Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Strategic Persistence

How the United States Can Help Improve Human Rights in China

Thursday, January 29 – 12:00pm to 1:30pm

WASHINGTON, DC—The relationship between the United States and China may well be the most important bilateral relationship in the world. In recognition of that fact, the Center for American Progress is releasing a new report entitled, "Strategic Persistence: How the United States Can Help Improve Human Rights in China." The report provides both fundamental principles that should guide U.S. policymakers in their efforts to effect positive change in China’s human rights practices and concrete recommendations to advance those efforts.

China remains responsible for profound violations of its people’s civil and political rights. In its foreign policy, China has often backed repressive regimes around the world and watered down international sanctions against these regimes. None of this is in the United States’ best interests. Given the high degree of economic interdependence between the United States and China, as well as China’s growing military reach, American interests are best served by a stable China with a robust commitment to the rule of law—conditions that are undermined by a failure to respect human rights.

U.S. approaches to human rights in China have ranged from confrontation to passivity and have rarely reflected a coordinated strategy across government entities. The key to U.S. efforts to promote human rights in China is to take a coherent, pragmatic, non-ideological approach that goes beyond easy rhetoric, takes advantage of strategic openings, and recognizes the value of persistence. Ultimately, China must be persuaded that greater democracy and human rights are in its own best interests and are integral to its becoming the highly respected global leader it aspires to be.

Please join us for a release event and panel discussion that will introduce the main concepts of this report.

Distinguished Speakers:

Harry Harding, Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University

Louisa Coan Greve, Program Director for East Asia at the National Endowment for Democracy

Presenting the Report and Moderating the Panel:

William F. Schulz, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and author of "Strategic Persistence: How the United States Can Help Improve Human Rights in China"

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