NAAPAC e-Newsletter No. 2021-07-27

  • FW: [APA Justice] Qing Wang Case Dropped; Feds Transparency; CAPAC in Action; 07/12 Meeting Summary
  • FW: Urge members of Congress to sign on Bicameral Letter about wrongful targeting of Asian Americans
  • FW: [APA Justice] 5 “China Initiative” Cases Dropped; Combating Racial Profiling; Yellow Whistles
  • FW: Fear, and Discord, Among Asian Americans Over Attacks in San Francisco

From: Jeremy Wu
Subject: [APA Justice] Qing Wang Case Dropped; Feds Transparency; CAPAC in Action; 07/12 Meeting Summary

“China Initiative” Case Against Dr. Qing Wang Dropped

On July 15, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to dismiss its case against Dr. Qing Wang without prejudice.  Dr. Wang was born in China, began his work at the Cleveland Clinic in 1997 and became a U.S. citizen in 2005. He specialized in breakthroughs in heart disease at the Lerner Institute of the Cleveland Clinic—one of the world’s leading research centers.

Dr. Wang was arrested on May 14, 2020, and was charged with false claims and wire fraud related to more than $3.6 million in grant funding that Dr. Wang and his research group received from the National Institutes of Health.  DOJ released this statement: “The United States Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss the complaint, without prejudice, against Qing Wang, a.k.a. Kenneth Wang. The Office has made this decision after a review of the case and will decline further comment at this time.”  Originally listed as one of its “China Initiative” cases, DOJ has deleted Dr. Wang’s case from its online report.

Read more about Dr. Wang’s case at:

Lack of Transparency and Accountability from Federal Agencies

On July 16, 2021, ACLU and Advancing Justice | AAJC filed an administrative appeal to the FBI’s decision to close their joint FOIA request for records related to the “China Initiative.” FBI has played a central role in the “China Initiative.” The original request was made on April 15, 2021 for 8 categories of data and documents.  FBI responded that “[t]he FBI Central Records System (CRS) is indexed according to investigatory interests, and it is not arranged in a manner that allows for the retrieval of information in the form you have requested. . . Therefore, your request is being administratively closed.”  ACLU and Advancing Justice | AAJC contend that the response violates the requirements of FOIA. Read more at

“Dialogue without data is a waste of time.”  According to a July 9, 2021 Science Magazine report, that was what members of the National Science, Technology, and Security Roundtable (Roundtable) told Inspectors General at the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in its third meeting on July 7-8, 2021.  Without baseline data, members of the Roundtable cannot determine the scope of the problem on foreing countries “trying to steal federally funded research” and what the research community can do to minimize risks.  Read more at

Among the findings of the July 13, 2021 Senate Committee’s investigative report on Abuse and Misconduct at the Commerce Department was

  • Overclassification allowed the unit to block the release of investigative files for criminal targets whose cases proceeded through the judicial system and to members of the public requesting documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

On February 20, 2020, Reps. Jamie Raskin and Judy Chu sent letters to NIH and FBI seeking information related to news reports that these institutions are targeting Chinese-American scientists as potential spies.  About 18 months later, there has not been a satisfactory response to this Congressional request.

Section 5712 of FY20 National Defense Authorization Act mandated a report to specifically be (1) a review of how the policies, procedures, and practices of the intelligence community that govern the intelligence activities and operations targeting the People’s Republic of China affect policies, procedures, and practices relating to the privacy and civil liberties of Americans of Chinese descent who may be targets of espionage and influence operations by China; and (2) recommendations to ensure that the privacy and civil liberties of Americans of Chinese descent are sufficiently protected.  An unclassified version of the report was due from the Director of National Intelligence, acting through the Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency, in June 2020.  It has not been produced or released 14 months later.

On June 17, 2021, APA Justice sent a letter to Erika Moritsugu, Deputy Assistant to the President and Asian American and Pacific Islander Senior Liaison at the White House, urging the Biden-Harris Administration to respond to these and other standing Congressional and FOIA requests and provide full data and information publicly to justify the continuation of the “China Initiative” and related racial profiling policies and practices.  Read more at

In addition to the apparent lack of transparency and accountability from these federal agencies, it appears that DOJ engages in manipulation of information.  In particular, DOJ had listed Dr. Qing Wang as one of the “China Initiative” cases since his arrest in May 2020.  It was still part of its online report as recently as July 1, 2021, but has since been deleted.  The deliberate action confirms that the online report is selectively biased to fit the DOJ narrative and, combined with the lack of transparency, create an illusion about the the program as “successful.”  To date, there is no accounting of how many “China Initiative” cases there are while massive amounts of taxpayers’ money have poured into it.  View the before-and-after comparison of the online report about Dr. Qing Wang’s case here:

CAPAC in Action

CAPAC Issues Messaging Guidance to House Members.  On July 16, 2021, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued a Messaging Guidance on Rhetoric and Anti-Asian Hate to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives.   The letter states that

  • “Time and time again history has taught us the horrific impact xenophobic rhetoric can have on Asian Americans. This is reason enough to end the use of rhetoric that stokes hatred. But it is notable that this type of rhetoric isn’t only dangerous to Asian Americans, it’s harmful to the United States’ long-term interests. Our country faces global security challenges such as climate change, supply chain disruption, and nuclear proliferation that require collaborative bi-lateral and multi-lateral solutions. Our leaders’ use of xenophobic rhetoric undermines our ability to work with other countries to pursue those solutions.”

Read the Washington Post report here:

Rep. Ted Lieu Demands Justice for Asian Americans Falsely Accused of Espionage.  Congressman Ted Lieu is circulating a letter to House members in requesting a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the repeated, wrongful targeting of individuals of Asian descent for alleged espionage, citing racial profiling repeatedly play out in the false accusations of spying alleged against Wen Ho LeeSherry ChenXiaoxing Xi, Anming Hu and others.  His letter also asks for an update on the department-wide implicit bias training that was mandated under then Attorney General Loretta Lynch in 2016.  You can help by contacting your U.S. Representative and urging her/him to sign on to this form: before close of business on Thursday, July 22. You can find your Representative here:  Thank you.

2021/07/12 Monthly Meeting Summary Posted

Summary of the July 12  APA Justice meeting is now posted at  In the meeting,

  • Anisah Assim, Policy Analyst of CAPAC, reported on CAPAC’s role in the June 30 Congressional Roundtable and its continuing efforts including the Senate Committee report on the targeting of Department of Commerce’s Asian American emplyees.
  • Sonal Shah, President of the Asian American Foundation, described the three parts to TAAF’s mission – as a funder, a convener, an incubator – with its strategic approach to meet long-term objectives to secure equitable investment in the Asian American community, build infratrastructure, and change the anti-Asian hate narratuve.  In response to a question from the audience about federal agencies’ conflicting role to protect and yet wrongfully target Asian Americans, Sonal suggested working persistently with Congress and the White House, using APA Justice to identify issues and the APA Justice ecosystem to make sure that we are collectively going to the various federal agencies and educating them about the Asian American community.
  • Lee Wong, Chair of West Chester Township of Ohio and an American patriot, reported that assualts on Asian Americans continue everyday and should not be tolerated.  Our democracy is participatory.  We must expand our mindset to join events and enter a variety of career choices including public service. “They need to step up now, not only when they are in trouble.  They need to be always proactive to support one another.”
  • Christina Lu, Director of the “We Belong” Yellow Whistle Project, reported on the rapid growth to all 50 states and has over 150 community outreach partners.  The number of yellow whistles has increased to 500,000, half of which has been spoken for and distributed.  Christina is working with community organizations, law enforcement, as well as university campuses, LGBTQ, Jewish American, and African American communities.
  • Gisela Fusakawa reported on the Advancing Justice | AAJC statement in the Congressional Roundtable and a letter urging the acting U.S, attorney to to drop the charges against Professor Anming Hu while providing a civil rights and legal perspective into the framework.  Vivin Qiang reported on the submission of a joint petition to NYU President Andrew Hamilton on the unjust suspension of 2 tenured professors who are of Asian descent at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.  The petition urges the NYU president to immediately stop racial profiling Asian American and immigrant professors and protect their rights to due process.
  • Maryland State Senator Susan Lee commended the team efforts in the June 30 Congressional Roundtable, but cautioned that there is still a lot of work ahead of us.  Federal agencies have not provided timely and substantive responses to Congressional and public inquiries to explain and justify their profiling policies and practices.

The next APA Justice monthly meeting is scheduled for August 2, 2021.  Meeting summaries are posted here:

Media Coverage of Congressional Roundtable and Senate Committee Investigative Report

On July 15, 2021, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) published a comprehensive report titled “Protests Growing Against Justice Department’s China Initiative.  “While Raskin and Chu agreed it is important to combat espionage, they cited a history of DOJ ultimately dropping charges against ethnically Chinese researchers as evidence the initiative rests on shaky foundations and racial profiling. They also condemned the initiative for focusing on cases that only involve allegations of concealed ties to Chinese institutions with no associated misappropriation of research, arguing it has added another way that researchers can fall victim to unjust accusations.”  Read more about the AIP report here:

On July 17, 2021, the New York Times report on the front page of its print version: Commerce Unit Went ‘Rogue,’ Senate Report Says, Targeting Chinese Americans.  Similar headline stories were published by Axios, CNN, The Hill, and USA Today after the release of the investigatuve report by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation titled Abuse and Misconduct at The Commerce Department.  Read more at:

From: Vincent Wang
Subject: FW:Urge members of Congress to sign on Bicameral Letter about wrongful targeting of Asian Americans

Call for Action: Get Your Congressional Members to Sign on to Rep. Ted Lieu’s Dear Colleague Letter

Congressman Ted Lieu is circulating a Dear Colleague letter to Congressional Members requesting a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the repeated, wrongful targeting of individuals of Asian descent for alleged espionage.  “We have repeatedly seen this racial profiling play out in the racial profiling repeatedly play out in the false accusations of spying alleged against Wen Ho LeeSherry ChenXiaoxing XiAnming Hu, and many others…  The common thread in every one of these cases was a defendant with an Asian surname—and an innocent life that was turned upside down…  No person should be viewed by our government as more suspicious because of the individual’s race.”

  • Please call, write, and contact your U.S. House Representative and Senators urging them to sign on to this letter: before 10 am ET Wednesday, July 28, 2021* Please note that only Members of Congress will be able to sign this letter.  Congressional staff may only fill out this form.  Please do not fill out the form on behalf of your representative.

You can find your Congressional Members here:  Contact Aurora Paik at of Rep. Lieu’s office if you have questions.

Our democracy is participatory.  Please stand up, speak out, and take action.  Read more at

Nisha Ramachandran Named New Executive Director of CAPAC

On July 21, 2021, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) announced that Nisha Ramachandran will assume the position of Executive Director of CAPAC, effective July 22, 2021.  Nisha served as Policy Director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and as an APAICS fellow in the office of Congressman Ami Bera (CA-07).  We welcome warmly Nisha on board.  Read more about the announcement at

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From: Jeremy Wu
Subject: [APA Justice] 5 “China Initiative” Cases Dropped; Combating Racial Profiling; Yellow Whistles

Five More “China Initiative” Cases Dropped

In court filings on July 22 and 23, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) abruptly moved to drop visa fraud and other charges against five scientists from China in five separate “China Initiative” cases, including a mathematics and three biomedical and cancer researchers in California and a doctoral candidate studying computer science in Indiana.  Prosecutors did not provide explanations in their motions to dismiss.  A DOJ spokesman said in a statement that “[w]e have determined that it is now in the interest of justice to dismiss them.”

The five Chinese nationals are:

  • Lei Guan (关磊), Visiting researcher (mathematics), University of California at Los Angeles
  • Dr. Chen Song (宋琛), Visiting researcher (neurology), Stanford University
  • Dr. Juan Tang (唐娟), Visiting researcher (cancer), University of California at Davis
  • Xin Wang (王欣), Visiting researcher (neurology), University of California at San Francisco
  • Kaikai Zhao (赵凯凯), Doctoral candidate (machine learning and artificial intelligence), Indiana University

DOJ announced the visa fraud charges against these five scientists from China about a year ago.  It was followed immediately by the ordered closing of China’s consulate in Houston on July 24, 2020.  FBI agents began to knock on doors to demand interviews with persons of Chinese descent, creating fear and anguish in the Chinese American community in Houston.  During the August 3, 2020, APA Justice meeting, Houston community leaders provided on-the-ground reports and expressed concerns about a “witch hunt for spies” by the FBI to use Chinese Americans as “scapegoat” to justify the political claim, for which the U.S. government provided few supporting evidence.  OCA, UCA, Advancing Justice | AAJC, and the Asian American Bar Association of Houston co-hosted a “Know Your Rights” webinar on August 6, 2020, to address the urgent question, “What to do if you are questioned by the FBI or police?”  Over 850 persons participated in the webinar.

On December 2, 2020, Former Assistant Attorney General John Demers, who headed the “China Initiative” until June 2021, claimed that “more than 1,000 researchers who had hidden their affiliation with the Chinese military fled the United States,” again without supporting data and evidence.

Join the Growing Movement to Combate Racial Profiling

Racial Profiling is a form of Anti-Asian Hate.  Please join the growing movement to combat racial profiling.  Each of us have a part to contribute.  Our democracy is participatory.  What has happened in the last two months:

  • 2021/06/01 APA Justice wrote a letter to Commerce Secertary Gina Raimondo calling for expanded internal DOC review
  • 2021/06/16 Judge declared mistrial in the first “China Initiative” case to go to tiral against Professor Anming Hu
  • 2021/06/17 APA Justice wrote to White House urging response to standing Congressional and FOIA requests
  • 2021/06/17 Rep. Ted Lieu wrote a joint letter to DOJ/IG to invesigate Professor Hu’s case and racial profiling
  • 2021/06/30 Reps. Raskin and Chu held Congressional Roundtable on Racial Profiling
  • 2021/07/06 Advancing Justice | AAJC wrote a joint letter requesting the Acting U.S. Attorney not to retry Professor Hu’s case
  • 2021/07/07 Advancing Justice | AAJC delivered a joint petition to New York University President to stop racial profiling professors of Asian descent
  • 2021/07/08 Asian American Scholar Forum wrote to University of Tennessee Knoxville calling for Reinstatement of Professor Hu
  • 2021/07/13 Senate Committee released investigative report on Abuse and Misconduct at the Commerce Department
  • 2021/07/15 DOJ moved to dismiss a “China Initiative” case against former Cleveland Clinic researcher Dr. Qing Wang
  • 2021/07/19 APA Justice sent a follow-up letter to DOC Deputy General Counsel
  • 2021/07/23 DOJ dropped 5 more “China Initiative” cases
  • 2021/07/28 Due date for Congressional Members to sign on to Rep. Lieu’s Dear Colleague letter

Reminder: Congressman Ted Lieu is circulating a Dear Colleague letter to Congressional Members requesting a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into the repeated, wrongful targeting of individuals of Asian descent for alleged espionage.

  • Please call, write, and contact your U.S. House Representatives and Senators urging them to sign on to this letter: before 10 am ET Wednesday, July 28, 2021. * Please note that only Members of Congress will be able to sign this letter.  Congressional staff may fill out this form.  Please do not fill out the form on behalf of your representative.

You can find your Congressional Members here:  Contact Aurora Paik at of Rep. Lieu’s office if you have questions.  Our democracy is participatory.  Please stand up, speak out, and take action.  Read more at

Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) will host a webinar titled “Combating Racial Profiling of Asian and Asian Immigrants: A Guide to Advocacy and How to Take Action” (与针对亚裔和亚洲移民种族定性的抗争—倡议和行动指南) starting at 8:30 pm ET on Thursday, July 29, 2021.  CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu will be the keynote speaker.  AASF President and MIT professor will moderate the event.  John Yang, Gisela Kusakawa, and Vivin Qiang will serve as panelists.  Register to attend here:  Visit for more information.

In the interst of justice, it is time to end the “China Initiative.”  On July 22, 2021, Foreign Policy published Time to End the U.S. Justice Department’s Initiative, in which Seton Hall Law Professor Margaret Lewis opined that “The Biden administration should be clear-eyed about the challenge of dealing with a large and genuine espionage effort from a nearpeer competitor. But it should do so in a way that both upholds the American value of nondiscrimination and that best positions the United States to be a leader in science and technology in the decades ahead.  Achieving these twin aims requires adopting a country-neutral framework that does not accentuate people with connections to China (in part because people with connections to countries other than China also steal technology) as well as deepening outreach efforts with the scientific community to revise grant reporting procedures and other research security measures.  It takes more than billions of dollars to strengthen innovation. By reining in the excesses of the present approach and renewing America’s commitment to welcoming the best and brightest minds, the United States can regain an innovative edge that the China Initiative has eroded.”

Yellow Whistle Activities

Recent distributions of “We Belong” Yellow Whistles

  • On July 25, 2021, the 1882 Foundation in the Asian Festival on Main in Fairfax City, Virginia.
  • On July 21, 2021, Maryland State Senator Susan Lee and others at the Korean-American Senior Citizens Association of Maryland in Rockville, Maryland.

Read more at:

Subject: Fear, and Discord, Among Asian Americans Over Attacks in San Francisco

Fear, and Discord, Among Asian Americans Over Attacks in San Francisco
A string of attacks against older people of Asian descent has led to calls for more police officers, an idea rejected by the city’s Asian American leaders.
By Thomas Fuller
The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Two grandmothers stabbed and a third punched in the face in broad daylight. An 84-year-old man fatally shoved to the ground while on his morning walk. In the past seven months, at least seven older Asian residents have been brutally attacked in San Francisco, a city with one of the largest Asian American populations and the oldest Chinatown in the country.

“It’s a horrible feeling to be afraid in your own community,” said John Hamasaki, who is a member of San Francisco’s Police Commission and who is ethnically Japanese. “People are genuinely afraid to go outside, to walk down the street alone.”

The attacks first shocked and angered Asian American residents in the city. But the question of what to do about the violence has now become a source of division.

Many residents of Chinese descent are calling for a significant increase in police patrols. The city’s Asian American leaders, however, said they would rather explore solutions that do not involve law enforcement. One of the most proudly liberal cities in the country is torn between its commitment to criminal justice reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the brutal reality of the city’s most vulnerable residents being stabbed in the middle of the day on busy city streets.

Connie Chan and Gordon Mar, the two members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors who are of Chinese descent, have been under pressure from Chinese activists to increase police staffing, a move the elected officials have largely resisted. Chinese activists — many of whom also denounce Chesa Boudin, the city’s district attorney, for not being tough enough on crime and back a recall effort against him — have shown up at meetings to challenge officials, including Ms. Chan and Mr. Mar.

“I haven’t heard of anyone in the Chinese community who doesn’t want more police,” said Leanna Louie, a former Army intelligence officer who is Chinese American and who last year founded a neighborhood watch group called the United Peace Collaborative. “We are very dissatisfied with Asian representatives. We are going to work furiously to replace them.”

How city leaders, police officials and prosecutors should respond to the violence has been part of a bitter and emotional debate at a time when Asian Americans in California and across the country have been the victims of verbal and physical attacks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hate crimes against all major ethnic groups in California rose sharply last year, and bias crimes against Asian Americans more than doubled, from 43 in 2019 to 89 last year, according to a report released in June by the California attorney general’s office. The group most targeted by hate crimes in the state remained African Americans, with 875 bias crimes recorded last year.

In San Francisco, a city where 34 percent of the population is of Asian descent, the attacks have shaken up the Chinese electorate, which has voted in increasing numbers in recent decades but still below their share of the population. The social fabric and history of the city are tightly interwoven with the Cantonese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese and many other Asian groups that have immigrated to the city since its earliest days. The city’s first Asian American mayor, Edwin M. Lee, died in office in 2017, a symbol both of ascendant yet not fully realized Asian political power.

The assaults themselves have become a point of dispute. Asian American leaders and residents disagree over whether the attacks were random or were motivated by racial animus. None of those arrested in the seven most high-profile attacks since January have been charged with a hate crime. The attacks occurred while San Francisco has been confronting what many residents perceive to be a crime problem worsened by the pandemic.

Car break-ins in San Francisco occur at rates among the highest in the nation. And midyear crime statistics released on Monday show a sharp rise in people injured or killed in shootings. And Asian residents are not the only ones being assaulted: Crime data from the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office shows that Black, Latino and white residents are more likely to be victims of crimes involving force and trauma than those of Asian descent.

In the most recent attack against Asian Americans in mid-June, a 94-year-old grandmother of Chinese descent who was walking with a cane was stabbed in front of her apartment building, blocks from one of San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

The city’s immediate response to the attacks was to redeploy 20 officers onto foot patrols. A multilingual hotline to report hate crimes was established. But both city and community leaders have acknowledged that those measures have not been enough.

“I take personal offense to what we see happening on the streets because I’m very sensitive about the need for us to take care of our elderly population,” Mayor London Breed said in an interview. “I was raised by my grandmother and I can’t imagine if someone did this to her.”The mayor’s spokesman, Jeff Cretan, said she had requested the hiring of 200 officers over the next two years, roughly enough to replace officers who are retiring. The city’s Board of Supervisors scaled back the request to 135 officers, a move the Police Department says will result in the force shrinking because of imminent retirements.

Bill Scott, the chief of police, said he was disappointed by the Board’s decision.

“The style of policing that I believe San Franciscans want is labor-intensive — community engagement, foot beats, bicycle patrols,” Chief Scott said. “We are far short of where we need to be.”

Ms. Chan, one of the city’s two supervisors of Chinese descent, argues that the money can be better spent on other city services and that the police can do more with its current staffing.

“It’s not really about the number of officers, it’s really about the quality of our officers,” said Ms. Chan, who immigrated to San Francisco from Hong Kong as a teenager.

Like Ms. Chan, Mr. Mar acknowledges the fear in the community. His wife for the first time purchased pepper spray for herself and relatives. A rash of burglaries during the pandemic in Chinese neighborhoods added to a sense of insecurity and of being targeted, he said. In his district the businesses hit include a boba tea shop, a shoe store, a dim sum restaurant, a doughnut shop and a Korean barbecue. In one case, a business was burglarized twice in one night by different thieves, he said.

But Mr. Mar rejects the idea that San Francisco needs more police officers. He agrees with the need for more foot patrols and believes that the police force can provide them by redeploying officers, not by adding staff.

Those arrested in the most high-profile attacks defy easy characterization. They have been white, Black and Latino. Nothing was stolen from the victims. The common thread among the suspects is that most, but not all, have a history of homelessness or mental illness, and often both.

The victims have included an 84-year-old Thai man, who was walking near his apartment one January morning when he was violently and fatally shoved, and two older women stabbed at a bus stop at rush hour.

Eric McBurney, a public defender who was born in Taiwan and adopted by white parents in the United States, says he has seen very few instances where hate was the motivator in the attacks.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a significant deal of racism in this country — I would know — but the story here of Asians being targeted is too simple,” said Mr. McBurney, who is representing the man accused of punching a Chinese grandmother and assaulting a Vietnamese man on the same day. “We are getting a steady stream of these cases — random attacks obviously connected to mental illness.”

Jenny Chan, a San Francisco resident who immigrated from China as a child and grew up in low-income housing in the Tenderloin, a neighborhood rife with drug dealing, is scathing of what she says has been inaction among San Francisco leaders.

Ms. Chan cites a litany of recent encounters on the streets: a man who jumped up and down on the hood of her car; drug users with needles in their arms; two men who openly shoplifted during a recent visit to her local pharmacy.

“Right now it’s just like a war zone,” she said of the Tenderloin. “We want stability. This is why we came to America.”

© 2021 The New York Times Company