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The Congressional-Executive Commission on China was created by Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President.



 Announcements

Statement of CECC Chair, Senator Sherrod Brown and Cochair, Representative Christopher Smith on the 24th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Crackdown

(Washington, DC)—On the 24th anniversary of the crackdown on demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and across China, the chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China expressed solidarity with the victims of that tragedy and urged the Chinese government to take concrete steps on human rights and the rule of law.

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Staff Issue Paper on Prospects for Reforming China's Reeducation Through Labor System

In conjunction with the May 9, 2013, roundtable on reeducation through labor, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China released "Prospects for Reforming China's Reeducation through Labor System" on the same day. The issue paper examines recent calls to reform or abolish reeducation through labor (RTL), an arbitrary system of administrative detention without judicial review. Commission staff members have prepared this issue paper to provide an overview of current reform debates and to discuss prospects for reforming the RTL system.


Senator Brown Appointed Chair, Representative Smith Appointed Cochair of Congressional-Executive Commission on China

(Washington, DC)—U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has appointed Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has appointed Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) co-chair.

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Chairman Brown and Cochairman Smith Express Grave Concern Over Tibetan Self-Immolations

(Washington, DC)—The chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China today urged the Chinese government to end repressive policies against the Tibetan people and to resume a dialogue with the Dalai Lama amid ongoing and tragic Tibetan self-immolations, which have surpassed 100.

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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the Trial and Sentencing of Chen Kegui

Today we are deeply dismayed to learn that authorities have sentenced Chen Kegui, nephew of renowned legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, to more than three years in prison, in a trial marred from beginning to end by glaring procedural violations. Authorities' treatment of this case raises serious questions about the rule of law in China.

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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the Release of the 2012 Annual Report

Washington, DC—The bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China today released its 2012 Annual Report on developments in human rights and rule of law in China.

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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the 23rd Anniversary of the Tiananmen Crackdown

This week marks the passing of another year since the Chinese government's brutal crackdown on innocent civilians who demonstrated in Tiananmen Square and across China for democracy and an end to corruption. Powerful reminders of that avoidable tragedy are everywhere in China.

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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on the Arrival of Chen Guangcheng in the United States

Today we are relieved to learn that Chen Guangcheng, his wife, and two children have arrived safely in the United States. Mr. Chen endured more than four years in prison in China, after which he and his family suffered for more than a year and a half under brutal conditions of illegal home confinement.

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CECC Releases Chinese Translation of 2011 Annual Report Executive Summary

A Chinese translation of the Executive Summary of the 2011 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China is now available. The executive summary includes major trends such as disregard for and misapplication of the law, and increased Communist Party control over society, as well as potential areas for progress.

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Statement of CECC Chairman Christopher Smith and Cochairman Sherrod Brown on Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's Visit to the United States

The chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China today called on Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to take concrete steps to improve human rights and the rule of law in China.

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More Analysis... Commission Analysis 

Authorities Block Internet Searches and Prevent Memorial Activities in Lead-Up to 24th Anniversary of Suppression of 1989 Protests


In the lead-up to the 24th anniversary to the violent suppression of the spring 1989 citizen protests in Beijing and many other cities, this year, authorities prevented activities memorializing those who died during the protests. Authorities also harassed, kept under soft detention, restricted the movement of, or detained select rights defenders and democracy advocates, some of whom had applied to authorities to hold memorial demonstrations. This year, as in previous years, authorities censored online references to the 1989 protests.

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Soil Contamination Data Remains a State Secret Leaving Citizens Uninformed About Potential Pollution Hazards


Chinese officials completed a soil contamination survey in 2010, but have yet to disclose to the public the results from that survey. In January 2013, a Chinese citizen requested those results through formal open government information request procedures but environmental authorities refused to release the contamination survey data on the basis that it was a "state secret." Environmental officials reportedly could not release the data without approval from the State Council. The citizen filed an administrative reconsideration request to appeal the outcome, but environmental authorities upheld their original decision.

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Anti-Discrimination NGO Wins Lawsuit Against Hotel in "Stability Maintenance" Case


Justice for All, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works on anti-discrimination legal advocacy, won a legal case in March 2013 against a hotel that had canceled its reservation of hotel facilities for a legal workshop. Local police acknowledged that they had demanded the cancellation because of a "stability maintenance" order. In past years, the Commission has observed similar measures linked to "stability maintenance" taken against civil society organizations, but this appears to be the first case of a lawsuit successfully filed by an NGO for cancellation of an activity with the court decision in its favor.

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Authorities Deny Chen Kegui Urgent Medical Treatment and Medical Parole; Harassment and Intimidation of Family Continues


According to April 2013 reports, authorities notified the family of Chen Kegui, nephew of prominent legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, that he is suffering from acute appendicitis while in prison. Prison officials reportedly denied his family's appeal to release Chen Kegui on medical parole and refused to transfer him to a hospital, claiming they will make their own arrangements for his treatment. Meanwhile, the family reports that they have received "serious threats" against their safety while at home in Dongshigu village, Linyi city, Shandong province.

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Authorities Deny Medical Treatment to Zhu Yufu; Condition Serious


Chinese officials reportedly have denied jailed democracy advocate Zhu Yufu access to medication, medical care, and adequate nutrition. According to his family members, his condition in prison has become critical. Zhu is serving a seven-year prison term for "inciting subversion of state power" in connection with his democracy activism, his writings, and a poem he penned and posted on the Internet around the time of online calls for "Jasmine" protest rallies in the spring of 2011. Authorities reportedly also have been harassing his family members, forcing them to lose their jobs, and threatening them not to talk about Zhu's prison conditions.

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Authorities Issue New Education Policies for Children of Migrant Workers


In December 2012, authorities in Beijing and Shanghai municipalities, and Guangdong province issued new policies expanding access to education for the children of migrant workers. While these policies suggest some progress in overcoming problems of educational inequality, significant barriers remain, including limited opportunities for migrant children to take the national college entrance examination. Chinese authorities' continued implementation of the household registration system, which assigns certain social benefits and rights to Chinese citizens based on their officially registered household residence rather than their actual place of residence, has greatly contributed to educational inequality.

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Authorities Use Threats, Abuse, and Harassment To Maintain Control Over Chen Kegui and Family


March 2013 reports indicate that Chen Kegui, nephew of prominent legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, continues to face threats and abuse at the hands of officials while he serves time in prison. Reports indicate that his parents, wife, and young son also remain subject to surveillance and official harassment as they go about their daily lives. On November 30, 2012, the Yinan County People's Court in Linyi city, Shandong province, sentenced Chen Kegui to three years and three months in prison for "intentional injury," after he clashed with plainclothes security personnel during an unannounced raid on his home in the middle of the night. Chen argued that he acted in self-defense, a position supported by several Chinese and international lawyers and rights advocates.

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Chen Kegui Serving Criminal Sentence, Legal Experts Refute Conviction


On November 30, 2012, the Yinan County People's Court in Linyi city, Shandong province, sentenced Chen Kegui, nephew of prominent legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, to three years and three months in prison for "intentional injury," following a trial marred by procedural violations, including problems with access to counsel, pre-trial family visits, trial notice, and access of witnesses to the trial. According to some Chinese and U.S. legal experts, Chen Kegui's wielding of a knife against plainclothes officials and hired personnel who broke into his home in the middle of the night on April 26, 2012, constitutes legitimate self-defense under Chinese law and therefore does not warrant criminal punishment. Domestic and international observers have raised Chen Kegui's case repeatedly since his detention, highlighting concerns that he may be the object of authorities' attempts to protect "national interests" and retaliate against his uncle Chen Guangcheng, who left China for the United States after escaping illegal home confinement. Authorities continue to subject Chen Kegui and his family to official threats, abuse, and harassment while he serves his sentence.

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Advocacy Groups Deliver Petitions Calling for Release of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia


On February 27, 2013, the International Committee for Liu Xiaobo, a committee comprised of 6 Nobel Peace Prize laureates and 15 non-governmental organizations, delivered petitions to Chinese Embassies and authorities, calling for the immediate release of imprisoned Nobel laureate and democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo and his wife, detained artist Liu Xia. In December 2012, Nobel laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu created the petition and wrote a letter, signed by 134 fellow Nobel Prize winners, to then incoming Chinese President Xi Jinping. Hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide have since signed the petition. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared the detentions of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia to be in violation of China's obligations under international law.

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Authorities Block Uyghur Scholar From Leaving China, Refuse To Grant Passport to Uyghur Student


Chinese authorities took steps recently to prevent two Beijing-based Uyghurs from traveling outside of the country, highlighting official restrictions on Uyghurs' freedom of movement. The detentions of Ilham Tohti, an outspoken critic of government policy toward Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and his daughter, and the detention of Atikem Rozi, a university student who posted comments on the Internet about authorities' refusal to grant her a passport, also point to grave repercussions that Uyghurs face when exercising their right to freedom of expression inside China.

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Chinese Authorities Fine LCD Cartel in First Case Concerning Conduct Outside China


On January 4, 2013, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) imposed fines totaling 353 million yuan (US$56.8 million) on two South Korean and four Taiwanese manufacturers (together, the LCD Cartel) of liquid crystal display (LCD) screens, for price fixing. Though NDRC has brought actions against Chinese and foreign-invested companies for domestic price fixing in the past, this is the first such case against an international cartel. Because the price-fixing actions took place prior to the effective date of China's Antimonopoly Law, NDRC based the enforcement action on the 1998 Pricing Law. China's action follows similar actions against members of the LCD Cartel by authorities in the United States and the European Union.

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Tibetan Property Protests Result in Self-Immolation, Detention


In addition to 97 Tibetan self-immolations reported or believed to focus on political and religious issues during the period February 27, 2009, to January 22, 2013, an additional 2 Tibetan self-immolations reported in 2012 were property protests. Both self-immolators were Tibetan women protesting official expropriation of residential property and inadequate compensation during the redevelopment of the earthquake-devastated capital of Yushu (Yushul) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture (TAP), Qinghai province. The Commission has also observed reports of officials detaining Tibetans in the Yushu capital and elsewhere in the prefecture who refused to turn over property to the government. Official media reports disclosed in early 2011 that the government would rename the Yushu capital, rebuild it as an urban area, and route a new railway through it.

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Authorities Issue Circular To Promote Environmental Information Disclosure


Environmental authorities issued a circular in October 2012 that potentially could expand and deepen information disclosure to the public, including information about environmental impact assessments. The circular, however, has limitations and omissions that constrain environmental transparency, especially at the grassroots level.

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Official Opinion Urges Criminal Prosecution of Persons Linked to Self-Immolations


According to a December 3, 2012, provincial Communist Party newspaper report, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, Supreme People's Court, and Ministry of Public Security issued an official opinion calling for persons officials deem to be "principal culprits" linked to a Tibetan self-immolation to face criminal prosecution for "intentional homicide." The opinion, which the report cited but did not date or make accessible, described additional activities associated with self-immolation that could be prosecuted as crimes. Implementation of the opinion could result in significant risks for persons close to a self-immolator, including relatives, friends, and colleagues, as well as Tibetans who join in expressions of sympathy or sorrow following self-immolations.

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Chinese Censors Limit Online Content for the 18th Party Congress


In the months leading up to and during the 18th Party Congress—which began on November 8, 2012Chinese official censors took bold steps to limit political debate and control free expression on the Internet. According to news reports, Internet users and Western media organizations faced frequent Web site blockages and experienced heightened sensitivity over a range of political topics. In some instances, China reportedly took unprecedented steps to block online content, including blocking Google services. In another reported incident, Chinese officials blocked the New York Times Web site after the newspaper published an investigative article detailing Premier Wen Jiabao's family fortune and business networks.

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Beijing Authorities Detain Blogger for Satirical Tweet About 18th Party Congress


In early November 2012, Beijing public security officials reportedly detained businessman and prominent blogger Zhai Xiaobing for allegedly posting a joke on a social networking site about the highly anticipated 18th Party Congress. The post, which referenced the "Final Destination" horror film franchise, suggested that the Great Hall of the People would collapse on Party delegates at the upcoming event. Officials later revealed that Zhai was being investigated for "spreading terrorist information," a criminal charge that can carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment. The detention—during a period of heightened sensitivity and increased censorship—sparked concern for the blogger's welfare and led to an online petition requesting Zhai's "unconditional release."

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Family Members and Supporters of Li Wangyang Detained and Harassed


Family members and supporters of labor activist and 1989 Tiananmen protester Li Wangyang continue to face arbitrary detention and restrictions on freedom of movement and communication following Li's death in June 2012. While reports indicate that authorities released some supporters in November 2012, others remain unaccounted for and at least two activists have been criminally prosecuted for their involvement in Li's case. Chinese authorities' actions contravene protections guaranteed in Chinese and international law. Continued restrictions on Li's supporters and family members also illustrate official apprehension over both his case and the calls both within and outside of China for a transparent inquiry into his death.

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NGOs Continue To Document Poor Working Conditions in Chinese Factories


In recent months, several international and Hong Kong-based labor NGOs have issued reports documenting labor violations at factories in China producing electronics and other goods for well-known brands such as Apple, Samsung, Mattel, Motorola, LG, Disney, McDonald's, and Hasbro. In some cases, reports continue to document poor working conditions at factories previously cited for violations. The reports highlight the lack of enforcement of Chinese labor laws and the absence of effective mechanisms to advocate on behalf of Chinese workers.

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State Council Issues Decision To Abolish or Revise Certain Administrative Licenses


In October 2012, the State Council issued its decision on abolishing or revising a batch of administrative licenses, or examinations and approvals. The decision, which covers a total of 314 items, is the sixth batch of cuts to administrative examinations and approvals since the government initiated the reform of the administrative approval system in 2001. According to the Chinese press, the reform's goal is to improve the environment for social and economic development and to curb corruption. Foreign investors increasingly have problems obtaining the administrative licenses they need to do business in China.

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Officials Give Environmentalist Liu Futang a Suspended Three-Year Sentence for Exposés


Former forestry official and environmentalist, Liu Futang received a three-year suspended sentence and a fine for allegedly engaging in "illegal business activities" linked to his self-publication of environmental exposés that may have embarrassed local government leaders.

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Authorities Heighten Persecution of Detained Mongol Rights Advocate's Wife and Son


Authorities in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia (IMAR), tightened restrictions on the freedoms of movement and communication of Xinna, the wife of 56-year-old detained Mongol rights advocate Hada, and the couple's son, Uiles, between October and December 2012. The heightened restrictions began after Xinna spoke to Western media and rights groups about Chinese authorities' treatment of Hada in extralegal detention and his deteriorating mental condition. Both Xinna and Uiles reportedly remain under home confinement. Hada remains in official custody without apparent legal basis, despite the expiration of his 15-year prison sentence on December 10, 2010. As noted in the Congressional-Executive Commission on China Political Prisoner Database, authorities imprisoned Hada after he organized peaceful protests for Mongols' rights in 1995. Hada's continued extralegal detention underscores the repercussions Mongols have faced from the Chinese government for promoting their rights and seeking to preserve their culture, language, and pastoral livelihoods.

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Authorities Sentence Chen Kegui in Trial Marred by Procedural Violations


On November 30, 2012, the Yinan County People's Court in Linyi city, Shandong province, tried and sentenced Chen Kegui, nephew of prominent legal advocate Chen Guangcheng, to three years and three months in prison for "intentional injury." Chen Kegui wielded knives against local officials in April 2012 when they broke into his home after discovering Chen Guangcheng had escaped from illegal home confinement. According to supporters, Chen Kegui's case has been marred by procedural violations since authorities detained him in May.

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Democracy Advocate Cao Haibo Sentenced to Eight Years for Subversion


Chinese authorities sentenced democracy advocate Cao Haibo to eight years' imprisonment on the charge of "subversion of state power" for creating online discussion groups and sending text messages relating to democratic reforms and the philosophies of Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang). Cao's trial was marred by procedural issues, and his sentence disregards international norms and PRC Constitutional principles. His verdict also demonstrates the continuing trend of harsh sentences for democracy advocates.

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Communist Party Holds Significant Party Congress In November, Selects Top Leaders


The Chinese Communist Party, which meets every five years, will open on November 8, 2012 (18th Party Congress). The Congress is significant for several reasons. At the Congress, the Party chooses the Party's top leadership. China's political system is authoritarian based on one-party rule, so Party leaders become leaders of the country. Despite official claims that "elected" delegates to the Party Congress choose members of two top Party leadership bodies, China's leaders in practice are chosen by a select number of incumbent top Party officials through a non-transparent and largely undemocratic process which is contrary to international human rights standards. The Party also will issue a "political report" at the Congress that reportedly strives to "establish ideological guidelines and the political resolutions of the collective leadership." Typically, there has been some limited input by non-Party members during the drafting stages of the report, but debates over ideology and policy direction have been non-transparent. In addition, the Congress will likely amend the Communist Party's constitution.

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State Monopoly of Environmental Quality Monitoring and Reporting: State Secrets and Environmental Protection


Chinese authorities appear posed to strengthen barriers, through revisions to monitoring regulations, to non-governmental efforts to independently monitor and report on environmental quality. This development along with the June 2012 official public rebuke of U.S. officials for U.S. monitoring and reporting of PM2.5 air pollutants highlight official control over environmental quality information and suggest that such information is sensitive. Chinese authorities have cited the need for quality control over monitoring data; officials, however, also consider some environmental data as "secret."

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NGOs Report Harsh Conditions at Chinese Factories Making Popular Electronics


In recent months, several worker rights NGOs have issued reports documenting poor working conditions at factories in China producing electronic products for well-known brands such as Apple, HP, Nokia, Dell, AT&T, and Motorola. The reports underscore Chinese workers' inability to form independent unions to advocate for their rights and lack of enforcement of Chinese labor laws.

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Authorities Suppress Calls for an Official Accounting in Lead-Up to 23rd Anniversary of Crackdown on 1989 Protests


In the lead-up to the 23rd anniversary of Chinese authorities' violent suppression on June 3-4, 1989, of protests in Beijing and other cities in China, Chinese citizens continued to call for an official accounting of those events and for a re-evaluation of the "verdict" of the protests as a "counterrevolutionary riot." Authorities responded by restricting the movements of people attempting to hold memorial events. Officials also continued to censor references to June 4 on the Internet. In recent months, Chinese officials have also continued to impose harsh sentences on citizens who have peacefully advocated for democracy.
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Relatives and Supporters of Chen Guangcheng Harassed, Beaten, Detained


Following his escape from illegal home confinement on April 22, 2012, legal advocate Chen Guangcheng sought safety in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing for six days while U.S. and Chinese officials negotiated a deal for his and his family's freedom. Chen left the U.S. embassy under U.S. official escort on May 2 to receive medical treatment at a nearby hospital for injuries sustained during his escape as well as for an ongoing gastrointestinal illness.

During his confinement at the hospital, Chen reported that he would like to travel to the United States with his family to rest (Washington Post, 3 May 12), and he later reported that Chinese officials are assisting in his plans to do so (NYT, 8 May 12). As he waits for a passport and other paperwork needed to leave the country and pursue a fellowship offered to him by the New York University School of Law, Chen has repeatedly raised concerns about official retaliation against his relatives in Shandong province.
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Chinese Authorities Implement Real Name Microblog Regulations


Beginning March 16, authorities in Beijing and Guangdong province reportedly began enforcing a requirement that microblog users must register their accounts with their accounts with their real name and identity information before being allowed to post or re-post content online. The announcement that authorities would begin enforcing this requirement follows the December 2011 issuance of regulations introducing this registration requirement in several cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, and the Guangdong cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Given that Beijing and Guangdong are home to a number of China's major microblogging service providers, the real name registration requirement could affect large numbers of microblog users in China. Authorities have expressed concern over "online rumors," and the recent measures follow a spate of high-profile incidents in recent years in which large numbers of Chinese microbloggers took to their blogs to openly criticize the government.

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Chinese Authorities Issue Regulations To Control Journalists and "Unverified Reports"


In mid-October 2011, the Chinese government released regulations that aim to control journalists' use of "unverified information" and to regulate news agencies' review procedures. The regulations prohibit Chinese journalists from directly including "unverified information" obtained from the Internet or mobile text messages in their reporting. In addition, the regulations require that news agencies improve the system of accountability for "fake" or "false" news reports, terms that are not defined in the regulations. The October 2011 announcement followed official calls to restrict news reporting and to limit so-called "rumors" in the media.

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Chinese Human Rights Defender Chen Guangcheng Escapes Illegal Home Confinement


On April 27, 2012, international human rights organizations and news agencies reported that human rights defender Chen Guangcheng escaped from his home outside of Linyi city, Shandong province, on or around April 22, after being subjected to extralegal home confinement (ruanjin) for nineteen months. Chen reportedly received assistance from others who brought him to a "secret location" in Beijing. BBC and New York Times, citing human rights advocate Hu Jia and Chinese state security sources, have suggested that Chen may currently be in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, but those reports could not be confirmed.

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Workers Demonstrate in Various Industries and Locations in Late 2011 and Early 2012


From late fall 2011 through early 2012, Chinese and international media outlets reported on a series of strikes and demonstrations in at least 10 provincial-level areas in China that some international news sources and labor rights advocates characterized as the most significant series of worker actions since the summer of 2010. While the exact number of worker actions that occurred during this period is difficult to determine, they involved a variety of industries, and recent statements from the Chinese government reflected concern over social strife as a result of labor disputes. In some cases, workers demonstrated in response to cost-cutting measures that managers took, reportedly designed to pass the costs of slowed macroeconomic activity on to workers. In some of those cases, workers said their motivations for demonstrating included the failure of management to consult with them in the implementation of cost-cutting measures. In other cases, workers reportedly demonstrated in response to wider systemic abuses and other labor-related grievances, such as excessive overtime demands and abusive management practices. Management and local officials in some cases reportedly used force against or detained demonstrating workers while seeking to put a stop to these disputes.

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Chinese Authorities Reportedly Repatriate North Korean Refugees


In early March 2012, South Korean news outlets and CNN reported claims that Chinese authorities had repatriated approximately 30 North Korean refugees who were detained in northeast China. The reported repatriations occurred during the 100-day mourning period for the late Kim Jong-il, a time during which his son and new leader of North Korea vowed to "exterminate three generations" of any family with a member caught defecting. The fate of those repatriated or their family members is not known. China's policy of considering all North Korean refugees economic migrants violates international law to which China itself is subject and which prohibits China from returning refugees who face the risk of political persecution. The case of the North Korean refugees prompted international concern over China's repatriation policy, including from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

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More Commission Analysis. . .


 Political Prisoner Database

Enter Prisoner Name:

Partial List of Political Prisoners Known or Believed to be Detained or Imprisoned in China as of October 10, 2012 (1,484 Cases)

View Record of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Political Prisoner Database Representative Cases

Click here to search the full CECC Political Prisoner Database of over 7,014 cases as of October 10, 2012


 2012 Annual Report

2012 Annual Report

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued its 2012 Annual Report on human rights conditions and the development of the rule of law in China on October 10, 2012.

Full Report: PDF version, text version

Chinese Translation of the Executive Summary: PDF version


 Special Reports

For a PDF version of a CECC summary, map, and list of 115 Tibetan Self-Immolations as of June 11, 2013, please click here.

Special Report: Tibetan Self-Immolation—Rising Frequency, Wider Spread, Greater Diversity. Issued August 22, 2012.

Web introduction, PDF version

Special Report: Tibetan Monastic Self-Immolations Appear To Correlate With Increasing Repression of Freedom of Religion. Issued December 23, 2011.

Web version, PDF version

 Recent Events

HEARING

Chinese Hacking: Impact on Human Rights and Commercial Rule of Law

Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 538

Cyber attacks from China have become a key point of contention between the United States and China. Both sides recently agreed to form a working group and hold regular talks on cybersecurity and industrial espionage, and the issue will feature prominently during President Obama and President Xi Jinping's upcoming summit in California. This hearing will examine the impact of Chinese cyber attacks on Chinese activists and human rights organizations as well as on American businesses and industries harmed by intellectual property theft.

View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

Food and Drug Safety, Public Health, and the Environment in China

Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562

The recent bird flu outbreak, reports of dead pigs and contaminated food products, and dangerous levels of air pollution, have raised concerns among both China's own citizens and American consumers about the Chinese government's ability to cope with these problems. To what extent has China been forthcoming to its citizens and the international community about incidents involving pollution, food and drug safety, and public health hazards? What is the extent of Chinese cooperation with U.S. officials and the international community on these issues? And how much freedom do Chinese citizens, consumer groups, lawyers, and the media have to monitor and report on these issues and advocate for enforcement of the law and official accountability?

This hearing was Webcast.


ROUNDTABLE

The End of Reeducation Through Labor? Recent Developments and Prospects for Reform

Thursday, May 9, 2013, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562

Under China's reeducation through labor system, Chinese officials can order citizens to be held in reeducation through labor centers for up to four years without a trial or legal representation. There are no definitive figures, but hundreds of thousands of Chinese may currently be held in these centers. The system has come under sharp criticism for violating the rule of law, imposing harsh conditions and forced labor on detainees, and in some cases targeting religious practitioners, rights activists, bloggers, and those seeking redress for official abuses. In recent months, high-profile and controversial cases have led to public calls to abolish the system—which have even been supported by China's state-run media. Chinese officials in turn have raised hopes this year of major reform of the system, including a March statement by Premier Li Keqiang on the government's plans to introduce reform by the end of the year. At this CECC roundtable, a panel of experts will discuss recent developments and the prospects for reform.

This hearing was webcast.


HEARING

Falun Gong in China: Review and Update

Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
418 Russell Senate Office Building

In 1999, the Chinese government and Communist Party launched a campaign of persecution against the Falun Gong spiritual movement that has now lasted for more than 13 years.

In addition to arrests of practitioners, imprisonment, and sentences to reeducation-through-labor (RTL)—and many reported deaths—the Chinese government and Communist Party have pressured Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief and practice. The campaign has been documented by the CECC in its Annual Reports and by other human rights organizations. The Chinese government and Communist Party have also continued to harass and detain persons who attempted to assist Falun Gong practitioners, including human rights lawyers such as Wei Liangyue, Wang Yonghang, and Gao Zhisheng.

At the hearing, panels of experts on China and the Falun Gong spiritual movement will review the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese government and the Communist Party and update members of the Commission and the general public on recent developments.

This hearing was webcast.


HEARING

Two Years Later: The Ongoing Detentions of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and His Wife Liu Xia

Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Two years ago, the Nobel Committee awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to prominent intellectual and democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." Today, Liu Xiaobo remains in a Chinese prison serving the fourth year of an 11-year sentence, while authorities hold his wife under a de facto form of house arrest.

The hearing discussed Liu's views on Chinese political reform and his co-authorship of Charter 08, a grassroots political reform treatise signed by thousands of Chinese citizens. The hearing also discussed the essays that formed the basis of the government's "inciting subversion" charges against Liu. Witnesses will discuss Liu's current legal status and ongoing international advocacy efforts on Liu's behalf. In addition, witnesses will discuss conditions for Liu's wife, Liu Xia, whose illegal home confinement has been referred to as the "most severe retaliation by a government given to a Nobel winner's family."

This hearing was webcast live.


HEARING

Working Conditions and Worker Rights in China: Recent Developments

Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
2200 Rayburn House Office Building

In recent months, several reports have been released regarding working conditions in Chinese factories that manufacture products popular in the United Stateslaptops, iPhones, iPads, cordless phones. These reports document excessive overtime, crowded and unsafe working and living conditions, underage workers, and unpaid wages. They note that Chinese workers do not have the right to organize into independent unions, and that the state-controlled union does little to represent them. Meanwhile, China has enacted laws in recent years intended to address worker issues, and the state-controlled union has pledged to better represent workers.

For related Commission analysis, please see "NGOs Report Harsh Conditions at Chinese Factories Making Popular Electronics."

The hearing's witnesses will discuss the prevalence of harsh working conditions in Chinese factories in places like Shenzhen and Shanghai, assess implementation of China's labor laws, and examine the roles the Chinese government, China's state-controlled union, Chinese NGOs, and private companies, including multinationals, play in addressing worker rights and labor reforms. Witnesses will also provide recommendations for U.S. policy on worker rights in China.

View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

Recent Developments and History of the Chen Guangcheng Case

Thursday, May 3, 2012, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

The recent escape of self-trained legal advocate Chen Guangcheng from illegal house arrest has attracted international attention and concern. On April 22, Chen escaped from his home in Dongshigu village, Linyi city, Shandong province, where he and his family had been detained without charge for 19 months. After escaping from home confinement, Chen met the U.S. Ambassador and Administration officials at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and received medical treatment. Recent reports suggest that U.S. and Chinese officials have negotiated an agreement that would permit Chen and his family to remain in China with assurances from the Chinese government that they can live a normal life. The Commission hearing will address ongoing developments in the Chen Guangcheng case and reported prospects for himself, his family and his supporters. Witnesses will discuss details of the previous detention of Chen and his family under an illegal form of "house arrest," as well as his escape to seek safety at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In addition, witnesses will also address Chen's legal advocacy work.

Chen, a self-trained legal advocate who has represented farmers, the disabled and other groups, is perhaps best known for the attention he drew to population planning abuses, particularly forced abortions and forced sterilizations, in Linyi, in 2005. In deeply flawed legal proceedings, authorities sentenced him in 2006 to four years and three months in prison. Following his release in September 2010, Chen, his wife Yuan Weijing, and their six-year-old daughter were subjected to beatings, home confinement and constant surveillance. Throughout the detention, Chinese authorities undertook forceful measures to prevent and harass journalists and supporters who attempted to visit the family.



View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

China's Repatriation of North Korean Refugees

Monday, March 5, 2012, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building

In recent weeks, international human rights advocates and organizations have called on the Chinese government not to repatriate dozens of North Korean refugees currently detained in China. There is now growing concern that the refugees and their family members may face public execution if the refugees are forcibly returned to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). In January, Kim Jong-un, the "supreme leader" of North Korea, reportedly threatened to "exterminate three generations" of any family with a member caught defecting from North Korea during the 100-day mourning period for the late Kim Jong-il. Despite its obligations under international law, the Chinese government maintains an agreement with North Korea to repatriate North Korean refugees.

The Commission hearing will address the current predicament of North Korean refugees who have been detained by Chinese authorities in recent weeks. Witnesses will discuss the factors driving North Koreans to flee to China. Witnesses will also address the legality of China's forced repatriations of North Koreans and relevant humanitarian concerns.


View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

The Case and Treatment of Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng

Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building

Today, the condition of Gao Zhisheng, one of China's most prominent human rights lawyers, remains a closely guarded secret. In December 2011, the Chinese government announced Gao would be required to serve out his earlier three-year criminal sentence, just as his sentence suspension was about to expire. Gao, a self-taught lawyer who angered Chinese authorities by exposing human rights abuses, had been missing for more than 20 months, since "reappearing" from enforced disappearance in March 2010. Chinese officials have not released any news of Gao's health or condition, and Gao's family members and lawyers have been unable to visit him.

The Commission hearing focused on the latest announcement on Gao Zhisheng's criminal imprisonment and addressed concerns over his current well-being. Witnesses, including Gao Zhisheng's wife, addressed Gao's legal defense of marginalized groups in China—including religious practitioners, rural workers, and human rights activists—and his enforced disappearance. Other experts addressed ongoing international legal and humanitarian advocacy efforts on behalf of Gao. The hearing also featured testimony from the wife of another prominent jailed dissident, Guo Quan, who is serving a 10-year sentence and who, like Gao, has been punished for his human rights and democracy advocacy.

View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

Ten Years in the WTO: Has China Kept Its Promises?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
2212 Rayburn House Office Building

Ten years ago, on December 11, 2001, China officially joined the World Trade Organization. China's entry into the WTO ushered in a new era in its relationship with the United States and the rest of the world. China made numerous promises to reduce trade barriers, open up markets, increase transparency, protect intellectual property rights, and reform its legal system to make it consistent with WTO requirements. Policymakers hoped at the time that China's WTO membership would lead to advances in the broader development of the rule of law as well. Has China kept its promises and played by the rules? What impact has WTO membership had on the development of the rule of law in China? Has WTO membership leveled the economic playing field as many had hoped?

View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

One Year After the Nobel Peace Prize Award to Liu Xiaobo: Conditions for Political Prisoners and Prospects for Political Reform

Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
2172 Rayburn House Office Building

One year ago, the Nobel Committee awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." Today, Liu Xiaobo remains in a Chinese prison serving the third year of an 11-year sentence, while authorities hold his wife under a de facto form of house arrest. Across China, authorities persist in harassing and detaining democracy and human rights advocates. This hearing discussed Liu's views on Chinese political reform and society; Charter 08, a grassroots political reform treatise signed by Liu and thousands of Chinese citizens; the essays that formed the basis of the government's "inciting subversion" charges against Liu; and the impact, if any, of Liu's Nobel Peace Prize in China. In addition, witnesses discussed conditions for other political prisoners and activists, as well as the prospects for political reform in China in the near future.

View recorded webcast here.


HEARING

China's Censorship of the Internet and Social Media: The Human Toll and Trade Impact

Thursday, November 17, 2011, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Washington, DC, Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2226

View recorded webcast here.


 Newsletters

CECC Newsletter No. 1 - 2013
CECC Newsletter No. 2 - 2012

 Other Recent Events

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS HEARING

Congressional-Executive Commission on China: 2011 Annual Report

Thursday, November 3, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
2172 Rayburn House Office Building


HEARING

Examination into the Abuse and Extralegal Detention of Legal Advocate Chen Guangcheng and His Family

Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building

View recorded hearing here.


ROUNDTABLE

The Dalai Lama: What He Means for Tibetans Today (7/13/11)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Russell Senate Office Building, Room 418

View the recorded webcast here.


ROUNDTABLE

Conditions for Human Rights Defenders and Lawyers in China, and Implications for U.S. Policy (6/23/11)

Thursday, June 23, 2011, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Russell Senate Office Building, Room 328A

View the roundtable's recorded webcast.


 2011 Annual Report

2011 Annual Report

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued its 2011 Annual Report on human rights conditions and the development of the rule of law in China on October 10, 2011.

Full Report: PDF version, text version

Executive Summary: PDF version

Chinese Translation of the Executive Summary: PDF version


 Other Events

HEARING

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Future of Political Reform in China (11/9/10)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628

View a recorded video of this hearing here.


ROUNDTABLE

2010 Annual Report: New Developments in Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China (10/20/10)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628


HEARING

Will China Protect Intellectual Property? New Developments in Counterfeiting, Piracy, and Forced Technology Transfer (9/22/10)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628

View a recorded video of this hearing.


ROUNDTABLE

China and Human Trafficking: Updates and Analysis (8/20/10)

Friday, August 20, 2010, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628

View recorded C-SPAN video coverage here.


HEARING

Political Prisoners in China: Trends and Implications for U.S. Policy (8/3/10)

Tuesday August 3, 2010, 10:15 a.m. to 12 noon
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628

View a recorded video of this hearing.


ROUNDTABLE

China's Far West: Conditions in Xinjiang One Year After Demonstrations and Riots (7/19/10)

Monday, July 19, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 628


ROUNDTABLE

Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Assessing China's International Commitments (7/14/10)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Room 138, Dirksen Senate Office Building


ROUNDTABLE

China's Policies Toward Spiritual Movements (6/18/10)

Friday, June 18, 2010, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Room 628, Dirksen Senate Office Building


ROUNDTABLE

Transparency in Environmental Protection and Climate Change in China (4/1/10)

Thursday, April 1, 2010, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Room 628, Dirksen Senate Office Building


HEARING

Google and Internet Control in China: A Nexus Between Human Rights and Trade? (3/24/10)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Room 628, Dirksen Senate Office Building

View a recorded video of this hearing.


ROUNDTABLE

Women in a Changing China (3/8/10)

Monday, March 8, 2010, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Room B-318, Rayburn House Office Building.


 Special Topic Paper

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued a special report titled Special Topic Paper: Tibet 2008-2009 on October 22, 2009. The report provides expanded coverage and in-depth analysis of key recent developments and trends in Tibet and builds on the Commission's 2009 Annual Report.


 Commission Roundtables and Panel Discussions

2010 Annual Report: New Developments in Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China (10/20/10)
China and Human Trafficking: Updates and Analysis (8/20/10)
China's Far West: Conditions in Xinjiang One Year After the Demonstrations and Riots (7/19/10)
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Assessing China's International Commitments (7/14/10)
China's Policies Toward Spiritual Movements (6/18/10)
Transparency in Environmental Protection and Climate Change in China (4/1/10)
Women in a Changing China  (3/8/10)
China's Citizen Complaint System: Prospects for Accountability  (12/04/09)
Gao Yaojie: Physician, Grandmother, and Whistleblower in China's Fight Against HIV/AIDS  (12/03/09)
Reporting the News in China: First-Hand Accounts and Current Trends  (7/31/09)
China's Human Rights Lawyers: Current Challenges and Prospects  (7/10/09)
The Financial Crisis and the Changing Role of Workers in China  (6/19/09)
What "Democracy" Means in China After Thirty Years of Reform   (5/22/09)
The Rising Stakes of Refugee Issues in China   (5/1/09)
A Year After the March 2008 Protests: Is China Promoting Stability in Tibet?  (3/13/09)
Does China Have a Stability Problem?   (2/27/09)
Human Rights in Xinjiang: Recent Developments (2/13/09)
The UN Human Rights Council's Review of China's Record: Process and Challenges (1/16/09)
Human Rights and Rule of Law in China: Where Are We Now and Where Do We Go From Here? (12/12/08)
On the Eve of the Beijing Olympics: China's Information Lockdown (7/16/08)
Xinjiang: Rights Abuses in China's Muslim Western Region (5/14/08)

More Roundtables. . .


 Annual Reports

2009 Annual Report

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued its 2009 Annual Report on human rights conditions and the development of the rule of law in China on October 10, 2009. Click here for the full report (text/(pdf).


2008 Annual Report

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued its 2008 Annual Report on human rights conditions and the development of the rule of law in China on Friday, October 31, 2008. Click here for the full report (text/pdf).



2007 Annual Report

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued its 2007 Annual Report on human rights conditions and the development of the rule of law in China on Wednesday, October 10, 2007. Click here for the full report (text/pdf).


 CECC Special Topics

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo

Xinjiang Demonstrations
See also the CECC Chairman's and Cochairman's Statement on the Xinjiang Demonstrations.

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
Charter 08
Human Rights Day
China's Olympic Commitments
See also the CECC Chairman's and Cochairman's Statement on China's Olympic Commitments. Click here for the full transcript and supporting materials from the Commission's Hearing on "The Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China."
Tibetan Protests
See also the CECC Chairman's Statement on the Tibetan Protests.

China's Household Registration System
Available in English (html or pdf) and Chinese (html or pdf).
Newsletter Archives
Click here to join our mailing list. 

 Commission Hearings

"Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Future of Political Reform in China" (11/9/10)
"Will China Protect Intellectual Property? New Developments in Counterfeiting, Piracy, and Forced Technology Transfer" (9/22/10)
"Political Prisoners in China: Trends and Implications for U.S. Policy" (8/3/10)
Google and Internet Control in China: A Nexus Between Human Rights and Trade? (3/24/10)
Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China (10/7/09)
The 20th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Protests: Examining the Significance of the 1989 Demonstrations in China and Implications for U.S. Policy (6/4/09)
What Will Drive China's Future Legal Development? Reports from the Field (6/18/08)
The Impact of the 2008 Olympic Games on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China (02/27/08)
Human Rights and Rule of Law in China (09/20/06)
Combating Human Trafficking in China: Domestic and International Efforts (03/06/06)
Law in Political Transitions: Lessons from East Asia and the Road Ahead for China (7/26/05)
Religious Freedom in China (11/18/04)

More Hearings. . .



       



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