Chairwoman Johnson Statement on Justice Department Decision to End the China Initiative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2022
(Washington, DC) — Today, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced that the Justice Department is ending the China Initiative. The China Initiative, which began in 2018, has been criticized for engaging in racial profiling against researchers of Asian descent, and recent high-profile cases have resulted in dismissals and acquittals. Assistant AG Olsen announced that the DOJ will move forward with a more holistic approach to confront the greatest threats to research security, including and beyond the Chinese government.
Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) made the following statement.
“I am pleased by today’s announcement that the Department of Justice will shutter the China Initiative and move forward with a broader, risk-based approach to countering foreign malign influence in the U.S. research enterprise. Last April, I urged the Biden administration to take a measured and balanced approach toward fostering academic excellence while addressing threats to research security. As Chairwoman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I have led thoughtful, bipartisan legislation and oversight efforts to support consensus building and common-sense solutions to address this evolving threat. The China Initiative has been a harmful distraction, engaging in racial profiling that has stoked hostility against and suspicion of Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists and scholars. This has created an environment of fear and confusion that has undoubtedly slowed urgently needed advances in cutting edge science and technologies. In short, the China Initiative was the wrong solution to a real problem. I am encouraged by the Department’s decision and look forward to partnering with the Administration in addressing threats to U.S. research security and integrity in a measured and balanced way.”