about her ties to the Chinese military. Yanqing Ye, who prosecutors allege is a lieutenant in the People’s Liberation Army, worked on behalf of the military while studying at the university, conducting research and sending documents and information to China, officials say. Ye is currently in China.
Zaosong Zheng, 30, a Chinese national and Cancer researcher, was arrested on Dec.10, 2019, at Boston’s Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China. On Jan. 21, 2020, Zheng was indicted of smuggling goods from the United States and of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements. Prosecutors allege he was planning to return to China to continue his research there.