China Initiative: Dulling the Cutting Edge?

The impact of the China Initiative, a 3-year-old US government effort to curb China’s influence on academic research, is much discussed on campuses. Now 2 surveys quantify its toll on Chinese academics and point to troubling implications for US-based research.
The nonprofit C-100’s national survey found that 42% of 650 Chinese scientists said they “feel racially profiled by the U.S. government.”
The other survey, focused on the University of Michigan, “revealed a profound sense among Chinese faculty of feeling like second-class citizens on their campus.”
The surveys suggest the China Initiative may be backfiring, says the University of Arizona’s Jenny Lee, an author of the C-100 survey: “… the results show that [the Initiative] has actually weakened our ability to do cutting-edge science.”

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