The Department of Justice launched the China Initiative in November 2018 to counter national security threats emanating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In February 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced that it had launched about a thousand active investigations under the Initiative; the China Initiative is gaining momentum.
In a forthcoming article, Seton Hall University Law Professor Margaret K. Lewis argues that using “China” as the glue connecting cases under the Initiative’s umbrella creates an overly inclusive conception of the threat, and attaches a criminal taint to entities that have an even tangential connection to China. A better path would be to discard the “China Initiative” framing, focus on cases’ individual characteristics, and broaden the Department of Justice’s interactions with non-governmental experts.
On June 9, 2020, the National Committee hosted a virtual program with Margaret Lewis where she discussed her article.