A food safety factory shutdown has Americans hunting for baby formula. Readying themselves for a covid-19 lockdown, Chinese in Beijing emptied store shelves. Emerging from lockdown, some in Shanghai are visiting well-provisioned markets. U.S.-China agricultural trade is booming, but many are still being left hungry. Food security, sustainability and safety remain issues.
China's Citizen Complaint System: Prospects for Accountability
Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman and Representative Sander Levin, Cochairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China presents a roundtable discussion on China's citizen complaint system.
At this CECC Roundtable, a panel of experts will discuss China's citizen complaint system, sometimes called the "petitioning" system or the "xinfang" (letters and visits) system, its role in promoting accountability, its relationship to China's legal institutions, and its prospects for the future. The system, which has imperial roots, is intended to make local officials more accountable and to resolve citizen grievances; on the other hand, petitioners report widespread official disregard of complaints and human rights abuses. Authorities have reportedly harassed petitioners as well as sentenced them to reeducation through labor, and detained them in "black jails" (extralegal detention centers), or psychiatric institutions.
Carl Minzner, Assistant Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, School of Law
Li, Xiaorong, Research Scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland-College Park
Sara (Meg) Davis, Founder and Executive Director at Asia Catalyst
CECC Roundtables are open to the public and no reservation is required.
For more information on China's complaint system (xinfang system), see Section III—Access to Justice in the Commission's 2009 Annual Report.
Visit www.cecc.gov for analysis of recent developments and other resources related to the development of the rule of law and human rights in China.