Acclaimed Chinese Scientists Renounce Their U.S. Citizenship And No One Knows Why

Two internationally-renowned scientists have given up their U.S. citizenship to become solely Chinese citizens, a new report has revealed.

According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 94-year-old Nobel laureate Yang Chen Ning, and 70-year-old  Turing Award winner Andrew Yao (Yao Qizhi), renounced their U.S. citizenship for unspecified reasons. CAS inducted both scientists into its ranks as domestic academicians, being affiliated with Tsinghua University, rather than a foreign institute. Yang and Yao renounced their U.S. citizenship back in late 2015 but the story only emerged this month after they joined CAS as domestic academics, Science Mag reports.

“They are both internationally renowned scholars,” CAS said in its statement. “Their entry into the academy’s faculty will increase the influence of China’s scientific circles globally.”

Yang has the distinction of sharing the Nobel Prize in Physics back in 1957, while Yao was awarded the A.M. Turing Award in 2000.

While both of them were born in China, the academics have established their scientific careers in the United States. Even after returning to China, Yang and Yao had retained their naturalized U.S. citizenship.

With Yang’s entry into CAS’ faculty, China has gained another Nobel laureate. Yang had won the 1957 Nobel prize in physics, along with his colleague, Tsung-Dao Lee, a U.S. citizen of Chinese birth. Literary critic Liu Xiaobo became the first-ever Chinese citizen to win a Nobel prize back in 2010, followed by writer Mo Yan in 2012. In the sciences, medical researcher Tu Youyou was the first to win the honor as a Chinese citizen in 2015 for her contributions to the development of artemisinin, a breakthrough antimalaria drug.

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