Kansas Researcher Revealed To Be Double Agent Working For The Chinese Government
(Tea Party 247) – After seeing so many action-packed, fictional movies about spies, we oftentimes believe spies only exist in the movies or TV shows but the truth is, spies and double agents have been around since the dawn of time and even in today’s technology era, people are still able to fly under the radar and do work for foreign interests.
Such is the case with one Kansas associate professor who has been hiding work that he had been doing for the Chinese government while working at the University of Kansas. He wasn’t working alone, either. According to federal charges filed on January 15, 2020, the Chinese double agent had also been recruiting other researchers and students to his cause.
Big League Politics reports:
Feng “Franklin” Tao, 47, of Lawrence, Kansas was charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of program fraud for failure to disclose on conflict-of-interest forms of the work he was doing for China while working as a full-time associate professor at the University of Kansas’ Center for Environmental Beneficial Catalysis. Prosecutors said the U.S. Department of Energy funded some of Tao’s research at the University of Kansas.
The 16-page indictment details how China bolstered its meteoric economic growth by offering scholarships or funding to foreign students or visiting professors who were attending or working at American universities. The Chinese government also used “talent plans” with the purpose of encouraging the transfer of original ideas and intellectual property from U.S. universities to Chinese government institutions to boost Chinese “scientific development, economic prosperity, and national security.”
These plans have existed since the early 1990s, but the Chinese government revitalized them in 2007 as part of its strategy to augment economic development, federal prosecutors said. The Communist Party of China presides over all talent plan applicants, and the government administers and finances the program by cooperating with other agencies within the Chinese government.
As of 2016, China has more than 56,000 talent program participants carrying out the Communist Party’s interests abroad. The indictment said the Changjiang Professorship was one program the Chinese government and the Communist Party sponsored.
According to the indictment, Tao allegedly did not disclose to the University of Kansas his involvement in the Changjiang Professorship or the salary he received for his appointment to Fuzhou University in Fuzhou, China.
Under the Changjiang contract, Tao was required to recruit two to three doctor students and three to four master’s students annually to work with him at Fuzhou University, according to the indictment.
It’s pretty crazy that with all the technology available nowadays Tao was living and working in plain sight. This really goes to show how much more serious our government needs to get about vetting who is allowed to come here and who isn’t.
According to Big League Politics, Tao was listed as a member of the Fuzhou University on its website but, conveniently, after his arrest all mention of Tao was removed. How easy would it have been to find this information out on Tao before he ever stepped for in the US? It’s almost like no one even bothered to look at all.
This is just another example of why the US government needs to tighten up on who comes into the country. Between spies and terrorists there seem to be an awful lot of nefarious characters looking to harm the United States.
Featured image credit: Kelsey Kimberlin/University of Kansas