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Politics

DOJ Curbs Trump-Era Zeal for China Spy Probes as Cases Fail

Updated on
  • ‘China Initiative’ under Trump produced cases that fell short
  • Garland pledges allegations won’t be ‘based on discrimination’
Merrick Garland speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 21.
Merrick Garland speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 21. Photographer: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg

The Trump administration went all-in on what it called its “China Initiative,” with the Justice Department prosecuting Chinese and Chinese-American researchers it said were stealing U.S. secrets while hiding their links to the government in Beijing and the People’s Liberation Army.

Now, after a number of those cases fizzled in court and amid growing criticism that the initiative leads to discrimination against Asian-Americans, Justice Department leadership under Attorney General Merrick Garland is moving more cautiously.