A coalition of so-called Asian-American advocacy groups recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding he “pause” the Department of Justice’s China Initiative – a Trump-era policy implemented to counter Chinese national security threats.
The DOJ has compiled a litany of China-related prosecutions since the program launched in November 2018, including trade secret theft, hacking, and economic espionage.
The letter was signed by the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate, the national director of the National Council of Asian-Pacific Americans, and leaders of several allied organizations. They claimed the Initiative “subjects Asian American and Asian immigrant scientists and others – particularly those of Chinese descent – to racial profiling, surveillance and wrongful prosecutions, where no evidence of economic espionage or trade secret theft exists.”
“Individuals and their families who have been unjustly targeted have experienced irreparable personal and professional harm,” the letter continued.
The National Pulse reporter Natalie Winters posted the entire six-page letter dated August 19, 2021, online. According to Winters, “Chinese state-run media outlets have given the letter favorable coverage by amplifying its demands to halt the DOJ’s China Initiative.”
Stop AAPI Hate has been described as a nonprofit that started aggregating hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders after a virus that originated in China began to spread worldwide. But a Daily Wire investigation published in April found that at least two journalists who worked for Chinese state-controlled media came to the United States as visiting students and became organizers for a progressive activist group behind the coalition. They ran outreach efforts to shape the political opinions of first-generation Chinese-American immigrants in California.
Leaders from Stop AAPI Hate and allied groups praised Biden in the letter, writing, “Your election, thankfully, ended the barrage of racist, anti-AAPI hate speech from the Oval Office.” However, they went on to say reports of hate incidents compiled in 2021 show an increase from last year.
Their letter to Biden expressed concern about an upcoming report into the origins of COVID-19, saying its findings could incite more hate crimes and violence targeting the AAPI people:
The sad but undeniable truth is that the simple existence of that report will put our communities at risk. We recognize your Administration’s legitimate interest in identifying the source of this pandemic for the purpose of preventing future outbreaks. At the same time, perception matters. And when your review was announced, many interpreted it as a validation of the so-called “lab leak” theory.
As you well know, while most scientists agree that transmission via natural origins is a more likely explanation, the hypothesis that COVID originated from Chinese laboratory experiments has sparked a flurry of conspiracy theories that have been weaponized by politicians and pundits resulting in a false scapegoating of Asian Americans as somehow to blame for the pandemic.
The chief purveyors of these conspiracy theories are not interested in getting to the bottom of whether an accidental outbreak could have occurred in a laboratory setting. Instead, they aim to deflect criticism about the early U.S. response to the pandemic and direct blame at China and, by extension, Asian Americans. They are frequently the same people who use racist monikers for the virus and demonize immigrants.
Read the full letter here: