What’s the state of China’s dissidents and non-state actors ?


china-ngo-economist-2Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Yu Jianrong, a rural sociologist known for his social commentary and vocal advocacy for political reform, recently adopted the tone found in central Party edicts to offer the bureaucracy a numbered list of his own suggestions. China Digital Times has translated his list of “Ten Do-Not’s” in full:

1. Do not let beautiful China remain in a dream.

The 18th Party Congress admitted that at present, China is facing a grim situation of increasing resource constraints, severe environmental pollution, and deteriorating ecosystems, but it did not actually address the source of these problems. ….

2. Do not let corruption wreak havoc on China. 

Today, Chinese authorities’ rent-seeking is due to a monopolization of power. When a small number of people monopolize power, conditions are right for corruption to emerge, and corrupt officials are afforded protection….

3. Do not let the constitution be turned into toilet paper.

Constitutional governments are an important product of political civilization in recent human society, and their core value is to restrict public power and safeguard civil rights. ….

4. Do not let our youth become losers.

Currently, there’s a problem with upward mobility between Chinese social classes. The phenomenon of second generation officials and the rich second generation is serious, and the pathway to a higher social class for people in the lower classes is becoming increasingly narrow. …..

5. Do not let farmers become migrants.

At present, China has 120 million second-generation farm workers, and more than 40 million displaced farmers, some of whom became rich overnight from compensation for land expropriation, but the majority of whom lost their livelihood. ….

6. Do not mistake pretense for confidence.

When you rely on a sealed-off system for the truth, you’ll get daily broadcasts, but it’s false news. When you rely on organizational coercion, you’ll get a unanimous decision, but it’s a false election. …

7. Do not use the systematic infringement on civil rights as a tool for running the nation.

The reeducation system violates the constitution and severely infringes on human rights, preventing citizens from being tried in a court of law and depriving them of their personal freedom for long periods …

8. Do not make the National People’s Congress a mere ornament…..The main problems with the People’s Congress system are election fraud, a majority of the representatives coming from the executive and judicial branches, lack of professionalism, and job responsibilities being limited to attending meetings and mere formalities. …  

9. Do not perceive political reformers outside the system as enemies.

China’s transformation into a democratic constitutional government is a historical trend. Although those who advocate political reform from outside the system bitterly despise the many abuses of the current system, they still hope to realize a peaceful and orderly transformation. However, they are often perceived by those with vested interests as a threat and as opponents of stability. … 

10. Do not forget your historical responsibility.

Today, the historical responsibility of politicians is to turn China into a first-world nation. They should have a strong sense of duty, rather than just coasting along through life. …] RTWT

“Dissidents Who Have Suffered for Human Rights in China: A Look Back and A Look Forward” is the subject of a 2 p.m. hearing by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

china liu xiaoboChinese, Tibetans, and Uyghurs offer unique perspectives on why robust U.S. human rights diplomacy is a critical foreign policy priority. In advance of Human Rights Day (December 10, 2016), and the sixth anniversary of famed dissident Liu Xiaobo receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, witnesses will offer advice for the next Administration on human rights priorities and lessons learned about how to approach the Chinese government on “sensitive” issues such as the treatment of human rights lawyers and the rule of law, religious and press freedoms, and the protection of ethnic minorities. They will also detail why principled U.S. leadership is important to advance both American interests and the fundamental rights of the Chinese people.

Panelists: Wei Jingsheng, chairman of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition; Penpa Tsering, representative of the Dalai Lama; Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uyghur Congress; Chen Guangcheng, fellow at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies; Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid; Yang Jianli, president of Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China; and Xiaodan Wang, daughter of former political prisoner Zhiwen Wang.

2 p.m. December 7, 2016

Venue: HVC-210, U.S. Capitol, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

RSVP: Scott Flipse, 202-226-3777

NGOs in China: What’s the state of non-state actors today?

china law and policy NGO-LogoThe past two years have been a turbulent time for China’s rapidly developing and diversifying civil society. Chinese social organizations (the term the Chinese government uses to describe the more than 670,000 NGOs operating in China) that are involved in labor rights protection, library services, and gender and other anti-discrimination work have been shuttered. Meanwhile, rights-defending lawyers and their staffs and families have been rounded up and, in some cases, convicted of subverting state power. Spaces for expression, association, and media reporting have also narrowed in the lead-up to a restrictive law that takes effect January 1, 2017, placing the public security authorities in charge of overseas NGOs operating in China. And yet, during the same period, restrictions on charities and other types of social organizations have relaxed thanks to China’s first Charity Law and proposed revisions to State Council regulations. How do we make sense of these seemingly contradictory actions and trends, and what do they mean for the state of Chinese civil society today?

On December 6, the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution will host a discussion exploring the trajectory of China’s civil society development and Taiwan’s comparative experience. Jamie Horsley, a visiting fellow at Brookings, will give an overview of the evolving legal and policy framework for civil society development in China. Carolyn Hsu, Rachel Stern, and Fang-Yu Chen will present on how Chinese NGOs have survived and even flourished in an authoritarian environment over the past 25 years, the roles of Chinese lawyers as key actors in civil society, and the development of Taiwan’s dynamic civil society in a democratic context, respectively. Horsley will then moderate a discussion with the other panelists before taking questions from the audience.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 10:00 — 11:30 a.m. The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC RSVP

Print Friendly, PDF & Email