RELATED: 2 Emory researchers didn't disclose Chinese funding, ties
In addition to restitution, Li was ordered to serve one year on probation. During the first two months of his probation, he must file accurate tax returns for the years 2012 through 2018.
Li’s sentence comes amid concern from NIH, the FBI and other federal agencies regarding foreign governments, especially China, attempting to steal U.S. research. In recent years, concerns have grown about whether foreign governments are involving themselves in U.S. scientific processes, AJC.com previously reported.
The NIH’s concerns included researchers’ failure to disclose substantial contributions of foreign resources, diversion of research and intellectual property to foreign countries, and violating boundaries of confidential peer review.
“This isn’t an anti-China effort,” said Scott Kennedy, a senior adviser on China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
He said the U.S. scientific community has long relied on a world of open communication to advance scientific collaboration and discovery as efficiently as possible.
“I think as a result they hadn’t developed very strong systems of accountability to deal with global participation,” Kennedy said. “So they are trying to catch up with reality.”
In other news:
A passenger in his car was also critically injured.