Republican Senators Press DOJ to Fight Back Against CCP Espionage

A group of five Republican senators is urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to formally recognize and reprioritize the threat posed to national security by the Chinese communist regime’s efforts to conduct espionage against the United States. The senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), told Garland in a March 24 letter that the United States may not be able to effectively combat the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts at international repression because of the Biden administration’s recent decision to terminate the Justice Department’s (DOJ) “China Initiative,” a Trump-era anti-espionage campaign. “Despite this critical moment and the high stakes, DOJ chose to disband its China Initiative in favor of a vague ‘Strategy for Countering Nation-State Threats’ that appears to equate the unique and extensive threats from the CCP with those of other nation-state threats,” the letter reads. “What concrete policies and actions will emerge from this strategy, and their adequacy to the challenge at hand, remain to be seen. We urge DOJ to formally recognize and reprioritize the threat presented by the CCP to U.S. national security, and ask that you reconsider your decision to disband the China Initiative.” While the program was claimed by rights groups to be racially biased, an internal probe found no evidence backing the assertion. Nevertheless, the program was ended to avoid what Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen called a “harmful perception” of bias. The decision to end the program in February without evidence of wrongdoing was criticized by some GOP lawmakers as a display of weakness. The letter follows the unsealing by the DOJ of three bombshell espionage cases that outlined alleged CCP operations to stalk, harass, intimidate, and even attack ethnic Chinese dissidents on U.S. soil. Victims in those cases included a U.S. Army veteran running for Congress, a U.S. Olympic figure skater, and a world-renowned sculptor, all of whom had spoken out against the regime’s human rights abuses. The senators requested that Garland and the DOJ answer five questions regarding the decision to end the China Initiative, including what changes it was making to its investigative procedures following the termination of the initiative and how it intended to counter the CCP’s operations, which often explicitly recruits from within the Chinese diaspora. The senators requested that the initiative be reimplemented and implored Garland to consider that countering Chinese communist aggression wasn’t the same thing as being biased toward those of Chinese heritage. “Combating the CCP threat should not be confused with bias toward Chinese people, much less Americans of Chinese descent,” the letter reads. “In reality, the CCP represents neither of these groups of people. “Not only does the CCP not represent the Chinese people, but the greatest victims of CCP’s totalitarian model of governance are the Chinese people themselves.” Follow Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.

Republican Senators Press DOJ to Fight Back Against CCP Espionage

A group of five Republican senators is urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to formally recognize and reprioritize the threat posed to national security by the Chinese communist regime’s efforts to conduct espionage against the United States.

The senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), told Garland in a March 24 letter that the United States may not be able to effectively combat the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts at international repression because of the Biden administration’s recent decision to terminate the Justice Department’s (DOJ) “China Initiative,” a Trump-era anti-espionage campaign.

“Despite this critical moment and the high stakes, DOJ chose to disband its China Initiative in favor of a vague ‘Strategy for Countering Nation-State Threats’ that appears to equate the unique and extensive threats from the CCP with those of other nation-state threats,” the letter reads.

“What concrete policies and actions will emerge from this strategy, and their adequacy to the challenge at hand, remain to be seen. We urge DOJ to formally recognize and reprioritize the threat presented by the CCP to U.S. national security, and ask that you reconsider your decision to disband the China Initiative.”

While the program was claimed by rights groups to be racially biased, an internal probe found no evidence backing the assertion. Nevertheless, the program was ended to avoid what Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen called a “harmful perception” of bias.

The decision to end the program in February without evidence of wrongdoing was criticized by some GOP lawmakers as a display of weakness.

The letter follows the unsealing by the DOJ of three bombshell espionage cases that outlined alleged CCP operations to stalk, harass, intimidate, and even attack ethnic Chinese dissidents on U.S. soil.

Victims in those cases included a U.S. Army veteran running for Congress, a U.S. Olympic figure skater, and a world-renowned sculptor, all of whom had spoken out against the regime’s human rights abuses.

The senators requested that Garland and the DOJ answer five questions regarding the decision to end the China Initiative, including what changes it was making to its investigative procedures following the termination of the initiative and how it intended to counter the CCP’s operations, which often explicitly recruits from within the Chinese diaspora.

The senators requested that the initiative be reimplemented and implored Garland to consider that countering Chinese communist aggression wasn’t the same thing as being biased toward those of Chinese heritage.

“Combating the CCP threat should not be confused with bias toward Chinese people, much less Americans of Chinese descent,” the letter reads. “In reality, the CCP represents neither of these groups of people.

“Not only does the CCP not represent the Chinese people, but the greatest victims of CCP’s totalitarian model of governance are the Chinese people themselves.”


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Andrew Thornebrooke is a reporter for The Epoch Times covering China-related issues with a focus on defense, military affairs, and national security. He holds a master's in military history from Norwich University.