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Safeguarding Research Activity:
Ensuring Transparency, Integrity, and Reciprocity


Note: This information and guideline portal will be updated continuously as we continue to get more information. (Last Updated June 2, 2021)

Foreign Talent Program

Although other countries participate in the 225 foreign talents programs, the vast majority are supported by the Chinese Communist Party. It serves as a reminder that ALL support foreign and domestic must be disclosed. Foreign support means from all foreign countries.

China’s Talent Recruitment Plans.

While China has created and manages more than 200 talent recruitment plans, the Thousand Talents Plan originally set out to recruit 2,000 high-quality overseas talents, including scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and finance experts. The plan provides salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives to lure experts into researching for China. According to one report, by 2017, China dramatically exceeded its recruitment goal, having recruited more than 7,000 “high-end professionals,” including several Nobel laureates. The Chinese Communist Party (the “Party”) plays a lead role in administering the Thousand Talents Plan. The Party recognized the need to control overseas talent recruitment efforts to ensure the program served its priorities. The Party created a “complex system of administration and oversight to coordinate its recruitment efforts.” The Party is able to “exert exceptional” levels of control over the Thousand Talents Plan and other talent recruitment plans. To ensure control, Thousand Talents Plan members sign legally binding contracts.

Contracting with the Chinese Government.

Thousand Talent Plan members sign legally binding contracts with Chinese institutions, like universities and research institutions. The contracts can incentivize members to lie on grant applications to U.S. grant-making agencies, set up “shadow labs” in China working on research identical to their U.S. research, and, in some cases, transfer U.S. scientists’ hard-earned intellectual capital. Some of the contracts also contain nondisclosure provisions and require the Chinese government’s permission to terminate the agreement, giving the Chinese government significant leverage over talent recruitment plan members. These provisions are in stark contrast to the U.S. research community’s basic norms, values, and principles. Annexed to this report are Chinese talent recruitment plan contracts that illustrate exactly what talent recruitment plan members agree to when they become members. From: Threats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans

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