Events Archive: 2010-2011
Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy "Assertiveness": Bonnie Glaser, CSIS Fellow
Summary coming soon.
China's Nuclear Power Building Boom: Ambassador Thomas Graham and William Fork, Esq.
Summary coming soon.
China, Then and Now: Ambassador Nicholas Platt
On February 9, 2011, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, former President of the Asia Society, spoke about his experiences in Beijing in the early years of US-China relations. He began by showing videos he had taken as a diplomatic aide on President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to Beijing and as an embassy attaché in subsequent years. He narrated over the footage showing the progress in Beijing from hutongs to high rises, the much-publicized visit of the US National swim team, and People’s Liberation Army parades and celebrations.
He described his involvement in the “nuts and bolts” of the US-China relationship—the trade, education, and the other small exchanges that were, in his opinion, the most important aspects of a delicate initial relationship. Though he was not privy to the higher level “US-China-Soviet balancing act” that was occurring, he emphasized how cooperative his Chinese peers were, and how easily the two sides established an operational trust.
When audience members expressed concerns about China’s burgeoning economy and rising nationalism, Ambassador Platt pointed out that the US has been integral to China’s growth and that nationalism is not the engine of political life. He is more interested in how the generational shifts in Chinese leadership will affect the future.
His experiences as a diplomat in China are documented in his memoir, China Boys.
U.S. Foreign Policy towards China: David Shear, Deputy Assistant Secretary, State Department
"The Dragon's Gift: Myths and Realities of Chinese Engagement in Africa": Professor Deborah Brautigam, American University
China uses primarily four instruments to advance its goals: (1) commodities-backed infrastructure credits(loans), (2) overseas economic zones, (3) agro-technical centers, and (4) a $5 billion equity fund called the China-Africa Development Fund.
During the question and answer session, significant discussion on the mutual benefit for China and African nations and whether China's aid was doing the most amount of good for these nations.
Ethnic Politics in China: Enze Han, China and the World Fellow
Enze Han’s talk discussed how different ethnic groups react differently towards China’s nation-building policies: why do some ethnic groups strive for secession while others are willing to settle for mere cultural autonomy or even to accept assimilation? In particular, it examined the role of different groups’ external kindred relations to explain divergence in groups’ national belonging and political strategies in China.
Rule of Law Development in China: Panel Discussion
On October 13, 2010, CWP, along with the Woodrow Wilson School and LAPA, held a panel discussion on rule of law development in China. Four panelists gave their views on the topic. The first panelist was Professor DeLisle, an expert on contemporary Chinese law and politics. He focuses his research on legal reform and its relationship to economic reform and political change in China, the international status of Taiwan and cross-Strait relations, China’s engagement with the international order and aspects of US-China relations. Professor DeLisle serves as Director of the Asia Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and Vice Chair of the Pacific Rim Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. He serves frequently as an expert witness on issues of PRC law and government policies and speaks frequently on legal reform in China. Professor Delisle graduated from Princeton with a A.B., summa cum laude, and is a Woodrow Wilson School alum. He received his JD, magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Our next panelist was Susan Pologruto. Ms. Pologruto just recently transitioned from the USAID Democracy and Governance Office where she was the Rule of Law Advisor. Her portfolio included Burma, Mongolia, China, and Timor-Leste and was responsible for designing the USAID rule of law program in China. Ms. Pologruto has experience in conducting workshops and case study exercises in Administrative Law, Access to Justic, and other rule of law workshops. Ms. Pologruto is currently a Program Analyst within the Bureau for Democracy Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance of USAID. Ms. Pologruto received a BA, magna cum laude in Women’s History from Rutgers University. She received a JD and MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.
Our third panelist was Ms. Yanfei Ran. She practiced law in China for 12 years and served as an assistant to the District People’s Procuratorate Office in Beijing. She has received several law degrees, an LLB from the Central University for Nationalities, an LLM from the Peking University Law School, an LLM in Intellectual property and Information Technology Law from Fordham Law School, and an LLM in International Law and Justice, also from Fordham Law.
Our final panelist was Dean Amy Gadsden from Penn Law. Dr. Gadsden is Associate Dean and Executive Director for International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to Penn Law, Dean Gadsden was Special Advisor for China in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. She has worked extensively on joint cooperation projects with Chinese governmental and non-governmental agencies and has done consulting work for the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Committee on US-China Relations. She is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and an Advisory Council member of the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN). Most recently, she served as Resident Country Director for China at the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide. Dean Gadsden has a B.A. in History and English from Yale College and a Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Delisle gave an overview of the rule of law in China. He first defined what rule of law means, which includes judicial review with automoous courts, quasi-independent courts, and the equal enforcement of laws on the books. He stated that China generally finds that these are not a priority and the CCP tend to give legal portfolios to ideologically ost conservative and lowest ranking members of the politburo.
Professor Delisle examined the metrics of China's rule of lwa. According to the World Bank rule of law index, China is in the mid 40s, slightly behind Eastern Europe in that respect. He also noted that China has about 4-5 million civil suits per year with abouta 40% enforcement rate of judgments in civil cases. Regarding litigant satisfaction, he noted that the most likely indicator that one would litigate in court if one knew someone else who had gone to court. Regarding administrative law, he noted that, when suing the state, about 20-40% of cases succeed.
Regarding gaps in China's legal system, Professor Delisle noted that China has many laws on the books that are world-class, but are not well implemented. The law in China continues to evolve with quite a bit of input from the international community. Professor Delisle noted that the legal infrastructure is still developing and will take some time to build. He noted for instance that there is a great variance in the quality of lawyers and judges between interior China and the coastal area. Many judges in Shanghai, for example, hold college degrees with many holding graduate degrees.
Forecasting the road ahead for China, Professor Delisle predicted that the rule of law will continue to develop because of the sheer fact that China does have so many laws on the books and that social constituencies, such as China's growing middle class, will demand more legal rights and will want such rights to be protected. As well, environmental problems and the NIMBY effect may spur litigation and the seeking of redress in courts. He noted however, the road ahead is nonetheless not without problems. The commitment to moving toward rule of law is purely instrumental and that the legal syustem is not really designed to provide a safety valve for social unrest, riots, and dissatisfaction.
Ms. Ran spoke generally on the state of law practice in China today. She said that increasingly, more lawyers and judges are accredited and beginning to develop professional standards, but that China still had a long way to go. She noted that the law is a profession that doesn't attract too many students because more students want to go into the private sector than work on legal reform.
Chinese Economic Statecraft: William Norris, for the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program
The question of whether this economic behavior merits exceptional response often turns on the role the Chinese government plays in directing or shaping the behavior of economic actors. The talk sought to contribute to our understanding of the strategic consequences of China’s international economic activity. Dr. Norris presented a definition of economic statecraft and a conceptual framework for understanding how to think about this phenomenon. The second half of the talk focused on examining several of China’s state financing organizations.
Cybersecurity and China: Adam Segal, Council on Foreign Relations
On October 6, 2010, Adam Segal, the Ira A. Lipman senior fellow for counterterrorism and national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, gave a lecture on China and cybersecurity. He expressed that the United States and China have different interests. The US has an interest in an internet that is global, open, and secure whileChina has an interest in an internet that is secure, partially global, and not necessarily global. He also mentioned that the US talks about cyber security while China talks about information security. Dr. Segal also touched on the topic of cyber espionage, which the US defines as use of computer network operations to destroy, damage, and cause casualities. The problems with cyber conflict include attribution and identifying the purpose of intrusions, which makes it difficult to build a stable deterrent. The Chinese see social media, such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook as undermining the larger legitimacy of the CCP. He noted the overlap in interests for cooperation is small. Dr. Segal noted to move forward in this aspect of US-CHina relations, both nations must engage in multilateral cooperation and dialogue.
Dr. Segal noted we can be optimistic that such a dialogue may begin in that China may be nervous about hacking and cyber attacks, which may open the door for cooperation. China is not a unitary actor, there are some factions within the government that tend to be more forward leaning on cyber. Dr. Segal noted that we should work not to undermine these people.
Dr. Segal wrapped up by saying that currently, there is no international agreement on cyber security. He urged that the US should help define the issue and set international standards, which may help to change China's position on this issue.