University of California-Berkeley, a research center affiliated with China, has received millions of dollars in funding from the Beijing Government to operate a big data research center, providing consulting services for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as advanced research on autonomous vehicles.
On February 8, the US political website Washington Free Beacon revealed that the University of California – Berkeley started operations in September 2016, together with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the local government of Guizhou province, linked to the operation of the Guizhou Berkeley Big Data Innovation Research Center (GBIC).
According to a press release released by the CCP in 2016, the GBIC center is jointly run and supported by the University of California – Berkeley, the local government of Guizhou province, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China. “The Guizhou government makes economic decisions and improves public services”. At the same time, the taxpayer-funded University of California seeks help from Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Huawei to bolster its Berkeley DeepDrive self-driving car project.
Berkeley’s overseas relationships have given China expertise in two major US areas: Big data and autonomous vehicles. According to a report by the RAND Nonprofit Research and Development Center, the Beijing government believes that Big data analysis (using computers to analyze large data sets) is a necessary condition to strengthen devices. under domestic surveillance and the country’s military capabilities. At the same time, the CCP regime has long regarded the self-propelled vehicle sector as a key development area. The CCP spies stole trade secrets from Tesla and other auto companies to promote their own development.
Senior director of consulting organization Project 2049 Institute, Mr. Ian Easton said: “The CCP is using the power of artificial intelligence and Big data analysis to establish the world’s oldest national surveillance and suppression system. Any US university or research laboratory that cooperates with the Communist regime of China or its agents for technical research are directly cooperating with hostile powers. out. For any educated American, this behavior presents ethical and legal risks. That must be obvious. ”
GBIC Center opened in September 2016. At a ceremony attended by CCP officials, the center set a great ambition to become “Big data research center for the University of California and world-class Chinese researchers”. According to data from the US Department of Education on foreign contributions to the country’s universities, the GBIC center has sent nearly $ 1.9 million to California state university’s financial revenues since opening.
The CCP government’s press release gives a very vague description of the GBIC center’s mission, which is “Provides data support for Guizhou government to make economic decisions and improve public services”. A website at the University of California – Berkeley promotes the relatively healthy work done by the GBIC Center for the Chinese Government, such as Big Data analysis of aged care. After being questioned by Washington Freedom Beacon, the school removed the website.
In fact, the school’s scope of work makes the Beijing government much broader than what its website advertises. According to one researcher, the GBIC center has also helped Guizhou local government set up an agreement to collect Big data and analyze the databases of more than one million people on behalf of the provincial government. The GBIC Center is also training Chinese researchers on how to process big data and offering courses for students from top Chinese universities such as Tianjin University … Growing Big data experts has always been a top priority for CCP leader Xi Jinping, in part because this technology is the foundation of the CCP’s growing surveillance equipment in Xinjiang and elsewhere.
A California-Berkeley branch spokesperson said the GBIC Center project had “no longer working ” on campus, furthermore, has been inactive since last year. However, he did not respond to questions about whether the GBIC Center has built any measures to ensure that California-Berkeley big data expertise will not contribute to human rights violations of The CCP or not.
In this regard, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy commented that it is now time for universities like California-Berkeley to reconsider their relationship with the CCP.
Mr. McCarthy told Washington Freedom Beacon: “Every American academic institution needs to reconsider its relationship with China. Realizing that about China’s probation, they collect more data about their citizens than any other country in the world. Furthermore, (they) are responsible for some of the biggest Big data theft attacks against the US Government. They already collect a large amount of information from US citizens, so the processing of big data needs special consideration. ”
The University of California-Berkeley self-driving car project also has extensive links with Chinese tech companies, including those that the US government considers a threat to national security. According to a 2018 research document and corporate website archives, Berkeley DeepDrive, a corporation formed in 2016 to promote the development of autonomous vehicles, viewed Huawei, Baidu, Didi. and other Chinese technology companies as research partners.
According to data from the US Department of Education, Chinese tech giants have sent millions of dollars to the University of California. Huawei and its US subsidiary have donated $ 6.8 million to California – Berkeley, while Baidu donated $ 1.5 million. The California-Berkeley School also received $ 450,000 in funding from China’s state-owned Guolian Automotive Battery Research Institute.
It is in fact proven that this type of research collaboration is in favor of Baidu ApolloScape’s Autonomous Data Set project, which has a much smaller data set than Berkeley’s DeepDrive. Baidu’s press release reads: “The cooperation between Baidu and [Berkeley DeepDrive] will integrate the industrial resources of Apollo and Berkeley’s leading academic team, while enhancing innovation in theoretical research, technology application and commercial applications. ”
After US authorities sued Huawei in 2019, the Berkeley branch announced that it would no longer accept funding from the Chinese tech company. However, Berkeley DeepDrive still lists Huawei’s US subsidiary, Futurewei, as the corporate sponsor. A Berkeley spokesperson said that all Berkeley DeepDrive sponsors, including American organizations, may have commercial intellectual property rights not enjoyed by non-sponsors. The spokesperson said: “Our sponsors are treated equally, and their funds are centrally managed.”
The relationship between Berkeley and China is not just about big data centers and autonomous car projects. Chinese students make up more than half of all international students at Berkeley. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute also opened a research institute with Tsinghua University, China to conduct extensive defense research and related to CCP espionage activities. .
The University of California’s close ties with the Communist government of China and the business elite are not unique. Huawei has also donated millions of dollars to other top universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Chinese company influenced a famous MIT scholar to write a column in favor of Huawei. More than 100 US universities have also opened the CCP-controlled Confucius Institute. After a bipartisan interrogation in Congress, dozens of US universities cut ties with the Confucius Institute.
Thanh Dung, Vision Times