The Broken Promises of China's WTO Accession: Reprioritizing Human Rights
In joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) 15 years ago, the Chinese government made commitments that were important not only for China’s commercial development around the world, but also for its development of political reforms and the rule of law at home. The Chinese economy has benefited greatly from the international rules-based system, but the Chinese Communist Party continues to reject the notion that the rule of law should supersede the Party’s role in leading the state, impeding its ability to abide by its WTO commitments and transition to market economy status. China has largely failed to implement the substantive legal reforms anticipated 15 years ago, and has persisted in violating international human rights standards with lasting harm to both U.S. interests and the Chinese people.
Contrary to what many proponents of normalized trade relations argued at the time, increased commercial ties have failed to yield improvements in human rights and the rule of law, causing many long-time China watchers to call for new thinking on U.S.-China policy. While the Trump Administration has thus far stressed the trade dimension of the bilateral relationship, this hearing will explore the interconnectivity between a China that honors its varied international commitments and abides by the rule of law at home—gleaning lessons from the past 30 years of U.S.-China relations.
Representative Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
Representative Frank R. Wolf (Ret.)
Michael R. Wessel, President, The Wessel Group & Commissioner, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
James Mann, Johns Hopkins SAIS & author of The China Fantasy and other books on China and U.S. foreign policy
Jeff Gillis, Husband of American businesswoman Sandy Phan-Gillis, detained in China for the past two years
Sophie Richardson, China Director, Human Rights Watch
Submission for the Record
H. Res. 153--Expressing concern over the detainment of Sandy Phan-Gillis, and for other purposes submitted by Representative Al Green of Texas