U.S. senators unveil bill to curb foreign espionage, influence on campuses

FILE PHOTO: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) walks to the Senate Chamber because the impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump continues in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

(Reuters) – A bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled laws on Thursday geared toward defending analysis and innovation on U.S. campuses and stop suspected theft of mental property by China and different nations.

The invoice comes amid a rising push in Washington to clamp down on spying and mental property theft that some Chinese nationals are suspected of participating in on U.S. college and faculty campuses.

The “Safeguarding American Innovation Act” proposes to strengthen the State Department’s authority to disclaim visas to overseas nationals searching for entry to sure delicate applied sciences associated to U.S. nationwide safety and financial safety pursuits.

It additionally proposes penalizing people with fines and imprisonment for failing to reveal overseas help on federal grant functions, in addition to decreasing the edge for U.S. faculties and universities to report overseas presents.

“This bill will help us stop foreign governments from stealing our research and innovation while also increasing transparency to ensure that taxpayers know when colleges and universities accept significant foreign funding,” Portman mentioned in an announcement.

The invoice, co-sponsored by senators together with Rob Portman, Tom Carper, Marco Rubio and Maggie Hassan, additionally goals to present the Department of Education authority to punish U.S. faculties that fail to correctly report presents obtained from overseas entities.

In one of many highest-profile circumstances to emerge from a U.S. Justice Department crackdown on Chinese affect inside universities, a Harvard University professor pleaded not responsible on Tuesday to costs that he lied to U.S. authorities about his ties to a China-run recruitment program and funding he obtained from the Chinese authorities for analysis.

Reuters, citing sources, reported final month that the United States is planning to cancel the visas of 1000’s of Chinese graduate college students believed by President Donald Trump’s administration to have hyperlinks with China’s army.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Heinrich


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