The Defense Department is investigating research partnerships between Chinese companies and American universities amid threats of spying and technology theft on behalf of Beijing’s government, a senior official said Thursday.

Michael Griffin, the undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said the concern is particularly pressing at U.S. campuses that both have ties with Chinese firms and host sensitive Pentagon research.

“I am concerned that we are not yet as vigilant as we should be about making sure that [Pentagon] research doesn’t go to places that have those ties,” Griffin testified before the House Armed Services Committee. “Certainly, universities have a very long, multi-decade history of collaboration with the national security community writ large on problems of national interest, it’s one of our greatest strengths, but doing so in an environment that can be penetrated by adversaries is not wise and we are looking more closely to that.”

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