The Chinese Academy of Sciences on Wednesday denied that it knew that a disgraced former transport bureau chief had tried to bribe some of its staff in order to obtain a fellowship at the academy.
The CAS was responding to claims by Zhang Shuguang,that "he needed money" to pay for bribes to get a fellowship at the CAS in 2007 and 2008.
When Zhang pleaded guilty  to graft in a Beijing court this week, he admitted to extorting 8 million yuan from a railway company owner in Jiangsu and accepting bribes from two rail-related company owners of 10 million and 5 million yuan, respectively. Zhang had told them he was wanted to get a fellowship at CAS and needed money to “take care of” members of a committee at the CAS.
Zhang didn’t name any of the people he had bribed.
The CAS responded by issuing a statement  on Wednesday, stressing it knew nothing about Zhang's claims. The academy pledged to take bribe cases seriously and said they would expel anyone who had accepted money from Zhang.
The Chinese government announced in 2012 that it would spend 10 billion yuan i n the next five years to make the CAS a world-class research institute.
Zhang had been formerly been a transport bureau chief with the now defunct Ministry of Railways.