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GAO: U.S. not tracking security status of 722,765 Chinese graduate students

The GAO said better tracking is needed to boost U.S. government efforts to identify and assess technology theft risks.

FPI / November 23, 2022


From 2016 to 2020, there were 722,765 Chinese graduate students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at U.S. universities, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a new report, the GAO said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not have the ability to determine if students and scholars from China and other foreign nations are security risks who could be stealing American technology.

“ICE has not established milestones to complete a required assessment of whether it needs to modify its database to collect additional data related to some risk factors, in part because it has focused available resources on other priorities,” the GAO said. “Further, information related to students’ employment in the U.S., which may indicate whether they have access to technology, is incomplete.”

The report is a public version of a “sensitive” GAO report produced in August, security correspondent noted in a report for the Washington Times.

China is engaged in massive theft and acquisition of U.S. technology and intellectual property amounting to an estimated losses of between $225 billion and $600 billion annually, a Trump administration report said in 2018.

The GAO said that "little information is available about civil and criminal cases related to potential transfer of university research because [the Justice Department] does not systematically track all cases specific to U.S. universities or federal grant funding.”

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FPI, Free Press International
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