US continues to shut its doors: analysts

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/11 22:53:40

Washington bans scientists joining Chinese talent-recruitment programs

Experts take part in a forum for Thousand Talents Plan participants in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, on December 20, 2017. Photo: VCG

The US, a superpower known for its openness, is now shutting its doors to the outside world and becoming more conservative and closed with its Energy Department's latest order to ban its scientists joining China's talent-recruitment programs, analysts said.

The US Energy Department ordered the ban after finding personnel are being recruited by foreign military-linked programs and enticed with multimillion-dollar packages, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Monday. 

The department said all personnel and nearly all contractors are required to disclose their connections to foreign government programs designed to recruit scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs, and employees working with any program deemed to be sensitive from a national security perspective will have to sever those ties or resign from the department. The ban applies to researching matters considered vital to national security, including energy production, artificial intelligence and nuclear physics, the WSJ report said.

The order did not directly mention China, but a US official interviewed by the WSJ referred to the so-called threat posed by China. The report also singled out China's Thousand Talents Program, and quoted a manager of a US defense contractor who claimed that participants of such programs would travel from the US at "Chinese government expense" and divulge technical knowledge through "scripted venues."

It is the latest example that the Trump administration's trade conflicts with China have spilled over into other fields, including the academe and technology, following visa restrictions for Chinese scientists visiting the US and dismissing scientists with Chinese links.

In the past months, the US has placed various obstacles to normal people-to-people exchanges with China, which also included a planned legislation that would prohibit individuals employed or sponsored by Chinese military institutions from receiving student or research visas to the US.

Zhang Jiadong, professor at the Center for American Studies, Fudan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the US is becoming more and more conservative. The recent moves would lead to fewer people-to-people exchanges between China and US, Zhang said.

The US is becoming a closed country, instead of its previous openness in technological communication, which will ultimately suffer the consequences as technological achievements greatly rely on joint efforts of global scientists, Huo Jianguo, vice chairman of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times.

Huo added that the US has abandoned its rational thinking as it cannot wait to come up with all possible means to contain China in technology, talent, investment and trade.

The US department's order also prohibits Russia, Iran and North Korea from using talent programs to pay or lure scientists in the US to help develop technology, according to the WSJ.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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