U.S. charges MIT professor with grant fraud for failing to disclose Chinese ties
By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in nanotechnology research was arrested on U.S. charges that he failed to disclose his ties to the Chinese government when seeking federal grant money. Federal prosecutors in Boston on Thursday charged Gang Chen, a Chinese-born mechanical engineer and nanotechnologist, with defrauding the U.S.
By Nate Raymond
BOSTON (Reuters) - A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who specializes in nanotechnology research was arrested on U.S. charges that he failed to disclose his ties to the Chinese government when seeking federal grant money.
Federal prosecutors in Boston on Thursday charged Gang Chen, a Chinese-born mechanical engineer and nanotechnologist, with defrauding the U.S. Department of Energy when seeking grants and failing to disclose on a foreign bank account on a tax return.
Following his arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed search warrants at his home in Cambridge and office at MIT, where he is the director of the MIT Pappalardo Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory.
MIT said it was "deeply distressed" by the arrest of Chen, 56, a "long-serving and highly respected member of the research community." It said it takes seriously concerns about improper influence in U.S. research.
Chen's lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
The case is the latest to emerge from a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on Chinese influence within universities amid concerns about spying and intellectual property theft by the Chinese government.
Of the FBI's 5,000 active counter-intelligence investigations, nearly half are China-related, said Joseph Bonavolonta, who oversees the agency's Boston field office.
Prosecutors said Chen was involved in various efforts to promote China's technological and scientific development, including acting as an "overseas expert" for the Chinese government at the request of its New York consulate.
Prosecutors said he received money from various Chinese entities and helped review and assess grant applications for the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC), which operates similarly to U.S. grant-funding agencies.
But prosecutors said he never disclosed his work for the NNSFC or other Chinese affiliations when he applied for Energy Department grants.
Since 2013, various federal agencies have awarded more than $19 million in grants to fund Chen's research, prosecutors said.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston, Editing by William Maclean)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.