The China Initiative, a US crackdown on Chinese economic intelligence, has been disrupted. We have data to display.


Our analysis shows a significant change in student interest rates from 2019 to 2020. In 2018, there were no cases that were related to research credibility. By 2020, 16 out of 31 (52%) of newly reported cases. (One case involving integrity in 2020 also included an EEA violation.)

About 14 of the cases related to this research stemmed from skepticism as a result of linking to “professional programs,” in which Chinese universities provide financial incentives for students to research, train, or bring back other activities to a support organization, part- or time-based. everything. (At least four times the secret of commercial theft also involves participating in technical programs.)

Officials have repeatedly said that participation in creative programs is illegal – however called Bill Priestap, a former FBI deputy intelligence chief, says that “they encourage people to steal smart things from US agencies.”

Cases filed under the China Initiative annually

National security links are sometimes weak.

The work focuses on the integrity of research has included a number of cases involving experts working on topics such as intelligence or robotics, which could have national security functions. But much of the work in these areas is a necessary investigation, and many of the systems in which cases have been brought have not been properly aligned with national security.

Nine of the 23 cases related to research integrity include health and medical researchers, including people studying heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer; Six of those involved with auditors and the NIH-symbol of an aggressive stance in protest against “improper influence by foreign governments on federal financial research,” said a representative of the NIH Office of Extramural Research. NIH experiments founded the China Initiative, and a representative submitted questions about the action to the Department of Justice.

Funding agencies are said to have rigged the investigation

Instead, the issue of national security seems to be related to concerns that any people with links in China could become “non-traditional collectors,” which the China Initiative report describes as “researchers in laboratories, universities, and security facilities that are “forced to transfer expertise against US interests.” But as our database shows, only two of the 22 investigators were charged with conspiracy to smuggle information or smuggle goods into China. The charges were later dropped.

China Initiative cases are not going well as DoJ claims

Three years after the start of the program, less than a third of the Chinese Initiative’s convicts were found guilty. Of the 148 people convicted, only 40 admitted or found guilty, and often complained of minor offenses against the original case. About two-thirds of cases – 64% – are still pending. And of the 95 people charged, 71 are not being prosecuted because the defendant is in an undisclosed location or cannot be sent.

In particular, many cases related to the integrity of research have fallen. While seven cases are pending, seven anti-student cases have been dismissed or dismissed while six have ended up on appeal or conviction. This is in stark contrast with what is often the case in civil cases, where the majority end up complaining, according to of the Pew Research Center analysis of federal statistics.

Results of defendants under the China Initiative

About 90% of all cases are against Chinese citizens

One of the oldest and most persistent criticisms of the China Initiative was that it could result in a disproportionate amount of racial profiling for people from China, Asia America, and Asia. DOJ officials have repeatedly denied that the China Initiative is racist, but people with Chinese heritage, including Native Americans, have been badly affected by this.

Our analysis shows that of the 148 people sued under the China Initiative, 130 – or 88% – are of Chinese heritage. This includes Native American citizens as well as citizens of the People’s Republic of China as well as citizens and others affiliated with Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as long-established Chinese territories in Southeast Asia.

Critics of China’s legacy

The figures are “very high,” said Margaret Lewis, a law professor at Seton Hall University who wrote extensively on the China Initiative. “We knew it would be a lot,” he added, but this “only proves that the ‘but we are singing to other people’ argument … is not satisfactory.”

New cases are still pending under Biden’s leadership

The campaign was launched under Trump’s leadership, and although the number of cases linked to the China Initiative has dropped since President Joe Biden took office, he has not stopped.

For example, Mingqing Xiao, a professor of mathematics in Illinois, was indicted in April 2021 for failing to disclose his relationship with a Chinese university by requesting the help of the National Science Foundation. And a verdict against four Chinese nationals for defrauding several companies and research agencies was announced in July.

In the meantime, state attorneys have continued to push cases forward. The trial of Charles Lieber, a Harvard chemistry professor at Harvard who is accused of hiding his relationship with Chinese universities is set to begin in December. Prosecutors are planning to go to trial for high school students in Kansas, Arkansas, and elsewhere in the first few months of 2022.

The trial of the New China Initiative came in 2021

How it all started

Concerns about Chinese economic intelligence targeting the US have been growing over the years, compared to the value of the US economy since $ 20 billion to $ 30 billion to the top $ 600 billion. Coercion began to rise sharply under the Obama administration: in 2013, when the authorities announced new developments. way to reduce the theft of US trade secrets, China was mentioned more than 100 times.

In 2014, the Justice Department filed a cyberespionage case against five thieves affiliated with the China People’s Liberation Army. Then in 2015, the United States and China signed a historic agreement not to defraud each other of their businesses.

But it wasn’t until 2018, as part of Trump’s crackdown on China, when the department launched its first national agenda.

The trial was “data-driven,” says a former Minister of Justice, “and” thanks to the legal knowledge of the attorney general and the FBI’s top executives who, on a daily basis, demonstrated the PRC’s alliance. board [were] they are involved in burglary, economic spying, theft of trade secrets, violation of our export laws, and intrusion into non-traditional collections. ” He also said that this includes Chinese embassies who help “hide the reputation of Chinese applicants for visas to avoid visa rejection in collaboration with PRC forces.”

Trump, however, took part in a campaign against China and anti-Communist – to put it bluntly one meeting in 2016, “We will not continue to allow China to rape our country, and that is what they are doing.”

A few months before the launch, Trump reportedly told a company management team for dinner at his Mar-a-Lago location that “almost everyone [Chinese] a student who comes to this country is a spy. ”

This is what happened when Sessions announced the establishment of the China Initiative on November 1, 2018.



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