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Reconsidering America’s China Policy: Engaging Party and People

March 17, 2011 @ 9:00 am - 12:15 pm

Thursday, March 17, 2011
9:00 am – 12:15 pm
American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor,
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

Dramatic changes in Sino-American relations have left the longstanding US policy of “engagement” with China outmoded and ineffective. China’s economic, political, and military ascension has led to a more assertive and muscular Beijing, complicating American attempts at diplomatic engagement on key issues. Too often, “engaging” China has meant engagement only with the Chinese Communist Party, with modest results on human rights issues to show for the effort.

AEI and the Project 2049 Institute, which seeks to guide decision makers toward a more secure Asia by the century’s midpoint, will cohost a conference examining US policy toward China, particularly American engagement of Chinese civil society. With new dynamics shaping Chinese and American interests, the conference will evaluate the prospect of a diplomatic strategy both more effective and better aligned with US interests and values.

Randall Schriver, Project 2049 Institute

Panel I: A Review of Engagement
Carolyn Bartholomew, US-China Economic and Security Review Commission
Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch
Derek Scissors, Heritage Foundation
Mark Stokes, Project 2049 Institute

Dan Blumenthal, AEI

Question and Answer

Panel II: Engaging Civil Society and Reaching the People
Sharon Hom
, Human Rights in China
Ho-Fung Hung, Indiana University
Rebecca Mackinnon, New America Foundation and Global Voices Online
Jennifer Turner, Woodrow Wilson International Center

Kelley Currie, Project 2049 Institute

Question and Answer


Carolyn Bartholomew was reappointed to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a two-year term expiring on December 31, 2011. Since 2006, she has served as the commission’s chairman as well as vice chairman. Ms. Bartholomew has worked at senior levels in Congress as counsel, legislative director, and chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi. She was a professional staff member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as legislative assistant to then-Representative Bill Richardson (D-NM). In these positions, Ms. Bartholomew was integrally involved in developing US policies on international affairs and security matters, particularly US-China relations, focusing on trade, human rights, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. She led efforts to establish and fund global AIDS programs and promote human rights and democratization around the world. Ms. Bartholomew also serves on the board of directors of the Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and the nonprofit organizations Polaris Project and Asia Catalyst.

Dan Blumenthal joined AEI in November 2004 as a resident fellow in Asian studies. He has recently been named a research associate in the National Asia Research Program, a joint undertaking of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has served on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission since 2005, including as vice chairman in 2007, and has been a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the congressional US-China Working Group. Previously, Mr. Blumenthal was senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the office of the secretary of defense for international security affairs during George W. Bush’s first administration. He has written articles and op-eds for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, National Review, and numerous edited volumes. He is currently working on a manuscript that will examine divides within the China policymaking community.

Kelley Currie is a senior fellow with the Project 2049 Institute, working on issues related to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the Asia-Pacific region. Before joining Project 2049, Ms. Currie was a special assistant to the under secretary for democracy and global affairs and special coordinator for Tibetan issues at the US Department of State. She has also served as senior adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross, director of government relations for the International Campaign for Tibet, and deputy director for Asia at the International Republican Institute. From 1995 to 1999, Ms. Currie was foreign policy adviser to Representative John Porter (R-IL) and concurrently the majority staff director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Sharon Hom is executive director and professor of law emerita at the City University of New York School of Law. She leads Human Rights in China’s human rights and media advocacy and strategic policy engagement with nongovernmental organizations, governments, and multistakeholder initiatives. Ms. Hom has testified on a variety of human rights issues before key US and international policymakers. She has appeared as a guest and commentator on broadcast programs worldwide and is frequently interviewed by and quoted in major print media. Ms. Hom was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of 2007’s “50 Women to Watch” for their impact on business. She taught law for eighteen years, including training judges, lawyers, and law teachers at eight law schools in China over a fourteen-year period in the 1980s and 1990s. Ms. Hom has published extensively on Chinese legal reforms, trade, technology, and international human rights, including chapters in Gender Equality, Citizenship and Human Rights: Controversies and Challenges in China and the Nordic Countries (Routledge, 2010) and China’s Great Leap: The Beijing Games and Olympian Human Rights Challenges (Seven Stories Press, 2008). She is coauthor of Contracting Law (Carolina Academic Press, 1996, 2000, 2005), editor of Chinese Women Traversing Diaspora: Memoirs, Essays, and Poetry (Routledge, 1999), and coeditor of Challenging China: Struggle and Hope in an Era of Change (New Press, 2007).

Ho-fung Hung is the associate director of the Research Center on Chinese Politics and Business and assistant professor of sociology at Indiana University–Bloomington. He researches Chinese political economy and state-society interaction in historical and global perspectives. Mr. Hung is the author of Protest with Chinese Characteristics (Columbia University Press, 2011; winner of the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association) and editor of China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review, the Review of International Political Economy, Dushu (China), and Lingdaozhe (China), among others. Mr. Hung’s works on Chinese politics and economics have been featured or cited in the New York Times, the Guardian, Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil), Expresso (Portugal), Straits Times (Singapore), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and Xinhua Monthly (China), among others.

Rebecca MacKinnon is a Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, where she conducts research, writing, and advocacy on global Internet policy, free expression, and the impact of digital technologies on human rights. She is one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese Internet censorship. Her first book, Consent of the Networked, a treatise on the future of liberty in the Internet age, will be published in January 2012 by Basic Books. Ms. MacKinnon is cofounder of Global Voices Online, a global citizen-media network. She also serves on the boards of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Global Network Initiative. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Ms. MacKinnon worked as a journalist for CNN in Beijing and has served as CNN’s Beijing bureau chief and correspondent, as well as Tokyo bureau chief and correspondent. Previously, she was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and taught at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre. In 2009, Ms. MacKinnon conducted research and writing as an Open Society Institute fellow, and in spring 2010 she was a visiting fellow at Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

Sophie Richardson is the advocacy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division and oversees the organization’s work on China. Her book on Chinese foreign policy is forthcoming from Columbia University Press, and she has also published on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. Her publications have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, La Libre Belgique, the Japan Times, JoongAng Daily, the Journal of Asian Studies, the Nation (Bangkok), the Phnom Penh Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She has provided commentary to Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, the Guardian, National Public Radio, and the New York Times. Ms. Richardson speaks Mandarin Chinese. Ms. Richardson is the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Columbia University Press, 2009), an in-depth examination of China’s foreign policy since the 1954 Geneva Conference, including rare interviews with policymakers.

Randall Schriver is president and CEO of the Project 2049 Institute. He is also a founding partner of Armitage International LLC and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Schriver served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2003 to 2005, and as chief of staff and senior policy adviser to then–deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2003. Before his work at the State Department, he was an independent consultant and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Schriver has also served as an active-duty naval intelligence officer. He won numerous military and civilian awards from the US government and was recently presented with the Order of the Propitious Clouds by the president of Taiwan for promoting Taiwan-US relations.

Derek Scissors is a research fellow for economics at the Asian Studies Center of the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Scissors has testified before the Senate on exchange-rate disputes between America and China and before the US-China Economic and Security Commission on Chinese investment in America and elsewhere. He has advised numerous federal government agencies. Mr. Scissors’s analysis and commentary have appeared in Foreign Affairs, National Review, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as Indian news outlets such as the Economic Times and other print publications. He is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University. Before joining Heritage in 2008, Mr. Scissors was a China economist at Intelligence Research, a global consulting firm, where he counseled clients—primarily Fortune 500 executives—concerning their China operations.

Mark Stokes is the executive director of the Project 2049 Institute. He is the founder and former president of Quantum Pacific Enterprises, an international consulting firm, and was vice president and Taiwan country manager for Raytheon International. He has also served as executive vice president of Laifu Trading Company, a subsidiary of the Rehfeldt Group; a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and member of the board of governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. A twenty-year US Air Force veteran, Mr. Stokes was team chief and senior country director for the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. He is a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker.

Jennifer Turner has been the director of the China Environment Forum at the Woodrow Wilson Center for eleven years. Besides putting on meetings and producing publications on a variety of energy and environmental challenges facing China, she has coordinated several research exchange activities in China, the United States, and Japan bringing together US, Chinese, and other Asian experts on issues of energy and climate challenges, environmental nongovernmental organizations, environmental journalism, river-basin governance, water conflict resolution, and municipal financing of environmental infrastructure. Current projects are focusing on US-China energy and climate cooperation, the impact of energy development on water resources in China, environmental governance in China, and pollution challenges in Lake Tai. Ms. Turner also serves as editor of the Wilson Center’s journal, the China Environment Series, which is mailed to over three thousand environmental practitioners around the world who work on China’s energy and environmental issues. Her dissertation examined local government innovation in implementing water policies in the People’s Republic of China. Her current research focuses on environmental civil society in China, Chinese water challenges, and China’s environmental impact on Southeast Asia.


March 17, 2011
9:00 am - 12:15 pm
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