10:30 am EDT - 12:00 am EDT

Past Event

Human Rights in China

Wednesday, June 02, 1999

10:30 am - 12:00 am EDT

Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC

Since the 1989 crackdown on student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, human rights have bedeviled U.S.-Chinese relations. However, the past decade reveals nascent trends toward openness in China that may provide the foundation for stronger protection of rights. Without abandoning concern or the present state of human rights in China, the United States must reshape its policy to support these trends. Sanctions will have little success at this stage, and the annual renewal of most favored nation (MFN) status should be abandoned in favor of permanent MFN for China once it meets the requirements for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The official dialogue on human rights should add economic and social rights to the agenda to give the Chinese a greater stake in cooperation. Most important, assistance should be provided to support reforms in the government sector as well as in emerging Chinese civil society.