The report examines Beijing's ecosystem of programs and incentives designed to exploit the expertise of Chinese students and scholars studying in STEM fields at universities in the United States and other advanced countries. This ecosystem leverages the scientific and technical knowledge Chinese researchers acquire while abroad to benefit China’s commercial and defense sectors.
Much of this research is "fundamental" and not subject to controls, but both countries recognize its strategic value and potential. China's programs are designed to encourage it to be commercialized or applied in China first, depriving the United States of an early mover advantage in developing this technology despite funding the research, in many cases, in the first place. China’s activities raise concerning economic and national security implications for the United States.