December 08, 2018

China mutes volume on Thousand Talents Plan as US spy concerns rise but scientists still covet funding

Source: South China Morning Post

Journalist: Meng Jing

Australian quantum physicist Tim Byrnes happily accepted a faculty post to work in China about five years ago, swapping the barbecue for dumplings.

But for someone whose work is based on observing nature at the smallest scale of energy levels and atoms, it came as something of a surprise to find himself in the middle of a clash between two much bigger powers – namely the US and China over trade and technology.

His position as assistant professor of physics at New York University Shanghai and research funding of at least one million yuan (US$146,000) from the Chinese government, has now put the 42-year-old in what he calls an “interesting position”.

Byrnes received the funding as a member of the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP), China’s flagship recruitment programme to hire some of the world’s brightest minds to contribute to Chinese president Xi Jinping’s desire to build an innovation-led economy.

Read the full article and more in the South China Morning Post.


  • Abigail Grace

    Former Research Associate, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Abigail Grace is a former Research Associate in the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for New American Security (CNAS). Her work focused on U.S. strategic competitio...