China Science Investigation

  • Correctiv
  • Deutschlandfunk
  • DW
  • De Tijd
  • El Confidencial
  • irpimedia
  • Neue Zürcher Zeitung
  • Politiken
  • RTL Nieuws
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung
  • Follow the Money

China is building an army that is to be the world’s dominant force. Are European scientists contributing to this effort?

For many years, Western intelligence agencies, think tanks and China watchers have been issuing warnings about the Chinese quest for Western technology. President Xi Jinping needs advanced science to shape his country into a technological and military superpower. That goal must be achieved in the near future for the authoritarian state to consolidate its breakthrough on the world stage.

To obtain such technologies, Chinese scientists are collaborating extensively with Western universities. But does their research have strings attached? What about cooperation on sensitive topics, meaning that high-quality Western knowledge might flow to the Chinese regime? And to what extent is the Chinese military involved in such collaborations with the West, for instance through its own scientists and research institutes?

Knowledge is power
and China aims to become the most powerful country in the world

To map the scope of this problem, platform for investigative journalism Follow the Money gathered over 350,000 scientific papers published in the past two decades, and made those available to a collective of eleven investigative desks from seven European countries. At the initiative of FTM and with the support of CORRECTIV, 30 journalists uncover the academic strategy of the Chinese authorities.

This is the China Science Investigation.


Follow the Money (Netherlands)
De Tijd (Belgium)
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
Deutschlandfunk (Germany)
El Confidencial (Spain)
Irpimedia (Italy)
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)
Politiken (Denmark)
RTL Nieuws (Netherlands)
Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)