FM urges US to stop using ‘China Initiative’ tool to suppress China
Published: Jan 18, 2022 09:20 PM
Zhao Lijian Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Zhao Lijian Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday urged the US to stop undermining the normal exchanges between the two countries through its so-called China Initiative after US media reported that prosecutors recommended dropping charges against Chen Gang, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor who was accused of "hiding his China ties."

Facts have proved that the so-called China Initiative is nothing more than a clumsy tool for anti-China forces in the US to contain and suppress China by abusing the concept of national security, said Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, during Tuesday's regular press briefing.

"The US should stop disrupting and undermining the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and the US in science, technology and culture," he said.

Zhao's remarks came after the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that US prosecutors have recommended that the Justice Department drop criminal charges against Chen Gang, who was arrested in January, 2021, on charges of "hiding" work he did "for the Chinese government" while he was also receiving money from the US government for nanotechnology.

When asked to comment on the fact that eight people charged under the so-called China Initiative have had their charges dropped in the past year, Zhao said he can't comment on US judicial cases, but pointed out that the so-called China Initiative of the US Department of Justice will only lead to unjust, false and erroneous cases by "setting targets before investigating and handling cases."

Reports have shown the vast majority of typical cases under the initiative in the past two years did not involve intellectual property rights or commercial theft, he said, stressing that such unreasonable imposition of charges in disregard of judicial justice has aroused strong opposition and condemnation from people who advocate for justice around the world.

Asian American advocacy groups have called on the Biden administration to end the initiative which they believe has "unfairly targeted ethnic Chinese scientists" in the past year, according to CNBC. 

192 Yale professors have written and signed a letter to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, saying the strategy contains "fundamental flaws," reported FOX News. 

"The US should listen to the voice of justice from the society, correct its wrongdoings soon, stop using China as an imaginary enemy and stop making excuses, smearing and suppressing China," said Zhao. 

He stressed that the Chinese government has always maintained a principle that personnel exchanges and cooperation should be based on law, scientific integrity and professional ethics. Relevant policies and measures are not fundamentally different from the common practice of other countries.