China-U.S. fact of the day

Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. In 93% of those cases, the hidden funding came from a Chinese institution.

The new numbers come from Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research. Lauer had previously provided some information on the scope of NIH’s investigation, which had targeted 189 scientists at 87 institutions. But his presentation today to a senior advisory panel offered by far the most detailed breakout of an effort NIH launched in August 2018 that has roiled the U.S. biomedical community, and resulted in criminal charges against some prominent researchers, including Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University’s department of chemistry and chemical biology.

“It’s not what we had hoped, and it’s not a fun task,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in characterizing the ongoing investigation. He called the data “sobering.”

Here is the full story, and there are further points of interest at the link.


McCarthy is not dead., only transformed.

@Anon - true, that. How many of the readers who are against patents would also be against not disclosing ties to foreign governments? I bet a lot. They're hypocrites, considering the NIH does not usually patent anything and anything the NIH does is in the public domain (that is, it can be, as basic research, freely used any anybody, including the Reds).

Bonus trivia: one of my close relatives invented a procedure while at a government institute that's used worldwide, un-patented.

Ray, what you and other traitors are either too stupid to realize or too dishonest to acknowledge is that this data means that America is in effect bankrolling Chinese research initiatives.

Your non-sequitur about patents is irrelevant as well, as the problem is not that the research is open for public use but that it doesn't align with the interests of the country funding it, and in fact furthers the interest of one of its chief geopolitical rivals. This is after we've been subjected to hysteria about Russian interference in our politics for almost four years now, by the same people now running cover for China on actual, material interference.

At this point, given the prevalence of findings such as these, not to mention the origins of the Deep State Fever, it's unclear as to why we haven't already expelled Chinese nationals from the country, as well as anyone else of Chinese descent. While we're at it, it seems prudent to do the same with traitorous leftists such as yourself who carry water for our enemies. If you think paying for Chinese research is so innocuous, then you can move to China and start paying taxes there.

in fact furthers the interest of one of its chief geopolitical rivals.

Is there a government publication that lists the chief geopolitical rivals of the US and other countries officially? Does the list include the criteria that indicates that rivalry? Once on the list is it possible for a rival to get off? What must the Russians, once apparently on the top of the list, do to drop down to the level of a country like the Netherlands, for example.

I assume that a lot of these "secret" agreements started as "simple" tax avoidance. Ask Mitt Romney (generally good guy) about how he managed to stuff $100 million into an IRA. (Short answer, he stuffed in undervalued options and then re-inflated them once they are inside, so that a limited annual contribution became unlimited. Something us little guys don't have quite the ability to do.) Mitt (generally good guy) also made pretty big use of off shore banks and opaque accounts ..

-10, No this is completely incorrect.

They have nothing to do with tax avoidance.

And they sure as hell have nothing to do with Romney’s IRA

-10 from an idiot is +10 ten

Federal Prosecutors Pursue Professors Over China Ties

"According to court documents, Li joined the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese government-sponsored talent recruitment program, in 2011, and subsequently received salaries from two Chinese institutions, first the Chinese Academy of Sciences and then Jinan University. The government says he earned at least $500,000 in foreign income that he never reported on his tax returns."

-10 again for either not understanding the problem, googling irrelevant shit and ad hominem

The problem is not that one professor didn't report his foreign income on tax returns 10 years ago. You can't possibly be this stupid.

By analogy,the Feds didn't actually care about Al Capone's tax returns either, and framing it as primarily a tax avoidance issue is incredibly dumb.

It's not even about the taxes at all. it's that NIH grant funded profs weren't even working on the projects that were funded, they were abroad in China setting up labs.

TL;dr: It's not about taxes, you clearly didn't read any of the articles. You're here to throw culture war shit against the wall, since 90% of your comments on this thread are about the POTUS and Mitt Romney ffs

So you ignore all evidence. Surprise, surprise.

It is also definitely not "culture war shit" to say that morality and ethics matter, especially in government.

It is the antidote.

It's quite likely that Romney's IRA structure to some extent backfired.

The trade-off is paying long-term capital gains tax currently (on increases in value of low-valued equity or partnerships) vs. eventually paying ordinary rates on IRA withdrawals. It can make sense to value the deferral even when ordinary rates are higher than LT capital gains, but I have a tough time seeing how it makes sense when the top ordinary rate is ~2x the LT capital gains rate.

You may recall that the Russians were low on the list as recently as 2012. The 1980s called, remember? They wanted their foreign policy back.

Of course, this was before they became useful as a tool of domestic politics to undermine an elected POTUS on behalf of the Deep State.

(Astoundingly, for all of the newfound love of Mitt Romney on the left, not once has anyone, including Mitt himself, acknowledged his prescience on the Russian menace.)

Mitt (generally good guy) thought we should build more ships to battle the Russians, not stronger firewalls.

He was not at all predicting what we got, an very asymmetric conflict.

Remind me what the guy who beat him did again? As I said, this was a non-issue until it became useful as a pretext to undo an election. When Biden or his stand-in wins in November we won't hear another word about Russia (or coronavirus, BLM, etc.) until it's needed as an excuse again.

All told, Mitt lost in a pretty fair (political) fight. The "47 percent takers" thing, definitely an "own goal," was a big part of that.

Personally I was still down on my old party because they lied us into Iraq II, and hadn't come clean about it.

It was also 100% true (and secretly-recorded audio from a private meeting, while a blunder, is hardly an "own goal"). It became an issue because it was an explicit acknowledgment of the leftist platform, analogous to a Kinsley gaffe, if the truth were uttered by a nominal opponent. (You'll also recall that the Iraq War vote was bipartisan, as all the truly diabolical ones tend to be.)

So now you are just crying because you lost a fair fight.

(And the bipartisan vote was "with lies.")

I voted for Virgil Goode, not Romney, and there was nothing fair about it. Romney is a leftist; he was a designated loser then and he's one now. As per usual, your pseudointellectualism devolves into simple-minded partisanship (such as believing that the left wasn't in on the lies). It's a common thread among the Very Smart and Serious People in this commentariat.

Actually, how do we know it was a fair fight? Why presume all the treachery of last election was the first time Obama has done this?

It's obvious that US intelligence machinery is either over-staffed or hyperparanoid when stuff like this goes on. Since it's the US government involved it's going to have a happy ending.

Your preening over morality and ethics falls flat when the Deep State has spent four years trying to overturn an election because they're afraid of what the public might find out.

It's also unclear what it has to do with Chinese espionage, other than the fact that the one person in Washington most likely to stop it has been besieged by politicians (such as Feinstein, Biden, et al.) who profit directly from Chinese influence.

As per usual, your TDS is showing. It's time to evict leftist traitors (though I repeat myself) from America.

You are obviously an idiot, and this contradictory argument proves it.

You can't complain about the morality or ethics of these scientists, and "preening over morality and ethics" at the same time.

Because if you do (and you are) then you are making a purely partisan argument that it's "fine when my side does it" (and you are).

lol, same goes for the "TDS" and rejection of the Mueller Report at the same time. Talking about "traitors." lol.

Chinese scientists being paid by China to take American money to do research for China isn't an issue of morality or ethics. I don't care about the morality or ethics of China and the Chinese, nor do I expect them to have either. It's an issue of foreign espionage and treason by those who excuse and allow it (like you). You only want it to be about morality and ethics because it gives you an opportunity to make false equivalences about Orange Man.

It seems like you don't just lack grounding morality and ethics, but you don't understand law, business, or international science as well.

Q: Have US scientists ever, with full knowledge of their superiors and the government, traveled to a biological or health conference in China?

Actually both "yes" and there is some weird history on that:

I mean, you've already said it's fine when Michael Flynn does it, right?

This is what happens when you have zero moral standing.

It's fine when Michael Flynn does what? Caves to a set-up by the FBI? They falsified evidence to the point where they can't even determine what Flynn lied about, or prove that anything he said was a lie, not to mention that the mythical lie itself was predicated on occurring during an official investigation that used the lie as a basis to open it. The government admitted all these things in court on Friday, yet in a time when we're supposed to be losing faith in all of our law enforcement, you'd rather continue a phony trial in the name of TDS while, again, preening about morality and ethics.

Amazing. You are blissfully ignorant of the exact parallels.

BTW, in case it wasn't clear, I'm fine with Lauer and Flynn sharing a cell.

The point here is to have *consistent* rules, of morality, ethics, and law.

Heh, sorry Lauer. I mean Lieber and Flynn share the cell.

You’re both partisan hack idiots.

Tfw they realize they’re mirror images of each other

And you are an idiot who cannot face fundamental questions.

Here's one: Are all humans equal in their moral and ethical commitment?

Shark Lasers said.. " unclear... why we haven't already expelled... anyone else of Chinese descent".

Because it would be racist.

Right, much better to put ourselves at a disadvantage than for anyone to think we're racist! Not that anyone but ourselves care about racism to begin with. I wonder if the Chinese keep a closer eye on people who don't look Chinese, or if they self-flagellate about their racist profiling.

"Keeping a closer eye" is not the same as your racism which is to include the expulsion of n-th generation Americans. Try to be consistent.

Shark Lasers what about expelling anyone with even a drop of Russian blood in their veins? You’re ridiculous. There are 18 million Asian Americans and our population is the fastest growing out of all ethnic groups. If you want a serious discussion about how to confront the Chinese Communist Party I’m all ears, as a proud patriotic citizen of this country. But it seems you just hate Asians. Which is fine, you’re free to think whatever irrelevant thoughts you wish, but realize you’re not occupying any moral high ground here. What you’re expressing is hatred and bias, plain and simple, and I feel sorry for you.

I'm not sure if it's irony or not ...but if it isn't I really hope Biden and his secretary of justice after he wins in November punishes people like you. I'm not sure what punishment would fit, but maybe giving your house to African Muslim refugees would be a start... also taking 50% of the money from white conservatives and giving it to non-white people...and maybe prohibiting you and your kind to ever voice their opinions in public again until they acknowledge black supremacy... that would be a start!

Ok maybe I went a bit overboard here, but white Americans are really the least group that should complain in terms of racial discrimination... this alt-right bs I think is well past its due date anyway, and didn't Donnie ask xi to interfere in the election? So much for being "tough on China"😁

Yep, see this study:

Asians (not just Chinese) are twice as likely to be falsely prosecuted for economic espionage, receive twice as long prison sentences despite cases involving lower economic value items, and far more economic espionage cases are done to benefit other American companies than Chinese companies yet all we hear about is economic espionage from China. These kinds of 2-to-1 disparities dwarf the criminal justice disparities that African-Americans face but there is no Asian Lives Matter movement as perhaps Asians are too meek and lack political support on either side of the political spectrum.

Like African-Americans and violent crime, the reason that Asians get profiled and prosecuted more for espionage is that they spy at higher rates.

And it's patently obvious why it's less serious when, for example, one American defense company spies on another American defense company, as opposed to a foreign defense company. That is to say, it's obvious unless you're a leftist saboteur with zero allegiance to the United States.

Read the study. Asians are twice as likely to be *falsely* prosecuted (i.e. 21-22% of charges against Asians are acquitted or dismissed for no evidence, compared to 11% of charges against whites). There are pretty egregious cases of Asians being prosecuted when the government misunderstood the science and did not even consult a scientific expert:

The vast majority of economic espionage is not about defense companies. In those instances, the victims would usually be harmed *more* by economic espionage from an American company than a Chinese one. I’d rather my product get ripped off by a Chinese company than another American one because most of my sales in are America so the American company is going to directly compete with mine while the Chinese company threatens a much smaller percentage of my business—and even if the Chinese company rips off my product, they are not going to be able to beat my marketing and distribution (which is why despite allegations of Chinese IP theft, I doubt most Americans could name a single Chinese brand name, while Chinese people buy American brands all day).

So what?

Women are much more likely to be *falsely* diagnosed with Lupus. It does nothing to change the fact that Lupus is idiotically more common among woman.

In a world with limited resources, you devote to the places that have highest pretest probabilities. People who travel to China more, have more social and business connections to China, and people who have Chinese language skills are all more likely to be in bed with China. None of them are protected classes and none of them are all that different than the ones we used when looking at Russian espionage a generation ago.

I just never understand disparate impact games. Should I waste more money testing men so I can get my false positive Lupus rates up more?

+1 medical doctors sure do understand & explain the dangers of false equivalencies better than elite leftist sociologists.

You and Zaua are arguing about different things. You already assume that all Chinese economic espionage is automatically bad and evil but Zaua is saying that though the behavior is not the best it can still be tolerated because American enterprises can still find the situation profitable. The Chinese let's say steal a new toothpaste formula but Americans tend to only buy American branded toothpaste so most of the profit stays in the borders. That's a net win for the US.

>I just never understand disparate impact games.
I've seen your comments before and you are smart enough guy but let's just say that your analogy of health testing is apples and oranges when compared to legal prosecution. A physical diagnostic is infinitely more objective and scientific than the political forces and human biases that shape our justice system.

The problem is that laws prohibiting corporate espionage, and especially corporate espionage conducted by foreign nationals and/or on behalf of foreign companies, weren't enacted because people were worried about toothpaste. They were enacted to protect against other nations stealing military tech and other items that compromise national security. Our friend Zaua's gaslighting about disparate investigations against Asians (and his subsequent nonsense about the benefits) obscures that simple fact.

No, he is arguing that flouting the law the is wrong because it uses "racial profiling". The profiling is far less about race than about highly accurate predictors and his canard about false positive rates just tells us that the process is focusing on the most likely sources of such espionage.

The enforcement of our laws is not a business decision, nor a personal one. It is a civic one. If you are raped the decision to prosecute does not lie solely with you, but rather it lies with our civic representatives. If the US populace wants to ignore Chinese violations of our laws, then we should have candidates that run on changing those laws, have them win elections, and then change the laws. This is my consistent stance across laws. You want to an immigration amnesty? Run on it and change the law. You want to decriminalize Chinese espionage? Run on it and change the law. You want to eliminate firearms offenses? Run on it and change the laws.

The analogy to health testing is exactly the same. All a lack of objectivity does is decrease the precision of a test (and in practice its accuracy). Many medical "tests" have wholly subjective elements (e.g. the official test for PE is "is the treating docs top guess a PE"). In all cases there is a pretest probability and you should focus your efforts on the most likely cases. Positive predictive value, likelihood ratios, area under the curve ... all of these are basic stats values and objecting to the commonality of these things is simple mathematically ignorant.

Note I do not say that all of these activities are free of racism, merely that having a higher false positive rate is meaningless without knowing the decision protocol. By like analogy my false positive rate for lupus in men is lower not because my test is worse for them, but because I only test the most flagrant male cases. Or take AUD, that is a somewhat subjective test and I far more likely to misdiagnose it in MVC patients than in my pneumonia patients. This is because my MVC patients pretty much always get an ETOH level while my pneumonia patients do not. By generating evidence I shift the pretest probability with data and my conditional success is higher, but so is my raw false diagnosis rate.

If you have a higher false positive just because of race, sure that is racism. If you have a higher false positive rate because you have means of more easily generating higher pretest probabilities, that could be perfectly innocent. It seems highly likely that folks who have social connections that entangle them in wire taps of CCCP officials, have cash transfers with Chinese organizations might pop with some positive data, etc.

did you read the study you linked?
"The fact that these defendants were not convicted of espionage does not, of course, necessarily mean they were not guilty of espionage."

Senor Zua -acquittal at trial doesn't = false prosecution

And this kind of racial profiling hurts American innovation too. A huge percentage of top American math and science students are Asian. But if I were one of their parents, there is no way I would recommend they go into scientific research because of the risk of government racial profiling. I’d strongly encourage them to use their math skills on Wall Street instead.

Or Silicon Valley. Unfortunately we are bumping into the limits of both finance and tech. We need real hard science and more basic research to keep the innovation going.

There might be an agreement those who leave China to go to school elsewhere have to sign which is something like we’re letting you go do this, but China first.

In short, you’re a spy if you want to leave.

Then there were the idiots trying to get out of the US with vials and where they stash them. Or not. One guy left with leaking vials a few years ago. Another stuffed samples into his daughter’s carry-on. This I think was Before OMB.

I think the most important thing is to carefully read that thick stack of paperwork that HR hands to you on day 1. Is there a non-disclosure agreement? If so, and if working for a big company that handles sensitive information, read it carefully and follow its terms.

A lot of people are careless about accessing and downloading work materials onto their home computers (I'm look at you, David Patraeus and Hillary Clinton) but it's really not a smart thing to do if you work in a sensitive sector as your actions could be seen in a bad light, regardless of the intentions.

The only interference here is the US government interfering in scientists voluntarily accepting the research grants they want. There’s no evidence that any of these scientists have done anything improper or even slacked off on their work on US grants.

The US government ought to interfere—they're the ones bankrolling it! Your seditious libertarianism falls flat here.

As to whether they've done anything proper, being employed by both the United States and a primary rival nation is self-evidently improper, particularly given that their allegiance is to China first.

Again, the notion that we not only let people with foreign ties like this into the country, but give them taxpayer money to further the interests of their home country, is disgusting.

Apparently these scientists are required to disclose financial support by a foreign government. If that were so innocuous, why not disclose it?

As I say, my guess is taxes.

Because if these dudes *are* filing their Chinese payments on their 1040s, and then not informing their employer, there is much less controversy here.

There is no crime, just a contract disagreement.

And you would wrong, as usual. It is conflict of interest as noted in NIH rules on grants:

The intent of this notice is to remind the extramural community about the need to report foreign activities through documentation of other support, foreign components, and financial conflict of interest to prevent scientific, budgetary, or commitment overlap. NIH has long required full transparency for all research activities both domestic and foreign and does not consider these clarifications to be changes in policy. The requirements referenced in this Notice, along with the other obligations in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS) and other terms and conditions of award, are instrumental to achieving the mutual goal of NIH and the extramural community, to protect the integrity of biomedical research.’

I'm not wrong. The changes were not about those contractual obligations. He would have avoided criminal penalties if he'd fessed up.

"In particular, they allege Lieber made a false statement in April 2018 to a DOD investigator"

Remember kids, no matter what you do, tell the truth when the FBI shows up.

But remember, even if you do, they might still go back and edit their 302 to say you lied, if it's politically convenient to do so.

Lying to the FBI is OK now according Trump supporters.Not sure why the Trump DOJ would pursue this.

Again, the morality of foreign spies is highly irrelevant, in spite of your TDS. This is an issue of treason, and those who defend foreign spies are traitors.

I think the truly brain dead Trump supporter reduces this to "Russia good, China bad" and handwaves from there.

SL is a case in point.

-10 off topic ranting and thread hijacking

This is a post about Chinese paying money to American scientists who don’t report it.

I think you are the only hijacker here. You don't want to face any question of morality, ethics, or law, so you demand that we say "both sides" and stop.

I'd love to know where I've said the Russians are good. I wasn't being ironic when I referred to the "Russian menace" above.

It's pretty rich to call someone else "brain dead" when you unquestionably sort everyone you interact with into the good column and the bad column and infer their worldviews from there like it's a Harry Potter novel.

The truth is that neither Russia nor China are good or bad relative to the US in the moral sense; they're simply rivals that aren't to be trusted to act in our best interests (although if it helps your limited cognitive skills I'll let you call both of them "bad"). I'm sure you think that being anti-Trump means you're anti-Russia, since that's what the talking heads on TV tell you, but on the other hand I'm sure Putin has enjoyed an entire presidential term full of false accusations, sabotage, a failed impeachment, etc. while he sits back and watches. Maybe you should ask yourself if you're the baddies.

It isn’t McCarthyism. The rules exist for a reason. The Chinese intelligence services don’t work like others. They’re pretty much only interested in winners. They pick successful people and do them favors. They don’t really ask for big favors. They don’t really blackmail or make things obvious. They just sort of try and trick people into opening up more than they should.

Government funding comes with strings attached. If you don’t want to abide by the rules, don’t take the money. Pretty simple. Anyone that has an issue with that is just naive and she pay attention to what China has actually done over the decades.

@Chris Screwtape - you've not thought through this issue enough, you're too much enthralled by bureaucratic red tape... NIH does basic research, by and large, to be published to the world to be freely used by anybody... are you also in favor of those states that copyright public building codes designed with taxpayer money and then charge people for printing them (Google this, I think Texas is one such state)?

They don’t care about the NIH research in particular. They care about cultivating relationships with the sort of people that receive funding. They play a long game. I really don’t think many of you have even tried to think about this from the government’s perspective. Also don’t think any of you have read anything much about the Chinese intelligence services. Book called Tiger Trap is a good place to start.

Seems like you know quite a bit about how Chinese intelligence operates. Maybe the NIH should start investigating YOU!

Or take the money, and file it on your 1040?

It wasn't an issue with taxes but NIH funding disclosure rules. Details are in the first link.

As I say, my suspicion was that it started with a "hook" of off-shore tax-free money. That's confirmed in some cases, link above.

Since biomedical research is being treated more as a national security issue nowadays, will researchers be paid more in the coming years?

So why did they all lie? Did the Chinese government require them to do so as a condition of the funding, so as to conceal the extent of its reach? Or would they have lost US grant funding if they'd been transparent about the Chinese money?

Good questions, and it argues that NIH researchers are underpaid if they have to resort to Chinese money.

What is the NIH afraid of, since they are in the business of basic research, which can be freely used by anybody in the world? Perhaps this thought experiment: an NIH scientist develops a killer virus, call it SARS-CoV-2 that infects only old people and is useful for killing off older adults in countries like China (which, like the USA, has an inverted pyramid of ages, lots of oldsters). The NIH now has the option of keeping this invention secret by not publishing it. This is why the NIH is against foreign governments having access to whatever NIH boffins invent? Since, as before, otherwise most of what the boffins invent would go to the public domain anyway.

If I could get someone else to pay me for the work I already do for my employer I would be delighted. That would not mean I was under-paid. It would just mean that my contract did not say my work product belonged to my employer.

Patents may go into the public domain. But there is a lot more technology at work here and there is no reason to allow the Chinese to corrupt academic life. The Confucius Institutes are worse imo.

It has nothing to do with whether they're underpaid. They could have taken the extra money and disclosed it as the law required. Likewise, I'm not asking about what the agency's security concerns might be.

Why did the researchers lie?

I think it's that American scientists simply don't have enough money since the orange idiot doesn't give them the Chinese provide it. Simple as that...

If women were in charge everywhere, the coronavirus would have been a quickly passing nuisance not a deadly pandemic.

The sexism of american TV ads writ large across the world. Women are hyper competent and men are bumbling fools. Elizabeth Holmes thanks you for your service.

Are there any examples of this funding leading to actual improper behavior such as classified information being transferred to the Chinese government? If not, then this is no more the NIH’s business as it is my business if one of my employees has a side hustle.

"Under the terms of Lieber’s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT paid Lieber $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT. In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT ‘not less than nine months a year’ by ‘declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of’ WUT."

Sounds more like his Harvard position was the side hustle. But they do say some people never sleep.

If his duties under his Chinese side hustle interfered with his performance at Harvard, then Harvard would have the right to fire him for poor performance, just like I would fire an employee for poor performance if he was spending all his time on his side hustle and wasn’t doing his job. But that shouldn’t be a criminal issue, and I have also heard no suggestion that this was affecting the professor’s performance.

The alleged crime is not accepting money from the Chinese government -- it is lying about it to federal authorities. The same crime that Martha Stewart and Michael Flynn were hit with.

This is one thing that I think people can be justly upset at "elites" for. If you are going to take $50,000 per month from another government (especially if that government is one like Russia, China, or Saudi Arabia), just be honest about it. Why lie?

That's my reading of it as well. And perhaps the Chinese do understand the lure and the hook. They offer tax free money, and then you are on the hook to keep it all secret.

The articles I've read on this (including this one) are rather unclear on exactly what is supposed to be illegal about these activities. However, in my experience (not with the NIH), granting agencies require you to disclose other funding in your application, so not doing so would be fraud. I assume that the requirement is to avoid a researcher getting multiple grants to do the same thing - you tell three agencies that you need $100,000 per year to support a post-doc to work on your vital project, giving you $200,000 per year to spend on whatever you want, which I think in the U.S. might include a supplement to your own salary.

Yup. And, of course, undisclosed financial support is an ethical minefield. If a climate scientist were accepting undisclosed money from Exxon, no one would be rushing to excuse it as just a side hustle.

And ultimately, these scientists knew the rules and choose to lie. Why?

And why are people rushing in to defend the lying?

I’m seeing Zaua, who always muddies the water for China. And anon, who is a contrarian troll who spends his days being out argued on at least one website, this one. China has low quality apologists here.

I am bored in quarantine, but what part of "share a cell" didn't you understand?

Hey, I guess you lobbyists not revealing that they are being paid by foreign governments, either! After all, it's not like the lobbyists are doing anything inherently *illegal*, they're just being paid by some people, that's all.

guess you -> guess you are ok with

Chinese Emergent Ventures would like you to apply for an award if you project shows signs of success.

Let us know the progress and potential of your research.

We will have the finest academics assess your research and will give you an award if you show potential.

PS. We do not sign non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and if we did, they would not be worth much. To help you get your ideas to market, some of our Chinese investors on our board will be there when you need us to help finance your project.

Would a Chinese Emergent Ventures be more open about who is supporting it?

Markets work efficiently if market actors are anonymous.

That's what Adam Smith meant by the "Invisible Hand."

Emergent Ventures is a non-profit charitable organization, not a part of the market. Its existence is based precisely on it not being subject to market forces - or government taxation, for that matter.

What are its conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.

Emergent Ventures is a clever way for venture capitalists to take advantage of IRS charity deduction rules while using a charity as a stalking horse to acquire leads on future business opportunities.

It is a masterful construction.

last month an emergent venture grant winner elucidated a potentially
important sars-2 antibody/receptor that may be useful in eventually
producing a vaccine

Our charitable institutions are failing us, #1334561 - Applications are paused

Due to receipt of a very large number of qualified submissions, Fast Grant applications are currently paused. If Fast Grants secures additional funding, we will resume issuing new grants. Sign up if you’d like to be notifed if we reopen applications

The "full story" gives essentially no useful information that would allow the reader to judge whether this is simply politically motivated defenestration or justified disciplinary action.

I am sure that a lot of this was for espionage, probably mostly for business advantage. That said, I would bet that if there was a broader investigation there would be found a fair amount of other unknown payments being made by other companies and businesses that arent being reported.


Relatedly, are we still deep into negative territory with respect to IRS funding for investigations?

How the IRS Was Gutted

Again, we should look for consistent rules, and one way to have them is to make "compliance" on foreign income better enforced, in general.

.. speaking of needing "cops on the street" ..

That's a good point but taxation of foreign income is always going to be difficult to enforce. If you look at Paul Manafort, my recollection is that he did the normal rich-guy thing and set up a web of overseas shell corporations and trusts to receive payments related to foreign consulting contracts. The law requires U.S. citizens to declare to all interests in all bank accounts, investments, corporate entities, etc. abroad but you then need the help of other governments to share data and to force their own banks to do due diligence to discover beneficial owners of all accounts.

Right, I think it's still possible to nest shell companies for a lot of things.

One tidbit I heard is that (very) expensive houses in the US can be held by offshore companies, and the companies are sold (overseas) rather than the house. Saves on all kinds of US-visible transactions and taxes. Not to mention Prop-13 basis adjustment.

This is just another example of how people on top seem to think that the rules do not apply to them. All they need to do is to disclose their funding, a condition of them getting their US funding. We all have to do this on our taxes after all (and as somebody who practices medicine in multiple states it can be a royal pain), why exactly should highly educated researchers be different?

Likewise, I have a slew of restrictions on any moonlighting I do. As do people like cops and even salesmen. Why again should they be free to violate those employment conditions and then lie about them?

What precisely is so heinous about requiring people to abide by the rules and sanction them when they lie? After all is not one of the major critiques of both party's leadership that they lie repeatedly without remorse? This sort of behavior is part of the reason why I cannot abide either of the major parties.

I agree completely. But FWIW, this is how "Accounting Today" views the situation:

Most taxpayers envision Internal Revenue Service audits as intrusive investigations resulting in criminal sentences. Today, nothing could be farther than the truth: The IRS’s auditing power has been greatly diminished in the past decade. IRS audit resources have been reduced by 28 percent in the last decade and the audit rate has dropped from 0.9 percent in 2010 to 0.5 percent in 2018. In fact, the number of IRS audits in 2018 (991,168) dropped by almost half compared to 2010 (1.735 million).

I think it's fair to say we have decriminalized tax fraud.

This isn’t really tax fraud, it’s failure to disclose foreign funding as part of grants

Your link is completely irrelevant to the entire post

Remember the conservative groups IRS scandal? The rule clearly states 501(c)(4) cannot be political but those "patriot" or "tea party" groups got away with dodging their taxes. Why? Because half of our politicians chose party over enforcing the law. I share completely your view and as a political independent I feel more vulnerable than if I chose a political party because in that case I would at least be protected by half of our political establishment but it would come at the cost of turning a blind eye at partisan corruption. You are right when certain people feel they are above the law because they are. We all have to do our taxes unless you have special friends in high places.

(It will also become important later this year that the two parties are not actually morally equivalent, and equally represented by porn star bangers-and-payers.)

So, this is the same China that was the benefactor of an overt (and at the time highly-touted) official program of wealth and IP transfer from the US during the 1990's and 2000's?

Our reverse-merchantilist policy coming back to bite us now, eh? I'm shocked, shocked.

So, they're bad guys now huh? Sheesh, I am getting old enough that I'm having trouble keeping track of who's on which ledger at any point of time. Thank God for white boards and dry erase markers.

But it would be cool if someone could help me with this: undisclosed corporate funding and baksheesh with researchers and academics is okay, as long as the company has an American-sounding name?

alrightie, got it.

Well, China was just opening. Some naïveté, some greed. Hope for the best.

"Naivete"? Hardly

Sure, perhaps among the hoi polloi on the center and right who mindlessly regurgiated the happy BS coming from the neolibs and their talking heads.

But the leadership knew exactly what they were getting into. And so did the critics who saw quite clearly what was at play.

News flash. Academicians are not loyal to the country they live in, only their immediate social matrix and their professional subcultures. Why do we subsidize them and surround them with privileges?

News flash. Corporate Executives and bilionaires are not loyal to the country they live in, only to their offshore bank account, their stock value, their immediate social matrix and their professional subcultures.

Why do we subsidize them and surround them with privileges?

Scientific and medical research is the one of the closest things there is to a genuine public good. In this day and age, if the U.S. government isn't going to support science, top scientists will either have to go raise money from billionaires or else take more grants from China and the gulf states.

One of the fundamental delusions in America is that private corporations do the basic science and blue-sky development that creates new technologies, treatments, and products categories.

The multi-decade program of tax cutting and upwards redistribution on the right - that cloaked itself in libertarianism - has brought us ever closer to institutional paralysis and self-cannibalization through its myth making and anti-government rhetoric and purges. The golden goose is on its last legs.

that is not a delusion
private corporations do bigly bucketfulls of basic science and blue-sky development that creates new technologies, treatments, and products categories.

The business sector funds less than 30% of basic r&d.

like we said bigly bucketfulls

like i said
taxpayers fund the vast majority of basic r&d

You said they don't do basic research (or rather it's a delusion). Yes, they do.

From The Washington Examiner:

A Chinese military officer is accused of trying to leave the United States with a cache of scientific research conducted at a California university.

Xin Wang, a high-ranking member of the People’s Liberation Army, was arrested Monday and charged with making false claims on his visa application.

Wang arrived in the U.S. in March 2019 for a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco, where he researched the metabolic function of adipose tissue and worked on projects funded by grants from the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, according to court documents filed Thursday.....

Disclosing foreign interests isn't unreasonable. Every single US taxpayer must disclose overseas financial interests they have--regardless of the amount of time. If you hold $1 for 1 second in foreign interest, you must file a form. And not with the IRS--it's some other agency I cannot remember.

Failure to do so means treble damages. That is, if $1M moves through a foreign account, even if you gained nothign from that foreign account, you could face $3M in fines.

It's been this way forever.

My guess is that all these guys are getting hit for failing to disclose foreign financial interests.

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