China targeting hospitals, labs for coronavirus research, says US government

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
Washington Published: May 15, 2020, 10:10 PM(IST)

File photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Trump administration says its hospitals, research labs, pharma companies and healthcare providers have been hit by Chinese cyber attacks

The US government is convinced that China has been spying on its systems for the coronavirus research.

The Trump administration says its hospitals, research labs, pharma companies and healthcare providers have been hit by Chinese cyber attacks with the US determined to pluck every possible Chinese mole.

High-profile arrests have been made in the US with anyone suspected of spying for China being picked up.

Two arrests have been made in the last week both by the FBI. Dr Qing Wang has arrested from Ohio on May 13. Wang is a former employee of the Cleveland clinic. He was arrested on fraud charges at the center connected with a $3.6 million federal grant. 

Prosecutors said Wang accepted grants from the national institute of health and violated its terms.

Wang did not disclose his affiliation with China's Huazhing university. He was the Dean of the college of life sciences and technology. Wang was also a participant in China's thousand talents program. He got a grant of $3 million from China and did not disclose it to the US government. 

Wang is a US citizen who was born in China. He specialises in genetics and cardiovascular disease. Wang had been affiliated with the Cleveland clinic since 1997 and was fired recently.

Authorities searched Wang's Ohio home before arresting him. Wang's case is very similar to the case of Harvard professor Charles Lieber. The 60-year-old was arrested in January. Lieber had hidden his affiliations with China. He too was a participant in China's thousand talents program.

Another academic was also recently arrested. 63-year-old Simon saw-teong Ang who is an electrical engineering professor. He is also a researcher at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

He was arrested on May 8 and charged with wire fraud. Authorities say Ang has defrauded NASA and the university. Ang secured funding for a NASA research project but he did not disclose his affiliation with a Chinese university neither did he tell the authorities about his links with Chinese companies.

United States has alleged that China has been trying to steal American technology. It includes everything from military material to medical research. America's fears aren't unfounded with several security agencies having reported an increase in phishing and malware attempts on US government employees.

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