Committee of 100 Comments on the Department of Justice’s Changes to the China Initiative
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Committee of 100 Comments on the Department of Justice’s Changes to the China Initiative

23rd February 2022

New York, New York (February 23, 2022) – Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, delivered remarks today at George Mason University on countering nation state threats. Within his remarks, Mr. Olsen announced a reconsideration of the 2018 Department of Justice’s “China Initiative.” In response, Committee of 100 issued the following statement:

“The China Initiative is a failed program that has fueled racial animosity, xenophobia, and suspicion towards the AAPI community and Chinese Americans in particular,” said Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100. “We appreciate Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen’s thoughtful approach to re-examine and revise the policy, stating in his remarks ‘I have concluded that this initiative is not the right approach’ and that it is ‘not wise to focus on one country.’ Today’s announcement is an important step forward, but much more work needs to be done to ensure that all cases being prosecuted are based solely on evidence and not on perception. We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Justice to recognize, address, and prevent future harms to the AAPI community and learning more about the U.S. government’s plans to implement the changes identified today. We will continue to provide our unique perspectives as Chinese Americans and work together towards a shared vision of a better, more secure and inclusive America.”

In October of 2021, Committee of 100 and researchers from the University of Arizona unveiled a joint research project focused on race and ethnicity in science and research. Designed to understand how research and academics have been affected by the limitations that the U.S. government has placed on international exchange with China, the research had a special focus on the impact on professors and researchers who are of Chinese descent. Additionally, research jointly led by Committee of 100 and legal scholar Andrew Chongseh Kim issued last year shed light on significant racial disparities in the implementation of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996 and under the China initiative. Data from the research was drawn from nearly 300 defendants across nearly 200 separate cases.

About Committee of 100

Committee of 100 is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts focused on public policy engagement, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For over 30 years, Committee of 100 has served as the preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. Visit or follow Committee of 100 on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more information.

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