U.S. intelligence agencies are encouraging American research universities to develop protocols for monitoring students and visiting scholars from Chinese state-affiliated research institutions, as U.S. suspicion toward China spreads to academia. From a report: Since last year, FBI officials have visited at least 10 members of the Association of American Universities, a group of 62 research universities, with an unclassified list of Chinese research institutions and companies. Universities have been advised to monitor students and scholars associated with those entities on American campuses, according to three administrators briefed at separate institutions.
FBI officials have also urged universities to review ongoing research involving Chinese individuals that could have defense applications, the administrators say. “We are being asked what processes are in place to know what labs they are working at or what information they are being exposed to,” Fred Cate, vice president of research at Indiana University, tells NPR. “It’s not a question of just looking for suspicious behavior — it’s actually really targeting specific countries and the people from those countries.” In a statement responding to NPR’s questions, the FBI said it “regularly engages with the communities we serve. As part of this continual outreach, we meet with a wide variety of groups, organizations, businesses, and academic institutions. The FBI has met with top officials from academia as part of our ongoing engagement on national security matters.”