China Science Investigation

  • Correctiv
  • Deutschlandfunk
  • DW
  • De Tijd
  • El Confidencial
  • irpimedia
  • Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung
  • Politiken
  • RTL Nieuws
  • S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung
  • Follow the Money

China Science Investigation:

For the quantitative research into scientific collaborations between Europe and the Chinese military, Follow the Money has searched the Lens database (•) for scientific studies in which at least one of the authors is affiliated with a European institute whilst another author is affiliated with a Chinese institute. We collected all articles published between January 1 2000 and February 1 2022. This search resulted in a dataset containing over 350,000 studies.

[* The Lens, which started in 2000, is run by an Australian non-profit organisation. The Lens has been hailed as the most comprehensive scholarly literature database, that exceeds in its width and depth two leading commercial databases (Web of Science and Scopus) combined.]

To find academic institutions belonging to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) we have used ASPI’s China Defence Universities Tracker and CASI’s encyclopedia on China’s military academic institutions:

  • The China Defence Universities Tracker was created in 2019 by Alex Joske of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) to inform due diligence of Chinese institutions, and was last updated in May 2021.
  • The People’s Liberation Army’s 37 Academic Institutions was published in April 2020 by the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) at the Air University, Maxwell, Alabama in the United States. This report was written to help to assist other organizations in parsing out what each part of the Chinese military system does and how it fits into the whole.


Using these two resources, we have searched through our dataset to create a longlist of institutions we suspected to belong to the Chinese military. This list contained for a large part medical institutions, who carry out such a wide range of research that we decided to exclude these institutions from our quantitative research.

We ended up with a shortlist of 382 institutions and departments of institutions which we checked by hand to see whether they indeed belong to the Chinese military, which resulted in a list containing 241 institutions and departments.

Using the confirmed list of Chinese military academic institutions we have found 2,997 scientific studies where a European institution collaborated with at least one of these Chinese military institutions.




  • Anja Lemcke - Visual journalist (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
  • Annebelle de Bruijn - Investigative journalist (Follow the Money)
  • Christian Speicher - Science editor (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
  • Darío Ojeda - Investigative journalist (El Confidencial)
  • Dorine Booij - Investigative journalist (Follow the Money)
  • Esther Felden - Investigative journalist (Deutsche Welle)
  • Giulio Rubino - Investigative Journalist (CORRECTIV)
  • Heleen Emanuel - Data journalist (Follow the Money)
  • Julia Monn - Data journalist (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
  • Katrin Büchenbacher - Asia editor (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
  • Koen de Regt - Investigative journalist (RTL Nieuws)
  • Lars Bové - Investigative journalist (De Tijd)
  • Lea Sahay - China correspondent (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • Lea Weinmann - Investigative journalist (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • Marta Ley - Data editor (El Confidencial)
  • María Zuil - Investigative journalist (El Confidencial)
  • Mira Sys - Investigative journalist (Follow the Money)
  • Moritz Metz - Audio journalist (Deutschlandfunk)
  • Naomi Conrad - Investigative journalist (Deutsche Welle)
  • Nina Bovensiepen - Investigative journalist (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • Olaya Argüeso Pérez - Editor-in-Chief (CORRECTIV)
  • Panajotis Gavrilis - Political correspondent (Deutschlandfunk)
  • Roland Strijker - Investigative journalist (RTL Nieuws)
  • Sandra Petersmann - Team leader Investigations (Deutsche Welle)
  • Sebastian Engelbrecht - Correspondent (Deutschlandfunk)
  • Sebastian Kjeldtoft - Asia correspondent (Politiken)
  • Siem Eikelenboom - Research leader CSI (Follow the Money)
  • Sophia Stahl - Investigative Journalist (CORRECTIV)
  • Sophie Menner - Data journalist (Süddeutsche Zeitung)
  • Till Eckert - Investigative Journalist (CORRECTIV)