scores of British universities Cooperated with organizations associated with the malicious activities of Chinese systemlike Genocide of the Uighursthe evolution of nuclear weaponsthe to spythe defense investigation Waved Computer hacking.
This was revealed, on Monday, by an investigation by the influential newspaper timesWhich reviewed the agreements of dozens of British academic institutions with Chinese bodies. The findings raised concerns that British academic software could be used for spying purposes or to commit abuse human rights.
in the past five years 42 British universities According to cooperation agreements with Chinese enterprises are a cause for concern Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)an advocacy think tank he cited times.
In 22 cases, UK universities partnered with institutions considered to be “Extremely high riskDue to its deep ties with the Chinese state and its army. According to ASPI, many “high risk” Chinese universities have security credentials at China level extremely confidential. This means that they can participate in secret research and projects. Many of them are also on the US export ban list or are subject to a ban on student exchanges with US universities.
Many agreements with Chinese institutions were concluded under the conservative government David Cameron (2010-2016), in what is considered the “golden age” of UK-China relations.
among the participating universities Cambridge Universityone of the main British institutions with which it signed agreements TsinghuaUniversity of the Chinese President Xi Jinping. This Chinese university, often called the Chinese equivalent of MIT in America, has been accused of developing technology for speech recognition associated with human rights violations in the Uyghur region Xinjiang It was linked to cyber attacks and Beijing’s high levels of defense research. The Universities of Strathclyde, Bath, Sheffield and East Anglia also have research agreements with Tsinghua.
Another example cited by the London paper is the joint research laboratory of the Artificial intelligence between vision, speech and signal processing center in University of Surrey and the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. The center announced that it had developed a technology facial recognition Based on artificial intelligence, a technology used by the Chinese regime to identify and persecute minority groups Uyghur Muslims.
In some cases, partnerships may have military implications, as many British universities have links with institutions known as Seven sons of the National Defense China, which works in tandem with People’s Liberation Army They were accused of harvesting foreign research for the Chinese military, according to times.
In addition, four Scottish universities – Robert Gordon, Aberdeen, Dundee and Strathclyde – have closed agreements with Harbin Engineering UniversityWhich contributed to the People’s Liberation Army’s development of submarines, underwater weapons and warship projects, and conducted research on nuclear submarines. It has also been linked to Chinese spies Convicted in the United States.
However, there are no British universities as well Accused of knowingly aiding China And many agreements with Chinese universities that do not pose any risk, according to times.
However, the number of partnerships with Chinese universities is likely to be higher than indicated, as dozens of British universities have rejected Freedom of Information requests submitted by them. times.
in the face of fears, The government increased controls And it recently banned nearly a dozen apps from universities for exporting research and technology with potential military applications to China, according to times. These “dual-use” items are often research, technology, software, or civilian products that may also have military applications and are therefore subject to strict export controls.
In September it was reported that Imperial College London It closed two laboratories funded by sanctioned Chinese defense contractors in the United States for their military ties, after the government denied two export license applications related to the laboratories.
Alice CairnsChairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Arab Republic of Egypt board of the Public The British Parliament, described as “very disturbing” research results.
Cairns, who also chairs the China Investigation Group, added: “It is no longer enough to plead ignorance. While international research collaborations will always be hugely beneficial to our knowledge economy, universities need to be very clear about their relationships with institutions designed to enhance China’s military capabilities, or those guilty of facilitating gross violations of the human rights of human beings.”
Last year, chiefs MI5And british secret service, And the American FBI They have already warned business and academic leaders of the risks. Ken McCallumChief Executive Officer MI5He emphasized that “the world’s leading knowledge, technology, research and trade advantages” are the most vulnerable to China’s aggression.
“Future teen idol. Hardcore twitter trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble travel evangelist.”