Report: UK Likely Funding Chinese Communist Military Through Joint University Projects

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British taxpayers are likely funding the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) military through joint projects carried out between British and Chinese universities, a report has found.

The taxpayer-funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has handed out over £6.5 million to universities throughout the country for co-authored studies carried out in conjunction with Chinese universities and institutions with links to the communist nation’s defence apparatus, according to disclosures on academic papers.

Six of the papers were co-authored with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in-house academy and another two projects were carried out with researchers from the “Seven Sons of National Defence” universities, which are responsible for developing technology for the Chinese military, The Telegraph reported.

The EPSRC also gave a £305,891 grant to the University of Manchester for a joint research project that was carried out with Beihang University, which has been sanctioned by the United States government for developing rocket and drone warfare technology.

The stated mission of the government funding scheme is to develop programmes for civilian use, however, in at least two cases grant applications admitted that their research would have “both civilian and military applications” and could be used for “military controlling”.

In response to the revelations, senior Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith said that the projects were “tantamount to transfer of technologies to the Chinese government”, adding that British universities and the EPSRC are “living in a naïve world”.

“You cannot say that there is any [Chinese] institution that is safe from the reach of that government… If they take technology as part of a market position, they can use it for other things,” Smith said.

The executive chairwoman of the EPSRC, Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, defended the projects saying: “These grants were fully consistent with government policy. All UK funding was directed to fund research by UK universities.”

A further six UK-Sino research papers were funded by the controversial tech giant Huawei. The British government has reportedly decided to block the company from helping to build the nation’s 5G network after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘changed his mind‘ on Huawei.

The tech firm, which claims to be independent of the CCP, said: “We do not conduct military research either directly, or indirectly, nor do we work on military or intelligence projects for the Chinese government or any other government.”

In May, Imperial College London — the institution responsible for the doomsday projections on the Chinese coronavirus by disgraced professor Neil Ferguson — was revealed to have secured a has £5 million deal with Huawei.

The Chinese tech company will sponsor research projects, the construction of new tech facilities, as well as a 5G network for the college.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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