US Ending Controversial China Initiative

    US Ending Controversial China Initiative
    Last updated Feb 25, 2022
    Image credit: Reuters [via PBS]


    • The DOJ is scrapping the Trump-era China Initiative and imposing a higher bar for prosecutions of professors.
    • The policy, aimed at combating Chinese economic espionage, is being dropped after years of opposition from Asian Americans.
    • Critics say the program contributed to anti-Asian bias and made the US less competitive as it cooled collaboration between US and Chinese academics.
    • Assistant AG Matthew Olsen has rebuffed claims the CI targeted people based on ethnicity.
    • The program recently faced renewed scrutiny after charges were dropped against MIT Prof. Gang Chen, who had been accused of failing to disclose relationships and funding from Chinese entities.


    Pro-China narrative

    This is a step in the right direction. The CI has been reinforcing harmful stereotypes and brought multiple unsubstantiated cases against researchers that have been repeatedly thrown out by judges.

    Anti-China narrative

    Chinese snooping on US intellectual property is still an enormous security problem. Whilst the Biden administration and DOJ are being forced by activists to roll back the program, Congress will need to find alternate ways to tackle this rampant problem.

    Establishment split



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