AASF Commemorates the Second Anniversary of the Termination of the ‘China Initiative’ & Commits to Working to Prevent the Reinstatement or Future Iterations


Media Contact: Melissa Stek, media@aasforum.org

Washington, DC—Today marks two years since the Department of Justice’s ‘China Initiative’ was formally terminated, a critical step in the right direction to addressing serious concerns of racial profiling and discrimination against Asian American scholars, particularly those of Chinese descent. While a crucial step, we must remain vigilant and work to ensure the ‘China Initiative’ is not reinstated. AASF, along with coalition partners, had been at the forefront of successful advocacy efforts to end the ‘China Initiative’, ensuring that the Asian American scholar community had a seat at the table and lifting their voices. Most recently, AASF led with coalition partners of nearly 50 organizations in opposing a recent proposal to reinstate it in the House version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies(CJS) Appropriations bill, H.R.5893. 

“We at AASF continue to commend the Biden administration’s formal termination of the ‘China Initiative,’ as we know this was critical to any progress in addressing racial profiling concerns and rebuilding trust with the Asian American and scholar community,” said Gisela Perez Kusakawa, AASF Executive Director. “AASF worked tirelessly in collaboration with its coalition partners to denounce and end the China Initiative. However, the work is not over, and as we commemorate the second anniversary of its termination, we remain steadfast in ensuring it isn’t reinstated and prevent future iterations.” 

Dr. Yasheng Huang, AASF Founding President said: “AASF commemorates the two-year anniversary of the DOJ’s announcement to terminate the Initiative and continues to hope that our country will not tolerate hate under the guise of national security and ensures scholars are protected and welcome.”

“The ‘China Initiative’ created a chilling effect on scientists and researchers in Asian American communities, causing great harm to individuals, families, and to the broader scientific community,” said Dr. Kai Li, AASF Founding Vice President. “Data from AASF’s scientists published by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the groundbreaking report, Caught in the Crossfire: Fears of Chinese-American Scientists, clearly showed the chilling nature of the ‘China Initiative.’ AASF scientists found that U.S.-based scientists of Chinese descent have experienced widespread fear during the course of their routine research and academic activities, which has contributed to the loss of talent and hampering of America’s scientific progress and competitiveness.”


Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.