An international research collective led by Follow the Money, a Dutch platform for investigative journalism, has recently launched the “China Science Investigation” project which conducts research into scientific collaborations and ties between Chinese scientists and European knowledge institutions. The China Science Investigation shows that European universities are collaborating on a large scale with Chinese military institutes, sharing militarily sensitive knowledge and helping China to build the world’s most modern army. According to a Follow the Money:
May 17, 2022 China wants to build the most powerful army in the world. They appear to be succeeding – thanks to European scientists, who are sharing militarily sensitive knowledge with the Chinese army on a large scale. This is the conclusion of research done by Follow the Money and ten other media outlets from seven different countries. Nearly three hundred of such sensitive studies were conducted in the Netherlands. ‘Vital knowledge has already leaked. We’re fighting a rearguard action.’ The international research collective, led by the Dutch platform Follow the Money, with the support of the German CORRECTIV, found a total of 2,994 scientific publications on which scientists from European universities and Chinese military universities collaborated. Follow the Money collected over 350,000 scientific studies and made them available to 30 journalists from 11 research desks in 7 countries. The China Science Investigation shows that European universities are collaborating on a large scale with Chinese military institutes. Most notably, this concerns the National University of Defence Technology (NUDT), which is directly overseen by the Chinese Central Military Commission, the authoritarian state’s highest national defence body. The consortium also found studies done in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics, which focuses on nuclear weapons. The studies deal with militarily sensitive topics such as unmanned vehicles, radar technology, and artificial intelligence.
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The report says that universities in the UK have conducted the most joint studies with Chinese scientists, accounting for almost half (1,389) of all scientific articles found. Germany is in second place with 349 articles, followed by the Netherlands (288) and Sweden (230). The report argues that the Chinese research collaborations in militarily sensitive fields are part of a “well-thought-out strategy” as China wants to become the world’s main technological, economic, political, and military power.
The China Science investigation consists of eleven leading European newspapers which will conduct further research in the coming months and publish more articles. So far, more than 38 articles have been published in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The Global Influence Operations Report will closely monitor these developments.