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Human Rights: Part 3 of Election ’08 and the Challenge of China

Concerns about human rights pervade American discussions about China. Human rights is the focus of the third segment of the USC U.S.-China Institute's documentary on the 2008 election and U.S.-China relations.

October 6, 2008

Click here to go to the main Election '08 and the Challenge of China page.

Chinese today enjoy great freedom in their everyday lives, but Americans of all political leanings express concern about China’s human rights record. The Chinese government’s suppression of demonstrations and riots in and near Tibet in March again focused attention on the issue, as did restrictions on demonstrations during the Olympic Games. Like his predecessors, President George W. Bush has met with Chinese political, religious, and labor rights activists and has called on Chinese authorities to do more to secure basic liberties. These criticisms and those of Bush’s predecessors seem to have had limited impact.


This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Click here to view Taiwan and China's Military Buildup, part four of Election '08 and the Challenge of China.

Speakers in this segment include:

Richard Armitage, president, Armitage International and advisor to John McCain; former Deputy Secretary of State

Jeffrey Fielder, labor activist; formerly of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Kenneth Lieberthal, professor, University of Michigan; former Senior Director for Asia, National Security Council

Clark T. Randt, Jr. , U.S. Ambassador to China

J. Stapleton Roy, managing director, Kissinger Associates and director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center, former Ambassador to China and Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research

Additional resources:


U.S. State Dept.,  International Religious Freedom Report 2008

U.S. Asst. Secretary of State David Kramer, “Human Rights, Democracy, and the U.S. Relationship With China,” May 25, 2008

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “Testimony on ‘The Crisis in Tibet: Finding a Path to Peace," April 23, 2008

Congressional Research Service, Tibet: Problems, Prospects, and U.S. Policy, April 10, 2008

U.S. State Dept., "Human Rights in China," March 11, 2008

PRC State Council, "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007," March 13, 2008

PRC State Council White Paper, “China’s Efforts and Achievements in Promoting the Rule of Law,” Feb. 28, 2008

PRC State Council White Paper, "China's Political Party System," November 15, 2007

PRC State Council White Paper, “China’s Progress in Human Rights in 2004,” 2005



Amnesty International

China Labour Bulletin

Duihua Foundation

Human Rights in China

Human Rights Watch

USCI and US-China Today Articles

"From Olympia to Beijing: Olympic Torch Relay, 2008"

Damon Ferrara, "Mary Gallagher: The Rule of Law in China," Feb. 14, 2008

Edward Friedman, "Commentary: PR Meltdown, What Went Wrong for Beijing," June 20, 2008

Kaelyn Forde Eckenrode and Peter Winter, "Expressions of Faith Increasingly Common," January 23, 2008

Damon Ferrara, "Richard Baum on the Political Impact of China's Information Revolution," September 25, 2007

Edward Friedman, "Waiting for Democracy - and Waiting," April 2007

Andrew Nathan, "Political Culture and Democratic Legitimacy in East Asia," April 2007

Kevin O'Brien, "Discussing 'Prospects for Political Reform,'" April 2007

Guo Liang, "The Internet is Changing China," April 2007

Orville Schell, "Discussing 'Cultural Trends,'" April 2007

Please contact Clayton Dube at the USC U.S.-China Institute (1-213-821-4382 or with questions about the documentary and its themes or screening inquiries. The documentary is also available at the USC U.S.-China Institute’s channel at YouTube.