Released February 24, 2022
Contact: Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director
WASHINGTON –NAPABA welcomes the announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be ending the “China Initiative.” The program created an environment that placed heightened scrutiny on persons of Chinese ancestry in academic and research environments. For the past seven years, NAPABA has expressed concern about the profiling of Chinese American researchers and scientists and worked with partners in Congress to speak out against impermissible racial profiling.
“NAPABA applauds the end of the China Initiative,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “We are pleased that the Department of Justice heard the concerns of members of the Asian American community, researchers, and scholars, that the program was creating a chilling effect and air of suspicion around scholars of Chinese ancestry. While NAPABA recognizes legitimate national security risks exist, with the increase in anti-Asian hatred, ending programs that create an impression of anti-Asian discrimination is even more important. We thank the Administration for putting an end to this counter-productive program and Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Ted Lieu, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for their leadership on this issue.”
During a speech on Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen announced changes that the DOJ is making to end the “China Initiative.” The China Initiative was established in 2018 to bring the DOJ’s economic espionage and national security investigations involving China and persons of Chinese ancestry under one umbrella. The program resulted in a number of cases in which charges were dropped or dismissed by the Courts, including the cases of Dr. Xiaoxing Xi, Sherry Chen, and Dr. Anming Hu.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.