China Targeted Scientists Working in U.S. Labs


The Chinese government recruited scientists, who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, to assist China in advancing key military and dual-use technologies in areas such as hypersonics, deep-earth penetrating warheads, unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAV), and jet engines.
Strider Technologies is a security and intelligence firm located in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the US. The intelligence think tank enables clients to proactively identify, manage, and respond to nation-state-directed IP theft and supply chain vulnerabilities.
The report highlighted that in three decades, over 160 researchers returned to China to help with its nuclear and other advanced weapons programs.
“Between 1987 and 2021, at least 162 scientists who had worked at Los Alamos returned to China to support various domestic research and development (R&D) programs. Of those fifteen, thirteen were recruited into Chinese government talent programs; some were responsible for sponsoring visiting scholars and postdoctoral researchers from the PRC, and some received US government funding for sensitive research.
At least one of these staff members held a US Department of Energy (DOE) “Q Clearance,” allowing access to top-secret restricted data and national security information.
China is employing a Talent Superpower Strategy designed to incentivize academics, researchers, and scientists to go abroad, deepen their expertise, and return to China to advance its strategic interests.