The investigative team from MIT Technology Review that found major flaws with the DoJ’s China Initiative


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Illustration by Derek Zheng

This week on the Sinica Podcast, Kaiser chats with Eileen Guo and Jess Aloe, two members of the three-person team of reporters at the MIT Technology Review who took a data-centered look at the U.S. Department of Justice’s China Initiative and uncovered serious problems: an ill-defined mission, low conviction rates, post hoc efforts to remove cases previously described as falling under the China Initiative, and strong evidence of racial profiling.

3:03 – The genesis of the report

9:15 – How the Department of Justice defines — or doesn’t define — the China Initiative

19:00 – The deletion of China Initiative cases from the DoJ’s website

22:34 – Was the Anming Hu case a watershed?

30:57 – The evidence for racial profiling

38:26 – Biden’s conundrum

A transcript of this podcast is available on


Eileen: America for Beginners, a novel by Leah Franqui

Jess: The Expanse, a science fiction series on Amazon Prime

Kaiser: Cloud Cuckoo Land, a novel by Anthony Doerr