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U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Hearing: The Library of Congress Chinese Language Collection," September 16, 2005
September 16, 2005
Room 385 Russell Building
Delaware and Constitution Avenues, NE
Washington, DC 20510
co-Chairs: Commissioners Larry Wortzel and June Teufel Dreyer
Prepared Statement of Chairman C. Richard D’Amato
Good Morning, and Thank you for joining us for today’s hearing assessing the Library of Congress Chinese collections. Today’s hearing continues the Commission’s work laid out in our 2002 Report to Congress. That report found many inadequacies in the Library’s Chinese collections and recommended several measures for Congress to undertake.
In our 2002 Report, the Commission noted how understanding Chinese perceptions was critical for U.S. policy-makers. The Library of Congress is a critical repository of Chinese documents for Congress and government agencies. Several studies have concluded that there had been inadequacies in the quality and management of the collection.
More disturbing is that in recent year the Library has testified before Congress on the proposed programs to improve the Chinese language collections, but has not been appropriated the funds to move forward with the programs.
I hope today with this morning’s two panels we will shed light on the details of the Library’s proposed programs for improvement and outside experts’ views of further improvements in order to recommend to Congress the best possible means of allowing the Library’s Chinese collections to reflect governmental needs for a better understanding of China.
Prepared Statement Of Commissioner Larry M. Wortzel, Hearing Cochair
Good Morning. Today’s hearing will look at the Library of Congress Chinese collections. The depth and breadth of the Library of Congress holdings in general is cosmic on scale. The Chinese language holdings are just one category of foreign language holdings that add to the vast English language collections. The Chinese language holdings themselves must encompass the 4000-year written history of China, which is cosmic in and of itself.
This long history is filled with varieties of literature, poetry, and documents on statecraft that are, as they should be represented in the Library of Congress’ collection. Additionally, more modern Chinese documents, obviously cover disciplines ranging from medical science to engineering to contemporary art. All of which must also be represented in the Library of Congress and rightfully are represented in the collections. These are all topics that are of interest to the general public, scholarly researchers, and the Congress.
But what we are concerned with today is whether are not the Library’s Chinese collections are meeting policymakers’ need to understand Chinese perspectives on economics, military theory, and present day security risks that are critical to maintaining U.S. national security vis-à-vis China’s goals toward the United States. It is specifically these national security risks that impact on the very survival of our nation. What concerns me is that several studies, including that of Commissioner Teufel Dreyer, describe holes in the Library’s contemporary periodicals and books dealing with Chinese military and security issues. Additionally, studies point to larger organizational, cataloguing, and acquisition issues. We will learn today what holes remain to be filled.
Today’s first panel includes Dr. Carolyn T. Brown and Dr. Hwa-wei Lee of the Library of Congress. Dr. Brown is the Director of Collections and Services and received her PhD in Chinese Literature. Dr. Lee is the Chief of the Asian Division and has more than 40 years of experience in academic libraries.
Thank you for joining us. I look forward to your testimony.
Opening Statement of Hearing Co-Chair June Teufel Dreyer
Opening Statement of Hearing Co-Chair Larry M. Wortzel
Library of Congress Chinese Language Holdings
Dr. Carolyn T. Brown, Director of Collections and Services, Library of Congres
Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, Chief of the Asian Division, Library of Congress
Meeting Governmental Chinese Language Research Needs
Professor David Shambaugh, Director, China Policy Program, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Dr. James Mulvenon, Deputy Director, Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, DGI, Inc., Washington, DC
Dr. Chi Wang, Co chair, The U.S.-China Policy Foundation, Washington, DC