Arkansas prof arrested over alleged secret China ties
- A University of Arkansas professor was arrested and charged for undisclosed ties to China.
- The professor is the latest of multiple American university professors to be charged with such a crime.
Yet another American university professor has been indicted for allegedly failing to disclose his ties to China.
According to the Justice Department, University of Arkansas Electrical Engineering Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was arrested Friday on one count of wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Arkansas says Ang had "close ties" with both the Chinese government and Chinese companies but failed to disclose his ties when receiving federal grant money through NASA.
"These materially false representations to NASA and the University of Arkansas resulted in numerous wires to be sent and received that facilitated Ang’s scheme to defraud," the U.S. Attorney's office said. Ang faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
Ang is just the latest American university professor to be charged in recent months for undisclosed ties to China, as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China. The Trump administration says the virus could have been contained within China had the Chinese Communist Party reacted more transparently amid the outbreak in late 2019.
The charges against multiple professors in the U.S come as the U.S has for years debated Chinese intellectual property theft. In recent months, U.S. lawmakers have also called on American universities to close their Confucius Institutes, which American intelligence officials have called national security threats and the former Chinese propaganda minister once admitted the Chinese government uses as "propaganda" centers.
Among the most prominent professors arrested for allegedly hiding his ties to China was the former head of Harvard University's chemistry department, Charles Leiber, who was allegedly paid tens of thousands of dollars per month and was awarded $1.5 million to launch a research lab at the Wuhan University of Technology, in Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus.