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U.S. Justice Department to End Trump-Era Program Targeting Threats Posed by China

Critics have said the initiative, put in place during former President Donald Trump’s administration, amounted to racial profiling and that it created a culture of fear that has chilled scientific research.
U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen delivers remarks on U.S. Department of Justice policy, announcing the end of a program focused on fighting Chinese espionage and intellectual property theft, during a National Security Institute event at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen delivers remarks on U.S. Department of Justice policy, announcing the end of a program focused on fighting Chinese espionage and intellectual property theft, during a National Security Institute event at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday will end a program focused on fighting Chinese espionage and intellectual property theft, shifting from what an official called a “myopic” focus to address threats from a broader array of hostile nations.

Critics have said the initiative, put in place during former President Donald Trump’s administration, amounted to racial profiling and that it created a culture of fear that has chilled scientific research.

The move, the details of which were reported by Reuters earlier this month, is a recognition that the focus on China was too limited, said Matt Olsen, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division.

“We see nations such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea becoming more aggressive and more capable in their nefarious activity than ever before,” Olsen said in a speech at George Mason University’s National Security Institute. “Our new strategy is threat-driven.”

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