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Human Rights in China Testifies at Congressional Hearing

February 7, 2002

Xiao Qiang, Executive Director of Human Rights in China, delivered testimony at the first hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on February 7, 2002. Chaired by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Co-chaired by Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-NE), the Commission was established by Congress to monitor compliance with human rights and the development of the rule of law in China.

The theme for the first hearing was "Human Rights in the Context of the Rule of Law." In the testimony, Xiao Qiang highlighted key issues confronting China, such as the repressive use of law, the pervasive arbitrariness of administrative detention, discrimination against rural residents and ethnic minorities, and a general lack of accountability for human rights violations. "A true rule of law should be in compliance with China's international human rights obligations. Such a rule of law would promote social stability and sustainable development in China," Xiao said. Other witnesses included James Feinermann, James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center, Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington Director for Asia, Human Rights Watch, and Professor William P. Alford, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law and Director of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School.

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China consists of nine Senators, nine members of the House of Representatives, and five senior administration officials appointed by the President. Commissioners include Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas, Representatives Frank Wolf of Virginia, and Nancy Pelosi of California, among others. The Commission's findings will be the basis for an annual report sent to the President and Congress.