They fell for a mixture of mostly money, but also flattery, and probably the odd honey-trap.
And I would add power. Money and power drive decisions, policy, and, I'm afraid, science. No doubt when these western scientists are given the red carpet when they go to China, and then more support when they return home, it's all pretty heady and addictive. "To hell with facts. I'm being rewarded so well for my science, it must be right! And if not, I'll make it so!" So flattery, yes, but flattery with some extras attached.
There's a classic example happening in Hungary currently. The mechanism of which, you can extrapolate across the world.
I love the Mayor's way of dealing with this! I mean, it's not stopping the uni, but it's a good one:
The campus is also opposed by Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karacsony, who announced earlier this week that he was naming streets in the area after the victims of China's human rights violations.
Among four new street signs include Free Hong Kong Road, Dalai Lama Street and Uyghur Martyrs' Road, after the mainly Muslim ethnic group that international governments say has been the victim of sustained human rights abuses and genocide in Xinjiang, China.
The right-wing government of PM Viktor Orban has close ties with Beijing.
Earlier this month, Hungary blocked an EU statement criticising China's treatment of Hong Kong.
I didn't know one EU country could do that. Is it an all or nothing thing? Like the UN? (I think the UN works that way, anyway.)
Around two thirds of Hungarians do not support the Chinese university.
This last point is interesting - it shows the massive disconnect between the power-wielders and the general public. As we mentioned before, there appears to have been a ban on polls asking the public about the origin of the virus and whether they think a lab-leak should be investigated - most likely coz they've done the polls and found that a large majority think the experts are full of shit.
Well, you see this in Japan now with regards to the Olympics. Japanese are overwhelmingly opposed to having them, and yet they're being forced on the population. Again, money and power overrides public consensus.
The battle is far from over, but Covid has at least laid bare the extent to which our elites are collaborating with the CCP.
Yes, I hope so. But let's not forget, as an analogy, the role the media and all the other powerful stakeholders played with regards to the completely debunked claim of WMD, the claim that largely justified the 2nd Iraq war, leading to, ultimately, hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of lives ruined. Nobody talks about that anymore. And the media got off scot-free. Not only were none of the guilty people punished, the wife of the man who blew the fraud was outed as a CIA agent by her own government as punishment, essentially ending her career while at the same time leading to the likely deaths of many of the people she was handling. That's how bad it is.
So although I hope the world is becoming a more self-aware place, I'm not holding my breath.