It seems like this scientist was basically acting as a foreign spy... for which he could face a laughable 6 month sentence? seems far too light of a sentence to deter this behavior in the future.
“ Meyyappan concealed this work from NASA and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, and falsely told investigators in an Oct. 27 interview he was not a member of the Thousand Talents Program and did not hold the professorship in China, prosecutors said.”
NASA is a government agency, and the United States has a legitimate interest in ferreting out applicants who may be compromised by a foreign adversary. So from this description he essentially lied to law enforcement or some equivalent and/or checked the box on some form the affirmed whatever they wanted him to affirm under penalty of perjury with all the typical legalese attached to that box.
The Thousand Talents program essentially a foreign espionage operation, or at best, a theft operation, so that caught up to him.
If I were an academic and/or worked at an institution that evaluated me by papers published for "impact" it would be a credible enticement.
It has always been the case that working across borders was considered a good way to establish non-diplomatic ties between countries.
That said, if you work for the government you have rules about disclosing such work and it seems that he may have perjured himself on some of his disclosure forms. That is always a bad choice. If true, that he felt compelled to lie about his association would indicate that he also felt if he didn't lie the US Government would ask him to stop working with these folks.
That combination of things sounds like a very common rationalization that people have used forever that goes something like "I know that 'technically' this is against the rules, but what I'm doing doesn't violate the spirit of the rule and it is giving me a large benefit. Since I have decided it wouldn't be a violation, lying about it is harmless and saves a lot of paperwork explaining to people who don't understand what we're doing on why it only seems like it would violate the rule but doesn't really."
It may be survivor bias but it seems that every time someone has used this sort of logic to explain to me why they were not following some "bureaucratic rule" I knew that once it came out that they were not following the rule, they would face worse consequences.
What they are recruiting into is that and the PLA has been building up their capabilities out of what they can get their hands on Stateside via programs like this.
Since US may lose power to an authoritarian regime four times its population, US should act sooner or later while it can do so effectively, and the question is when and how.
> It is okay to be conservative, but it is wrong to be paranoid.
As to whether US is acting paranoid, you may be interested in the resources listed in another thread .
Those resources argue (agreeable or not) that China has been playing the long game, declaring ambitious goals (to dominate production of key technologies by 2025, build a world class military by 2035, and be a superpower by 2049) and consistently acting towards those goals (including technology transfer). Some strategists suggest protecting the technological lead and outrun China on innovation .
Don’t be silly. Our adversaries are a short and known list that happens to include some of the larger powers in the Old World.
I’m less concerned about someone threatening the United States directly than I am about them threatening, in no particular order: Israel, Japan, Europe, particularly Eastern Europe where the threat is, Real China (Taiwan), South Korea, etc.
That said, I’m also concerned about the PRC exporting its censorship regime under the leadership of Chairman Winnie the Pooh. They’re not there yet but they’re pushing.
I can see China may export influence, and will certainly threat Taiwan. That's probably a given. I recommend people read about the history of China to understand why I am so certain about it.