In addition to the China Initiative, prosecutors are moving to address the high-profile case

A year later, Chen was arrested on suspicion of fraud and charged with felony criminal misconduct in the US – a crime that often goes to spy on a spy, not a fraud, as Chen’s security statement put it. to try legally authorizing the U.S. Attorney’s Office to make the statement. Chen was eventually charged with three counts of fraud, misconduct, and failure to report to a foreign bank account.

But at the heart of the case was a nanotechnologist who revealed contracts, nominations, and awards from organizations in the People’s Republic of China, including a Chinese masterpiece program and more than $ 19 million from the Chinese government, while receiving funding from the government. Department of Energy.

The question became less important when the head of the Department of Energy confirmed the need for the grant in 2017, when Chen presented in his request, it did not say that he should disclose what he wrote in China, but the disclosure would not affect his support, according to the Wall Street Journal. initial report.

The peak of fraudulent funds – $ 25 million – was raised to allow MIT to fund a new research center at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, not Chen alone. “Although Professor Chen is their first MIT leader, this is not a private affair; with the department, with the support of the Institute,” MIT President Raphael Reif explained in a statement. letter to the MIT team last year.

As one of the most prominent scientists accused in the case, Chen’s case was deeply affected. MIT members wrote a open letter to assist an expert who has also highlighted the concerns of academic groups related to violations of educational standards. “In many respects, the grievances of Gang Chen are the grievances of all of us, an insult to every citizen who values ​​science and business,” they wrote.

And then what?

With all Chen cases yet to be settled, six more integrity cases are pending. Four are due for trial in late spring. Currently, a number of different groups, from scientific organizations, human rights organizations, legislators and even the officials who were previously involved in the development of the program have been calling for the end of the program, or for the pursuit of educated professionals.

The Department of Justice “is also reviewing how we can address the threats posed by the PRC government,” department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said. MIT Technology Review in email. “We look forward to completing the review and providing more in the coming weeks.” He forwarded inquiries about Chen’s case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, which has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, on January 4 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was published modified instructions in promoting the security of American research and development against foreign interference, which also included information on the requirements for disclosure of senior researchers.

Regarding Chen, “He hopes to resolve the matter soon,” his lawyer, Robert Fischer, told MIT Technology Review.

Additional reports of Jess Aloe.

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