Nationwide, Feds find cozy connections between China & university professors

  • In the last year, multiple university professors and researchers have been charged over their connections to China.
  • Now, U.S. college campuses are under increased scrutiny for any connections they may have to the communist regime as the country deals with the fallout from the pandemic.
  • Specifically, colleges are being pressured by all sides to shut down their Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes.

The Chinese Virus began infiltrating the United States in early 2020, but the communist country already had a foot in the door well before then. 

In the last year, Campus Reform has covered multiple instances of U.S. law enforcement officials charging professors and students with lying about their ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded research and even attempting to smuggle U.S.-funded researched to China. 

[RELATED: GOP lawmakers probe 'Chinese efforts to infiltrate US colleges']

Yi-Chi Shih, University of California-Los Angeles

In the summer of 2019, UCLA adjunct professor Yi-Chi Shih was found guilty of conspiring to steal U.S. missile secrets for China. 

Image source: LinkedIn


Feng Tao, University of Kansas

A University of Kansas associate professor and researcher was indicted for allegedly lying about his ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded academic research. 

 Advanced issue found

Image source: University of Kansas

[RELATED: US colleges urged to confront China 'threat' amid coronavirus pandemic]

Charles Lieber, Harvard University

The Harvard University chemistry department chair was arrested for his alleged ties to a Wuhan, China laboratory, where he was paid up to $1.5 million to build the lab, plus an additional $50,000 per month.

Image source: WCVB-TV 

Xiojiang Li, Emory University

An Emory University associate professor and medical researcher was charged in late 2019 with allegedly lying about his employment at a Chinese university while simultaneously working at Emory. He pleaded guilty in May 2020. 

Image source: WAGA-TV

Simon Saw-Teong Ang, University of Arkansas

A University of Arkansas professor was charged with lying to federal authorities about his ties to China while conducting U.S.-funded academic research. 

Image source: University of Arkansas


Anming Hu, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

A UT-Knoxville associate professor and researcher was charged in February with lying to the federal government about his connections to Chinese universities in order to receive a federal research grant.

Image source: WBIR-TV 

Zaosong Zheng, Harvard University

A Chinese national medical student at Harvard University's Beth Israel Deaconess Teaching Hospital was arrested in December for allegedly attempting to smuggle vials of cancer research out of the U.S. on a flight to Beijing, China. 

Image source:  Worcester Telegram

James Lewis, West Virginia University

Former WVU professor James Lewis pleaded guilty to working for a Chinese university without disclosing the information. The former academic had taken paternity leave but then used the time off to board a plane for China, without his child. 

[RELATED: Harvard's China ties are even stronger than you thought]

Not only has China attempted to gain a foothold on American university campuses through professors and students, but the communist regime has also targeted dozens of campuses nationwide by paying to open what are known as Confucius Institutes. Campus Reform has covered these centers extensively. 

Below, you can see an interactive map of the locations of each Confucius Institute below.

Follow the author of this article on Facebook: @JonStreetDC and Twitter: @JonStreet

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Jon Street
Jon Street | Managing Editor

Jon Street is a news editor for Campus Reform. Six years ago, Jon cut his reporting teeth fresh out of college as an intern at Media Research Center's, where he interviewed multiple members of Congress and former presidential candidates. From there, he went on to complete a stint at, where his exclusive, investigative work was picked up or cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, National Review, and the Drudge Report, among others. More recently, Jon spent three years as an assistant editor at In his free time, Jon enjoys trying new coffeehouses around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and traveling back to his home state of Missouri to spend time with his family.

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