A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has claimed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has used groups to infiltrate universities across Western Europe.
The report identifies 12 arms groups and 68 schools the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is involved with as well as 16 research laboratories created by Chinese arms groups in Western countries.
Ten of the laboratories are located in the UK with the rest located in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, Le Temps reports.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Society (CASC) is one of the groups involved, having set up a joint research laboratory with the University of Applied Sciences of North-West Switzerland and the German Technical School of Rhineland-Westphalia following a 2013 visit to Switzerland.
Katja Grünblatt, a spokeswoman for the Swiss university, said that the goal of the cooperation was to develop technology for artificial hearts using Chinese technology invented to help pilot military rockets.
The Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, labelled one of the “seven sons of national defence” by the Chinese government, has also been actively working with the Federal Polytechnic of Zurich (EPFZ) on several research papers.
Chinese Communists Infiltrate British Universities, Confiscating Papers and Cancelling Events https://t.co/apQaws9ZS9
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 6, 2019
According to Le Temps, a deputy director of the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics had allegedly stolen technology from GE Aviation in 2018 according to a complaint lodged in the United States.
“By providing technology to the Chinese military, you are helping to weaken your own country,” former British diplomat Charles Parton said. Mr Parton continued: “There is a risk of fueling the tools of repression deployed by Beijing against its own citizens.”
“Universities must wake up. They are still far too naive about the risks posed by collaborations with China,” he added.
Concerns over Chinese influence have been at the forefront of the rollout of 5G wireless technology, with Chinese telecom giant Huawei being banned in the United States from 5G networks over allegations of backdoors that would enable spying by the Chinese government.
In Europe, several countries have expressed some openness in allowing Huawei to use 5G in their countries, leading to warnings from U.S. retired defence officials that they could put American military operations at risk by using Chinese technology on their 5G networks.