CSET: The Thousand Talents Program and China’s Military
Tue August, 2020, Age: 3 years
U.S. policymakers have voiced concerns that Chinese scientists may pursue advanced training in the United States or other countries, then return to China to aid in the country’s military modernization. Some of the primary vehicles by which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attracts Chinese scientists back to China are state- and Party-sponsored talent plans, the largest being the Thousand Talents Plan (千人计划; TTP).
To understand the scope of these programs better, CSET located and analyzed publicly available lists of the 3,586 disclosed individuals selected to receive awards under the “youth” branch of China’s national Thousand Talents Plan during the program’s lifetime, from 2011 to 2018. In 2019, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology absorbed and reorganized the Thousand Talents Plan and its administering agency. This paper explores awardees’ career moves, including where researchers worked at the time of award and their intended destinations in China.