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US accusation of China ‘stealing military tech’ with talent program groundless: experts

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The US fussing with China's "Thousand Talents Plan" is an "overreaction and arrogance," analysts said Monday, after US officials accused China of "seizing its military and commercial technology" via the plan.

In a report from Bloomberg, the plan was accused of being part of China's efforts to "transfer, replicate and eventually overtake US military and commercial technology," citing US intelligence officials.

The US is overreacting toward China's Thousand Talents Plan, which is simply a program of academic exchange, Song Guoyou, director of the Center for Economic Diplomacy of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Monday.

"By doing so, the US aims to seize global talent and prevent talent from making decisions freely, which shows the US' self-confidence is decreasing," said Song.

"Academic communication is mutual as it is not only benefitting China but also the US. Information of China's technology and development is also shared among US academics," Song added.

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times that the US' suspicion and accusations toward China have long existed but it's totally unnecessary.

China wants to learn from the US but the US also keeps an eye toward China's industrial development and academics' views, according to Li.

The Thousand Talents Plan, which began in 2008, has helped bring about 6,000 leading Chinese scientists, academics, and entrepreneurs living abroad, as well as foreign-born researchers, to China over the past decade, official website of the Thousand Talents Plan writes.

Talent who are approved as members of the plan will enjoy preferential policies, including being granted permanent residence, a one million yuan ($150,000) allowance, and social insurance.

The 2018 Thousand Talents Plan is open for application till the end of August.

The influence of talent who were adopted by the plan is still limited, said experts.

China's development mainly depends on domestic talent and students since the country's higher education institutions and scientific research fields are well equipped and have been improving steadily over the years, Zhu Lijia, a professor of public management at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times on Monday.

"The US is being arrogant. They are finding trouble for themselves where none exists," Zhu noted.

A total of 8.2 million college students are expected to graduate in 2018, Xinhua News Agency reported.

China is also winning back more Chinese graduates from foreign universities in recent years due to the strength of the Chinese economy and fast growth in the technology industry, Xinhua said.


Newspaper headline: US ‘smears’ China’s talent plan


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