A Defense Department official told Congress that the agency is investigating partnerships between Chinese research firms and U.S. universities, most acutely those that conduct sensitive testing for the Pentagon, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, told the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the crux of the probe is to ensure that Pentagon "research doesn’t go to places that have those ties" with Chinese research companies, the Free Beacon reported.
"Certainly, universities have a very long, multi-decade history of collaboration with the national security community writ large on problems of national interest, it's one of our greatest strengths, but doing so in an environment that can be penetrated by adversaries is not wise and we are looking more closely to that," Griffin told the House panel.
Griffin's testimony comes the same week that a group of bipartisan lawmakers sent a letter to Education secretary Betsy DeVos urging that she require the more than 50 U.S. universities working with Chinese technology giant Huawei to hand over all documentation.
"We believe these partnerships may pose a significant threat to national security and this threat demands your attention and oversights," wrote the lawmakers.
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