The Chinese government exploits foreign academic infrastructure and talent to build a world-class military. Although cooperation with China offers alluring investments, it risks research objectives being mandated by or from China and may result in unintended knowledge transfer in critical areas.
Considering the extent of Chinese military-civil fusion, any collaboration—with military and non-military institutions alike—is likely to boost Chinese military capabilities. Utilising academic exchanges to further military ambitions is a coordinated and broad long-term strategy that has benefited from the West’s limited knowledge of Chinese institutions and their links to the military.
To repurpose a quote by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And for now, that weapon is handed out without deep consideration or proper regulation.
Download and read: Chinese Military-Civil Fusion (PDF)