‘CCP Initiative’ another witch hunt attempt by US, reflects its racism
Published: May 23, 2024 08:53 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US House Judiciary Committee passed the "CCP Initiative" on Wednesday. According to VOA, they are acting in an attempt to counter the "threat" that China poses to the US and stop the so-called "espionage" by the Communist Party of China (CPC) against academic institutions and American intellectual property.

Some members of the US Judiciary have already seen through the so-called initiative. Democratic lawmakers opposing the initiative have said it is simply a rebranded version of the unsuccessful "China Initiative." 

The "China Initiative" was launched in November 2018 as one of the Trump administration's "signature" initiatives. The initiative targeted Chinese-American scientists working in the US or American scientists collaborating with China. Some scholars have pointed out that the investigations are often not based on concrete evidence of any illegal activities, and many cases involving academia are unrelated to scientific espionage or intellectual property theft. One notable case was that of MIT professor Chen Gang, who was sued and arrested. After a year-long review, the Department of Justice had to drop the government's charges against Chen because many allegations in the indictment were unfounded, which was a visible and embarrassing setback for the "China Initiative" at the time.

This four-year-long farce was finally halted in February 2022, with the Department of Justice ultimately admitting that the initiative was "not the right approach." In other words, this 21st-century "witch hunt" was fundamentally baseless and nonsensical, even Americans themselves found it inappropriate. However, the US continues to view Chinese students and scholars as a threat and challenge to its national security. A virtual barrier has been erected between China and the US, hindering normal scientific exchange and cooperation, shattering scientists' trust in American scientific principles.

Now, under the direction of the US Department of Justice, the same farce is being reignited.

The "CCP Initiative" is another attempt by anti-China members of the US House of Representatives, said Lü Xiang, a research fellow of US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Racism is deeply rooted in the hearts of the policy elites in the US. Their ideological bias against China will lead them to securitize a series of issues, naturally assuming that Chinese students and scholars may "pose a threat" to US national security. 

The "CCP Initiative" will push the already chilly academic cooperation between China and the US into an atmosphere of fear. Chinese scientists have become an indispensable force for scientific progress in the world. The repeated harm caused by the US has made many Chinese and even Asian scientists feel that the US is no longer safe and choose to leave. "The US will eventually isolate itself, which is definitely harming its own innovative development," Lü Xiang said. 

"The credibility of the US in the world will plummet, and it will be seen as an untrustworthy and non-peaceful country. Moreover, incidents of discrimination against Chinese Americans in the US will increase, and may gradually spill over into discrimination against other minority groups," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times. 

From the perspective of domestic practice in the US, imposing relevant restrictions under the excuse of national security will not encounter too much resistance. US national security is like a basket, into which anything can be put. US politicians are using the so-called defense of national security as a pretext to destroy academic exchanges, politicizing and weaponizing normal academic exchanges in an attempt to weaken China's innovation capabilities. They fear that China's progress in innovation will surpass their own. 

Unfortunately, something that has been proven to be a failure through time and practice is being brought up again as a new bill. These politicians know that it is a poisoned apple, yet they're still trying to "sell" it, adding another layer of packaging to avoid being discovered, and once again letting the "witch hunt" roll back in their madness.