China paid scientists up to $1 million to leave their work on sensitive weapons technologies at the U.S.’ top nuclear lab and develop weapons for China, according to an intelligence report published Wednesday.
The report from Strider Technologies details Beijing’s campaign to embed 162 Chinese scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratories, where the U.S. first developed nuclear weapons, in sensitive U.S.-funded research over the last three decades. At least 13 of the scientists later returned to China through the subversive “talent programs” to advance Chinese research in deep-earth-penetrating warhead, hypersonic missile, quiet submarine and drone technologies, according to the report.
The talent programs present a “direct threat to U.S. national security,” Greg Levesque, a co-founder of Strider and the lead author of the report, told CBS News. “China is playing a game that we are not prepared for, and we need to really begin to mobilize.”
At least one of the Chinese scientists held a “Q Clearance,” providing access to top-secret information related to U.S. national security, according to the report.