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Harvard Professor Convicted in China Initiative Case

January 3, 2022

A Harvard University chemistry professor was convicted in December of lying to federal authorities about participating in a Chinese scientific talent program, Reuters reported. A federal jury found Charles Lieber, the former chair of Harvard’s chemistry department, guilty of making false statements to federal authorities, filing false tax returns and failing to report a Chinese bank account.

Lieber’s case has been closely watched amid mounting criticism of the Department of Justice’s China Initiative, which was launched by the Trump administration in 2018 ostensibly to combat economic espionage and trade secret theft but which has resulted in prosecutions against academics, including Lieber, who are not accused of espionage but are accused of concealing Chinese university affiliations or funding sources from the federal government.

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