You are here

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Hearing: Major Internal Challenges Facing the Chinese Leadership," February 2-3, 2006

This hearing was conducted by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on February 2-3, 2006. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the U.S. Congress in 2000 to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
February 2, 2006

February 2 and 3, 2006
1310 Longworth House Office Building
Independence and New Jersey Avenues, SE
Washington , D.C. 20515

Co-chairs: Commissioners William A. Reinsch and Larry M. Wortzel

Opening Statement of Carolyn Bartholomew, Commissioner and Acting Chairman

Good morning and welcome to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s hearing on Major Internal Challenges Facing the Chinese Leadership. This important hearing is being co-chaired by Commissioners Bill Reinsch, who is presently testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Larry Wortzel who will chair this morning’s panels.

To say that the U.S.-China relationship is one of great importance is an understatement. Our economies are intertwined, for better or worse, and there is a growing interdependence between China’s economy and the economies of U.S. allies, both in the Pacific and in Europe. During the past 25 years, since China began to implement economic reforms and open its economy, the world has witnessed a phenomenal surge in China’s economic growth—ranging between 8 to 10 annually percent for most of that period. Yet despite this tremendous progress, China’s modernization is neither complete nor assured. Though the recent pace of China’s modernization has been both rapid and steady, it has also been uneven, leaving wide swaths of the Chinese society—and rural areas in particular—far behind.

For the past 25 years China’s leadership and local officials have often favored economic growth and development over environmental and other social concerns. Chinese leaders now confront the many difficult challenges that were set aside while they focused on economic growth. Economic upheavals, constrained natural resources and environmental degradation, migrant labor problems, worker dissatisfaction, and unfunded social needs are contributing factors to China’s growing social unrest.

At today’s hearing we will have an opportunity to explore the breadth and scope of China’s internal challenges, examine the steps the Chinese are taking to address these challenges, and consider the implications for the United States if China is unable to adequately meet its challenges. I will now turn the microphone over to Hearing Cochair, Commissioner Larry Wortzel.

Opening Statement of Acting Chairman Carolyn Bartholomew
Opening Statement of William A. Reinsch
Opening Statement of Larry M. Wortzel

Panel 1:Administration Views: What Keeps Chinese Leaders Awake at Night, and What are U.S. Leaders Doing in Response?
Mr. James Keith, Special Assistant for East Asian and Pacific Affairs U.S. Department of State
Mr. Jerry Clifford, Deputy Assistant Administrator for International Affairs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Panel 2: Major Internal Challenges Facing China
Dr. Flynt Leverett, Visiting Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy The Brookings Institution
Dr. Elizabeth Economy, Director of Asian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Dr. Bates Gill, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic & International Studies

Panel 3: China's Internal Unrest: Worker Demonstrations, Civil Disobedience, Riots and Other Disorder, and the Prognosis for the Future
Dr. Albert Keidel, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Mr. David Welker, Senior Strategic Research & Projects Coordinator, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Dr. Joshua Muldavin, Professor of Asian Studies & Human Geography Sarah Lawrence College

Congressional Views (invited)

Panel 4: Chinese Control Mechanisms
Dr. Murray Scott Tanner, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
Dr. Anne Thurston, Independent Researcher (formerly with the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University)



PDF icon USCC 2006 Feb.pdf1.19 MB