High-tech collaboration between British universities and China’s aerospace sector is under scrutiny as US authorities investigate links between Beijing’s biggest military aircraft manufacturer and Iran’s ballistic missile programme.
Beijing Aeronautical Manufacturing Technology Research Institute (Bamtri), a subsidiary of Chinese state aerospace group Avic, was placed on a watch list by the US Department of Commerce last year because of alleged dealings with companies owned by Li Fangwei, also known as Karl Lee, a Chinese national wanted by the US for selling missile technology to Tehran.
Imperial College, London and Birmingham University are among a number of western organisations and companies that have signed research agreements with Avic and Bamtri, covering aerospace technologies, mainly the development of lighter, stronger materials. Birmingham’s research programme, undertaken with western aerospace companies such as Airbus and EADS, ended before Bamtri’s inclusion on the US watchlist.
The original article can be found at www.ft.com