Seven Taiwanese researchers lured by China: science ministry

06/10/2019 05:59 PM
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Image used for illustrative purposes only / Image taken from Pixabay.
Image used for illustrative purposes only / Image taken from Pixabay.

Taipei, June 10 (CNA) Seven Taiwanese scientists and technology researchers have been participating in China's Thousand Talents Plan -- an initiative launched by Beijing to lure top academics and scientists from abroad, Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology said Monday.

Among those Taiwanese, who had been teaching or working on research projects in Taiwan, two have already resigned from their jobs and moved to China, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Hsu Yu-chin (許有進) said Monday.

He said all seven people had been receiving funding from his ministry for research, on condition that their findings should not be transferred to any other institutions without the permission of their respective schools.

In light of the researchers' decision to work under China's Thousand Talents Plan, Hsu said, their names will be passed on to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top government agency in charge handling relations with China.

It is not clear whether the Taiwanese researchers have already transferred the results of their studies to China, said Hsu, who declined to name the researchers.

He said his ministry will seek to recover the funds it had allocated to the researchers if it is found that they have made the results of their studies available to institutions in China.

The issue first came to light earlier Monday in a Liberty Times report, which cited Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) as saying that the Cabinet had assigned a task force to investigate scientists and academics suspected of participating in China's Thousand Talents Plan in violation of Taiwan's laws.

Pan said some retired professors and about seven other people employed at universities as well as several others at science and technology institutions have been recruited under the Chinese program.

According to a report by MAC in October 2018, about 33 Taiwanese academics and scientists were participating in the program at that time.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Evelyn Kao)


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