2012 Annual Report


Congressional-Executive Commission on China

2012 ANNUAL REPORT

Table of Contents

 

I. Executive Summary

Overview

Specific Findings and Recommendations

Political Prisoner Database

I. 执行摘要 (Chinese Translation of Executive Summary)

概览

具体调查结果和建议

II. Human Rights

Freedom of Expression

Worker Rights

Criminal Justice

Freedom of Religion

Ethnic Minority Rights

Population Planning

Freedom of Residence and Movement

Status of Women

Human Trafficking

North Korean Refugees in China

Public Health

The Environment

III. Development of the Rule of Law

Civil Society

Institutions of Democratic Governance

Commercial Rule of Law

Access to Justice

IV. Xinjiang

V. Tibet

VI. Developments in Hong Kong and Macau

VII. Endnotes (incorporated into each section above)

 

I. Executive Summary

OVERVIEW

Two countervailing trends exemplified human rights and rule of law developments in China this past year. On the one hand, the Commission observed the Chinese people, often at great risk, exercising the basic freedoms to which they are entitled and demanding recognition of these rights from their leaders. This development did not arise from any external force, but originated from the Chinese people themselves, and was evident not just among a handful of activists but at all levels of Chinese society. At the same time, the Commission observed a deepening disconnect between the growing demands of the Chinese people and the Chinese government’s ability and desire to meet such demands. In a year marked by a major internal political scandal and leadership transition, Chinese officials appeared more concerned with "maintaining stability" and preserving the status quo than with addressing the grassroots calls for reform taking place all over China.

Citizen protests against lack of basic freedoms and official abuse cut across the diverse issues monitored by the Commission and in some cases were unprecedented. In late 2011 and early 2012, China’s beleaguered workers continued to strike and organize for higher wages and better working conditions in reportedly the most significant series of demonstrations since the summer of 2010. The Commission documented demonstrations in multiple industries taking place in at least 10 provincial-level areas during that period. A tragic and unprecedented wave of self-immolations across the Tibetan plateau indicated a new level of frustration with the Communist Party and government’s increasing cultural and religious repression. During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, 45 (39 reported fatal) Tibetan self-immolations focused on political and religious issues reportedly took place, out of a total of 50 since February 2009. Mongols in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region held a series of protests in April, June, and July over the confiscation of grassland for government and private development projects. Demonstrators took to the streets in large numbers to protest against land seizures, pollution, and large-scale energy projects. From July until September, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents protested a controversial Beijing-backed national education policy forcing a dramatic retreat by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive C Y Leung. The number of mass incidents in China has reportedly doubled since 2005.

Chinese citizens’ desire for the free flow of information and an unfettered channel for expressing grievances and questioning government policies continued to have a powerful presence on the Internet. The number of Internet users in China continued to rise rapidly, reaching 538 million in June 2012. By April 2012, there were reportedly more than one billion mobile phone accounts in China. While some major events either went unreported or faced heavy censorship in the state-controlled media, citizens flocked to the Internet, particularly China’s popular microblog services, in a bid to freely share and gain information about important issues of public concern. These included the scandal involving ousted Political Bureau member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai and massive flooding in Beijing in July. After graphic photos were widely disseminated on the Internet, citizens across China expressed outrage at the case of Feng Jianmei, a woman kidnapped and forced by local officials to undergo an abortion, unmasking the workings of China’s repressive population planning policy. Democracy advocates such as Chen Wei and Chen Xi received harsh sentences for sharing their views online.

Chinese citizens also sought to engage with and strengthen China’s weak political and legal institutions. Officials continued to wield heavy control over local people’s congress elections, but that did not prevent large numbers of independent candidates from attempting to run in this past year’s elections held across the country. Not surprisingly, many of these candidates faced intense pressure and harassment, and many were winnowed out before the actual elections took place. Concerned citizens continued to make information requests under China’s open government information laws, in hopes of increasing the transparency of China’s opaque institutions. As government officials considered amending some of the country’s major laws and regulations, citizens sought to make known their views about the proposed legislation. They supported, for example, amendments to the PRC Criminal Procedure Law that would better protect the rights of the accused.

The Chinese government and Communist Party failed to keep pace with citizens’ rising demands. In many areas, officials responded with half-measures that did not fully address citizen concerns and in some cases increased the government’s capacity for abuse. On the much-discussed PRC Criminal Procedure Law, the government passed major amendments in March that, while including some improvements, legalized forms of secret detention that put Chinese citizens at risk of torture and abuse and have been used against dissidents in the past. Beginning in January, government officials in some areas expanded environmental transparency to a limited degree by making public information on fine particulate pollution (PM2.5), but also were poised to erect barriers to independent monitoring of the environment. In February, officials issued a circular outlining policies intended to reform China’s hukou system, which limits the rights of Chinese citizens to freely determine their permanent place of residence. Chinese scholars and media criticized the vague nature and limited scope of the proposed policies. The government continued to expand access to the Internet, but passed measures aimed at stemming "rumors" and preventing anonymity that could have a chilling effect on free expression. The government signaled a desire for government-approved religious groups to participate in some areas of civil society, but religious affairs bureaus became more intrusive. Repression against unsanctioned religious groups, including house churches and Falun Gong, continued, and relations with the Holy See deteriorated. Authorities continued to imprison, detain, and fine Uyghur Muslims for engaging in "illegal religious activities."

In other areas, reform and forward movement have simply stalled. On the issue of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Chinese officials have expressed an intent to ratify for a number of years, the government’s position remained unchanged. In its 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, released in June, the government said it had carried out unspecified "administrative and judicial reforms" to prepare for approval of the ICCPR at an unspecified future date—an even vaguer formulation of a similar claim made in the government’s 2009–2010 action plan. Equally troubling, the 2012–2015 action plan removed language appearing in the 2009–2010 action plan that referred to the ICCPR and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as "fundamental principles" on which the plan was created. In the area of civil society, the government continued to delay amendments to national regulations that would remove obstacles to the registration of civil society organizations, preferring piecemeal experimentation at the local level. Resumption of dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama did not occur, extending the longest break from dialogue since talks resumed in 2002.

Meanwhile, egregious human rights abuses continued along with attempts to increase official capacity for repression. The government persisted in detaining and repatriating North Korean refugees to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), despite the severe punishments refugees face once returned. Arbitrary de-tention of activists remained commonplace as authorities handed down harsh sentences for political writings, pro-democracy activity, and petitioning. In the case of prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who had been missing for years, Chinese officials claimed he violated the conditions of his parole less than a week before his five-year suspended sentence was set to expire, meaning he would have to serve out his original three-year sentence.

In the face of protests in ethnic minority areas of China, including Tibetan autonomous areas and Xinjiang, authorities continued to respond with policies that can only be expected to further trample on the protection of language, culture, and religion, as well as impede prospects for local autonomous governance that the Chinese Constitution and law are supposed to protect. Officials in Xinjiang expanded the implementation of the "bilingual education" policy, which promotes the use of Mandarin in education at the expense of Uyghur and other "ethnic minority" languages. In Qinghai province, Tibetan students protested the attempted substitution of Tibetan-language textbooks with Chinese-language textbooks. In a sign that the government and Party may be considering even more counterproductive policies, Zhu Weiqun, the Executive Deputy Head of the Party’s United Front Work Department and an influential voice on ethnic minority affairs, wrote an article in February 2012 supporting greater ethnic assimilation, a policy change that almost certainly would further undercut protection of ethnic minorities’ languages, cultures, and religions. A campaign to eliminate Falun Gong and "transform" its practitioners entered its third year. In the name of "social management," the Party and government expanded their reach into society, enhancing surveillance and monitoring of not only democracy and rights advocates but also the citizenry at large.

The Commission observed potential bright spots this past year. Officially reported deaths from mining accidents have reportedly decreased, and the Chinese government issued measures that reward workers who report occupational safety hazards and coverups of accidents in the workplace. The newly revised PRC Criminal Procedure Law now provides for expanded access to legal defense, recorded interrogations, longer trial deliberations, mandatory appellate hearings, and more rigorous judicial review. Officials continued to increase funding for legal aid and expand access to this important service. The draft of the country’s first national mental health law, currently being reviewed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, contains provisions that could constrain officials from abusing psychiatric detention, although it fails to mandate independent reviews of an initial diagnosis and lacks safeguards such as time limits on involuntary commitment. Rhetorically, Chinese officials continued to offer promising pledges, such as abolishing organ harvesting from death-row prisoners and not discriminating against political and human rights groups wishing to register for legal status. As he has been in the past, Premier Wen Jiabao continued to be a lone voice at the top willing to state publicly his support for political reform, albeit within one-party rule, and curbing the power of the Party and government. These encouraging statements and legal and policy developments appeared modest at best, however, either because they were not backed by con-crete plans for implementation or because they failed to address the root of the problem: Chinese citizens’ continuing lack of the fundamental rights to which they are entitled under both Chinese and international law.

The Commission continued to observe divergent voices within the Chinese government, including support for some reforms. In February 2012, the Development Research Center of the State Council and the World Bank issued "China 2030: Building a Modern, Harmonious, and Creative High-Income Society." While acknowledging China’s economic successes over the past 30 years, the report said that China had "reached another turning point in its development path, one that calls for a second strategic, and no less fundamental, shift." The report called for reforming China’s state-owned sector, which is an important source of trade conflicts. It called for allowing Chinese people greater freedom of movement by accelerating reforms of the hukou system. The report said greater public participation was needed to empower China’s citizens to contribute to the country’s development and raise standards of living. "The government should respond proactively to these needs and grant rights to individuals, households, enterprises, communities, academia, and other non-governmental organizations through clear rules that encourage broad participation," the report said. Finally, the report argued forcefully for strengthening the rule of law in China. According to the report, China "will need to transform itself into a lean, clean, transparent, and highly efficient modern government that operates under the rule of law." The report underscored the strong relationship between the human rights and rule of law issues monitored by the Commission and China’s long-term economic stability.

The Commission’s legislative mandate tasks the Commission with monitoring China’s compliance with human rights, particularly those contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as monitoring the development of the rule of law in China. As part of its mandate, the Commission issues an annual report every October, covering the preceding 12-month period and including recommendations for U.S. legislative or executive action. What follows are the Commission’s main recommendations to Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials, followed by more specific findings and recommendations for each of the 19 issue areas covered in this report.

MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS
  • International Law and Fundamental Freedoms. Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials should urge Chinese officials to ratify and implement in law the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) immediately. China signed the ICCPR in 1998 and has repeatedly pledged to ratify it. The ICCPR is an important basis for the many freedoms Chinese officials continue to systematically deny citizens, as documented in this report, including the freedoms of expression, religion, association, and movement. Workers cannot form independent trade unions. Religious worshippers of all faiths—including Buddhists, Catholics, Falun Gong practitioners, Muslims, Protestants, and Taoists—and civil society groups cannot freely associate and are subject to heavy government oversight. China’s more than half a billion Internet users cannot freely share information on the Internet, and China’s press remains heavily censored. Dissidents cannot freely travel.
  • Political Prisoners and Rights Advocates. Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials should urge Chinese officials to immediately release and cease the harassment and abuse of Chinese citizens who have exercised internationally recognized human rights, including Nobel Peace Prize winner and imprisoned political activist Liu Xiaobo; housing rights advocate and lawyer Ni Yulan; human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng; Tibetan nomad Ronggye Adrag; Catholic bishop Su Zhimin; Uyghur journalist Gheyret Niyaz; democracy advocate Chen Wei; elections expert Yao Lifa; well-known artist and rights advocate Ai Weiwei; and others named in this report.
  • Rule of Law. Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials should urge Chinese officials to strengthen the rule of law in all areas. Officials should be encouraged to consider the recommendations of the China 2030 report, including the creation of a "highly efficient modern government that operates under the rule of law." In order to reach this point, officials should be urged to end unfair trading practices, such as currency manipulation, industrial policies, and the use of quotas and subsidies, and to ensure that China fully complies with its commitments as a member of the World Trade Organization. Chinese officials should be encouraged to dismantle incentives that encourage rule of law violations, such as quotas and rewards that encourage local officials to commit forced abortions and sterilizations. Officials should also be encouraged to ensure the independence of the judiciary by removing the influence of the Communist Party. As the case of Chen Guangcheng is emblematic of rule of law challenges in China, officials should be encouraged to fulfill the commitment to investigate abuses committed against Chen and his family and seek just punishment under China’s laws. Only by improving the rule of law in all areas, not just in the economic sphere, can China realize the economic development goals laid out in the China 2030 report.
  • Ethnic Minority Policy. Developments in the area of ethnic minority policy appear especially troubling, given the unprecedented and ongoing wave of self-immolations occurring across the Tibetan plateau. Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials should urge Chinese officials to guarantee the fundamental rights of ethnic minorities and to increase promptly and substantially dialogue and public engagement with all ethnic minority communities and their representatives, including the representatives of the Dalai Lama, without preconditions.
  • Transparency. This report found that across many issue areas, a common problem has been the Chinese government’s glaring lack of transparency. From the carrying out of Internet censorship to the release of environmental pollution data, Chinese officials too often prefer secrecy over transparency. Chinese officials should be urged to ensure that government and Party actions and information—including decisionmaking and judicial processes, government data and statistics, opinions, and directives—enjoy broad transparency and are open to public input and public participation. In particular, the government should encourage the use of the 2008 Open Government Information Regulations by Chinese citizens and provide greater incentives for government agencies to release information.

The Commission’s Executive Branch members have participated in and supported the work of the Commission. The content of this Annual Report, including its findings, views, and recommendations, does not necessarily reflect the views of individual Executive Branch members or the policies of the Administration.
The Commission adopted this report by a vote of 19 to 0.

 

SPECIFIC FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Freedom of Expression | Worker Rights Criminal Justice Freedom of Religion Ethnic Minority Rights Population Planning | Freedom of Residence and Movement | Status of Women Human Trafficking | North Korean Refugees in China Public Health | The Environment Civil Society Institutions of Democratic Governance Commercial Rule of Law Access to Justice Xinjiang Tibet Developments in Hong Kong and Macau

A summary of specific findings follows below for each section of this Annual Report, covering each area that the Commission monitors. In each area, the Commission has identified a set of issues that merit attention over the next year, and, in accordance with the Commission’s legislative mandate, submits for each a set of recommendations to the President and the Congress for legislative or executive action.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Findings

  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese officials continued to maintain a broad range of restrictions on free expression that do not comply with international human rights standards, including Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 19 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. While such standards permit states to restrict expression in limited circumstances to protect interests such as national security and public order, Chinese restrictions covered a much broader range of activity, including peaceful dissent and expression critical of the Communist Party.
  • According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the administrative agency responsible for Internet affairs, there were over 538 million Internet users in China by the end of June 2012—an increase of 53 million users over the previous year. The Chinese government has pledged to expand access to mobile technologies and the Internet to promote economic development and to expand government propaganda.
  • During the reporting year, China’s Twitter-like microblogging (weibo) sites continued strong growth and continued to develop as prominent places for Internet users to voice discontent over controversial topics, organize collective actions, and circulate independent news reports. China’s microblogging sites—including China’s most popular microblog site, Sina Weibo—experienced dramatic growth with 250 million registered accounts at the end of 2011, compared with 63 million at the end of 2010.
  • While international and domestic observers continued to note the vibrancy of Internet and cell phone use in China, government and Party officials showed little sign of loosening political control. This past year, Chinese authorities continued attempts to block and filter content deemed politically sensitive by implementing large-scale deletions, instituting real-name registration requirements, forcing Web site closures, implementing censorship directives, and carrying out detentions.
  • Officials continued to restrict expression arbitrarily by abusing vague criminal law provisions and broad regulations and registration requirements applicable to journalists, publishers, news media, and the Internet. Citizens who criticized the government were charged with national security crimes such as "inciting subversion." Official campaigns to train and supervise journalists conducted in the name of combating corruption continued to be heavily imbued with political indoctrination.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Raise concerns over and draw enhanced international attention to the Chinese government’s continued insistence that its restrictions on freedom of expression are consistent with international standards. Chinese officials assert that such measures are taken to protect national security or public order, while available information indicates that many measures are aimed at silencing opposition to the Party or blocking the free flow of information on politically sensitive topics.
  • Emphasize that the Chinese government’s position undermines international human rights standards for free expression, particularly those contained in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 19 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Emphasize to Chinese officials that Communist Party and government censorship of the Internet and the press can lead to instability by eroding public faith in the media and government.
  • Engage in dialogue and exchanges with Chinese officials on the issue of how governments can best ensure that restrictions on freedom of expression are not abused and do not exceed the scope necessary to protect national security, minors, and public order. Emphasize the importance of procedural protections such as public participation in formulation of restrictions on free expression, transparency regarding implementation of such restrictions, and independent review of such restrictions.
  • Highlight Chinese officials’ own calls for greater transparency and public participation in lawmaking. Such discussions may be part of a broader discussion on how the U.S. and Chinese governments can work together to ensure the protection of common interests on the Internet, including protecting minors, computer security, and privacy.
  • Acknowledge the Chinese government’s efforts to expand access to the Internet and cell phones, especially in rural areas, while continuing to press officials to comply with international standards. Support the research and development of technologies that enable Chinese citizens to access and share political and religious content that they are entitled to access and share under international human rights standards. Support practices and Chinese-language tools and training materials that enable Chinese citizens to access and share content in a way that ensures their security and privacy. Support the dissemination of online Chinese-language information on the Internet, especially popular Chinese social media sites, that discusses the rights and freedoms to which Chinese citizens are entitled under international standards.
  • Raise concerns regarding Chinese officials’ instrumental use of the law, including vague national security charges, as a tool to suppress citizens’ rights to freedom of expression, and question whether such actions are in keeping with the spirit of the "rule of law."
  • Elevate concern over the increased harassment of foreign journalists, who this past year have been beaten or expelled. Raise concerns over reports that authorities repeatedly have delayed or denied the approval of journalists’ visa applications.
WORKER RIGHTS

Findings

  • Workers in China are not guaranteed, either by law or in practice, full worker rights in accordance with international standards, including the right to organize into independent unions. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), the official union under the direction of the Communist Party, is the only legal trade union organization in China. All lower level unions must be affiliated with the ACFTU.
  • Tasked with Party and government loyalty, local-level unions did not consistently or uniformly advance the rights of workers. ACFTU branches reportedly continued to prioritize "harmony" and "stability" in labor relations even at the expense of workers’ rights. In some cases this past year, union representatives sought to end disputes expediently without necessarily addressing workers’ grievances.
  • Concerned with the effect of worker actions on "harmony" and "stability," officials in some cases used force against or detained demonstrating workers while seeking to stop worker demonstrations. For example, in October 2011, officials in Shaoyang municipality, Hunan province, ordered coal worker Zhao Zuying to serve 10 days of administrative detention after Zhao and 18 other coal workers gathered in a public square in Shaoshan and expressed labor-related grievances. The Commission documented cases in which officials used force against demonstrating workers in Dongguan city, Guangdong province; Shanghai municipality; Huzhou municipality, Zhejiang province; and Chengdu city, Sichuan province.
  • In January 2012, the Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes (Provisions) took effect, requiring all medium and large enterprises to establish committees responsible for mediating disputes in the workplace. The Provisions stipulate some limited protections for worker rights but fail to address the fact that workers in China are not guaranteed the right to organize into independent unions, leaving the government, Communist Party, and employers with greater bargaining power in the process of dispute resolution.
  • Migrant workers remained particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace. This past year, migrant workers continued to face problems such as wage arrears, ineffective means of redress for grievances, and abuse from managers. As China faced a growing migrant worker population, an increasing urbanization rate, and a new generation of young, more educated, rights-conscious migrant workers, some local governments took steps to accommodate migrant workers seeking to integrate into urban areas.
  • In early 2012, Apple Inc. and Foxconn agreed to a set of measures designed to improve working conditions at Foxconn factories, including bringing working hours into full compliance with Chinese law by July 1, 2013. Some observers have argued that these measures, if implemented as described, could create incentives for other employers in China to improve conditions for workers. It is too early to assess the effects of the proposed measures, but Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior re-ported ongoing problems with working conditions at Foxconn factories in May 2012.
  • Chinese workers, especially those in the coal mining sector, continued to face persistent occupational safety and health risks. Fatalities have been consistently reduced over the past few years, but officially reported cases of disease in the mining sector have increased during the same period. There were reports that some mine managers and local officials attempted to conceal information about mine accidents. In May 2012, the State Administration of Work Safety and the Ministry of Finance issued the Measures on Rewards for Safe Production Reporting, which stipulate cash rewards and protection under the law for whistleblowers who report occupational safety hazards. In December 2011, an amendment to the PRC Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases (PRC Occupational Disease Law) took effect. The amended PRC Occupational Disease Law contains provisions that could help workers obtain the certification they need in order to receive compensation for work-related diseases, but workers continued to face obstacles to obtaining compensation. Such obstacles included difficulty obtaining a diagnosis and proving a working relationship with their employer, steps that are required for the certification process.
  • It is unclear how widespread the use of child labor is in China, in part because the government does not release data on child labor despite frequent requests by the U.S. Government, other countries’ governments, and international organizations. While a national legal framework exists to address the issue, systemic problems in enforcement have weakened the effects of these legal measures. Reports of child labor continued to surface this past reporting year. For example, in February 2012, Suzhou authorities reportedly found over 10 child workers at an electronics factory in Suzhou.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support projects promoting reform of Chinese labor laws and regulations to reflect internationally recognized labor principles. Prioritize projects that not only focus on legislative drafting and regulatory development but also analyze implementation and measure progress in terms of compliance with internationally recognized labor principles at the shop-floor level.
  • Engage in dialogue with government officials, workers, and trade union officials in locations that have experienced successful cases of collective bargaining; identify ways to increase awareness of those experiences; and convey those experiences to officials and trade unions in areas that have had less success with collective bargaining. Where possible, prioritize programs that demonstrate the ability to conduct collective bargaining pilot projects even in factories that do not have an official union presence.
  • Convey support for direct elections of trade union representatives. Engage in dialogue with government and local trade union officials to identify opportunities to increase awareness of successful experiences with direct elections of trade union representatives.
  • Encourage the expansion of exchanges between U.S. collective bargaining practitioners and Chinese labor rights advocates in non-governmental organizations, the bar, academia, and the official trade union. Prioritize exchanges that emphasize face-to-face meetings with hands-on practitioners and trainers.
  • Encourage research that identifies factors underlying inconsistency in enforcement of labor laws and regulations. Such research could include the compilation and analysis of Chinese labor dispute litigation and arbitration cases and guidance documents issued by, and to, courts at the provincial level and below, leading to the publication of Chinese-language case-books for use by workers, arbitrators, judges, lawyers, employers, union officials, and law schools in China.
  • Support capacity-building programs to strengthen Chinese labor and legal aid organizations involved in defending the rights of workers. Encourage Chinese officials at local levels to develop, maintain, and deepen relationships with labor organizations inside and outside of China, and to invite these groups to increase the number of training programs in China. Support programs that train workers in ways to identify problems at the factory-floor level, equipping them with skills and problem-solving training so they can communicate their concerns to employers effectively.
  • Where appropriate, share the United States’ ongoing experience and efforts in protecting worker rights—through legal, regulatory, or non-governmental means—with Chinese officials. Expand site visits and other exchanges for Chinese officials to observe and share ideas with U.S. labor rights groups, lawyers, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), and other regulatory agencies at all levels of U.S. Government that work on labor issues.
  • Support USDOL’s exchange with China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) regarding setting and enforcing minimum wage standards; strengthening social insurance; improving employment statistics; and promoting social dialogue and exchanges with China’s State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) regarding improving workplace safety and health. Support the annual labor dialogue with China that USDOL started in 2010 and its plan for the establishment of a safety dialogue. Support USDOL’s technical cooperation program with SAWS on workplace safety and health and the expansion of mining cooperation into broad occupational safety and health areas. Support pilot projects that establish public-private partnerships to address workplace safety and health concerns.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Findings

  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese government officials promised to strike a balance between crime control and the protection of individual rights. In March, the National People’s Congress reviewed and passed its first major overhaul of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) since 1996. In June 2012, the State Council Information Office released a new National Human Rights Action Plan for the period from 2012 to 2015. These reforms appear to contain some encouraging policy goals for the fair and lawful treatment of criminal suspects and defendants.
  • Actions taken by law enforcement authorities in the exercise of their police powers threaten to undermine recent reforms and reflect a continuing focus on "maintaining social stability" and the Party’s monopoly control above all else. The 2012 reporting year saw further expansion of local authority without requisite accountability, culminating in the fall of former Politburo member and former Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing municipality, Bo Xilai. Bo authorized an allegedly lawless campaign against organized crime in Chongqing, which a group of 16 retired Party officials condemned as a "guise" for the torture and persecution of critics and rights defenders.
  • Chinese officials continue to harass and intimidate writers, artists, Internet bloggers, lawyers, reform advocates, and ordinary citizens who advocate for their rights or the rights of others. These individuals are subjected to various forms of extralegal detention, including enforced disappearances, confinement in "black jails," and commitment to psychiatric hospitals in the absence of compelling medical need. Article 73, a new provision in the revised CPL, lends itself to manipulation and effectively legalizes such actions by law enforcement authorities.
  • Chinese defendants continue to confront obstacles in presenting an adequate defense. While the revised CPL has the potential to improve access to counsel for many individuals in detention, barriers still exist for those suspected of "endangering state security" and other politically sensitive crimes. In addition, Article 306 of the PRC Criminal Law, which imposes criminal liability on lawyers who force or induce a witness to change his or her testimony or falsify evidence, continues to hinder effective criminal defense.
  • A double standard appears to exist for citizen activists who peacefully advocate for their lawful rights, as opposed to other citizens accused of criminal behavior. Recent reforms promise protections for the latter while legalizing the repression and abuse of the former. The rights to which citizen activists are entitled under such a system fall short of those guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as under the CPL and China’s Constitution.
  • There were a number of positive developments during the 2012 reporting year. A spate of unnatural deaths of individuals in custody helped prompt new regulations that prohibit the humiliation, corporal punishment, or abuse of those in detention, prison, and reeducation through labor. Criminal liability is now prescribed in certain instances. In addition, the Chinese government has taken steps toward increasing transparency and improving standards of review for sentencing decisions, including in death penalty cases. It continues to keep information about executions a state secret, however, and has disclosed that the harvesting of organs from death-row prisoners provides up to two-thirds of China’s limited supply of livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, and corneas for transplantation.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Call on the Chinese government to guarantee the rights of criminal suspects and defendants in accordance with international human rights standards and to provide the international community with a specific timetable for ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Chinese government signed in 1998 but has not yet ratified.
  • Make clear that the international community regards as laudable the commitments to fair trial rights and detainee rights that the Chinese government has made in the 2012– 2015 National Human Rights Action Plan. Request information on the formalization of those commitments into laws and regulations and on what further steps authorities will take to ensure their successful implementation. Support bilateral and multilateral cooperation and dialogue to support such efforts.
  • Encourage the Chinese government to fulfill the promises that it has made through the revised CPL and to eliminate the dual track that provisions such as Article 73 create for citizen activists and all other citizens. Press the Chinese government to immediately release advocates who are in prison or detention for the exercise of their lawful rights and to adhere to fair trial standards and ensure procedural protections in cases that involve easily abused concepts such as "endangering state security."
  • Press the Chinese government to adopt the recommendation of the UN Committee against Torture to investigate and disclose the existence of "black jails" and other secret detention facilities as a first step toward abolishing such forms of extralegal detention. Ask the Chinese government to extend an invitation to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to visit China.
  • Support the establishment of exchanges between Chinese provincial law enforcement agencies and U.S. state law enforcement agencies to study policing, evidence collection, inmate rights, and other criminal justice reforms currently underway in China.
FREEDOM OF RELIGION

Findings

  • The Chinese government continued in the past reporting year to restrict Chinese citizens’ freedom of religion. China’s Constitution guarantees "freedom of religious belief" but limits protections for religious practice to "normal religious activities," a term applied in a manner that contravenes international human rights protections for freedom of religion. The government continued to recognize only five religions—Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism, and Taoism—and required groups belonging to these religions to register with the government. Registered groups received some legal protection for their religious activities but remained subject to ongoing state controls. Members of both unregistered and registered groups deemed to run afoul of state-set parameters for religion faced risk of harassment, detention, and other abuses. Some unregistered groups had space to practice their religions, but this limited tolerance did not amount to official recognition of these groups’ rights. Authorities also shut down the activities of some unregistered groups and maintained bans on other religious or spiritual communities, including Falun Gong. [For separate findings and recommendations relating to freedom of religion in Xinjiang and Tibet, see those sections.]
  • The government continued to use law to control religious practice in China rather than protect the religious freedom of all Chinese citizens, continuing efforts in the past reporting year to revise or pass new legal measures. Newly issued legal measures, like others passed in recent years, build on provisions contained in the 2005 Regulation on Religious Affairs (RRA). Recent legal measures have added uniformity to existing provisions in the RRA but also have enhanced already tight controls.
  • Authorities continued to ensure that Buddhist doctrines and practices conformed to Party and government objectives.
  • Authorities continued to deny Catholics the freedom to recognize the authority of the Holy See in matters relating to the practice of their faith, including selecting Chinese bishops. Authorities continued to harass, detain, and place under surveillance some unregistered priests and bishops, as well as forced some bishops to attend what the Holy See considers illegitimate state-controlled church events against their will.
  • Local governments across China continued to prohibit Muslims from engaging in religious outreach and preaching activities independent of state-set parameters.
  • The continued harassment and detention of Protestants, pressure on landlords to refuse to rent premises to house church congregations, information gathering, and increased contact with unregistered groups by officials of religious affairs bureaus all indicate the resolve of authorities to pressure house church groups to affiliate with the government-sponsored Three-Self Patriotic Movement.
  • Authorities maintained controls over Taoist activities and urged that Taoism be "modernized."
  • Authorities are continuing and may extend the three-year campaign to pressure Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief in and practice of Falun Gong. This campaign is part of a broader campaign—lasting more than a decade—that has been extensive, systematic, and in some cases violent.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Call on the Chinese government to guarantee to all citizens freedom of religion in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to remove the government’s framework for recognizing only select religious communities for limited state protections. Stress to Chinese authorities that freedom of religion includes the right to practice a religion, as well as the right to hold religious beliefs, and that China’s limited protections for "normal religious activities" do not meet protections for freedom of religion as defined by international human rights standards. Call on officials to integrate steps to protect freedom of religion into initiatives to improve human rights in China. Stress to the Chinese government that the right to freedom of religion includes: The right of Buddhists to carry out activities in temples independent of state controls over religion, and the right of Tibetan Buddhists to express openly their respect or devotion to Tibetan Buddhist teachers, including the Dalai Lama; the right of Catholics to recognize the authority of the Holy See in matters relating to the practice of their faith, including to make bishop appointments; the right of Falun Gong practitioners to freely practice Falun Gong inside China; the right of Muslims to engage in religious outreach and preaching activities independent of state-set parameters and not face curbs on their internationally protected right to freedom of religion in the name of "upholding stability"; the right of Protestants to worship free from state controls over doctrine and to worship in unregistered house churches, free from harassment, detention, and other abuses; and the right of Taoists to interpret their teachings free from government guidance.
  • Call for the release of Chinese citizens confined, detained, or imprisoned in retaliation for pursuing their right to freedom of religion (including the right to hold and exercise spiritual beliefs). Such prisoners include: Sonam Lhatso (a Tibetan Buddhist nun sentenced in 2009 to 10 years’ imprisonment after she and other nuns staged a protest calling for Tibetan independence and the Dalai Lama’s long life and return to Tibet); Su Zhimin (an unregistered Catholic bishop who disappeared after being taken into police custody in 1996); Wang Zhiwen (a Falun Gong practitioner serving a 16-year sentence for organizing peaceful protests by Falun Gong practitioners in 1999); Nurtay Memet (a Muslim man sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for a "superstition"-related activity connected to his religion); Fan Yafeng (a legal scholar, religious freedom advocate, and house church leader kept under home confinement since November 2010 in connection with his advocacy for unregistered Protestant communities and coinciding with a broader crackdown on rights advocates), as well as other prisoners mentioned in this report and in the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database.
  • Call for authorities to freely allow Chinese lawyers to represent religious citizens and to challenge the legality of laws, regulations, rulings, or actions by officials, police, prosecutors, and courts that relate to religion.
  • Call for officials to eliminate criminal and administrative penalties that target religions and spiritual movements and have been used to punish Chinese citizens for exercising their right to freedom of religion. Specifically, call for officials to eliminate Article 300 of the PRC Criminal Law (which criminalizes using a "cult" to undermine implementation of state laws) and Article 27 of the PRC Public Security Administration Punishment Law (which stipulates detention or fines for organizing or inciting others to engage in "cult" activities and for using "cults" or the "guise of religion" to disturb social order or to harm others’ health).
  • Promote legal exchanges that bring Chinese experts to the United States, and American experts to China, to increase knowledge of international human rights standards for the protection of freedom of religion, including the rights of religious citizens, religious communities, and faith-based charities. Support non-governmental organizations that collect information on conditions for religious freedom in China and that inform Chinese citizens how to defend their right to freedom of religion against Chinese government abuses. Support organizations that help religious practitioners appeal prisoners’ sentences and orders to serve reeducation through labor stemming from citizens’ exercise of freedom of religion; challenge government seizure of property; and challenge job discrimination based on religion.
ETHNIC MINORITY RIGHTS

Findings

  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, ethnic minorities in China continued to face unique challenges in upholding their rights, as defined in both Chinese and international law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that ethnic, religious, and linguistic minorities within a state "shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language." The PRC Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law stipulates some protections for minority rights and provides for a system of regional autonomy in designated areas. Limits in the substance and implementation of government policies, however, prevented ethnic minorities from fully enjoying their rights in line with international standards and from exercising meaningful autonomy in practice.
  • Government controls were harshest in areas where authorities perceived the greatest threat to their authority, including in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan autonomous areas, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. [See separate findings and recommendations on Xinjiang and Tibet.] Government authorities continued to detain or hold in extralegal detention ethnic Mongols who attempted to promote their rights or were perceived to challenge state power.
  • Leading Chinese officials and scholars stepped up discussion of proposals to scale back ethnic autonomy and promote assimilative policies in ethnic minority areas. An article published in a Communist Party publication, as well as commentary published on a Web page hosted by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, featured discussion of a uniform application of policies throughout China, and the abandonment of policies specific to ethnic minorities.
  • The Chinese government continued to implement top-down development policies that brought some economic improvement but undercut the promotion of regional autonomy and limited the rights of ethnic minorities to maintain their unique cultures, languages, and livelihoods. The government continued to implement longstanding grasslands policies that impose grazing bans and require herders to resettle from grasslands and abandon pastoral livelihoods, a development that affects Mongols, Tibetans, Kazakhs, and other ethnic minority groups in China.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support rule of law programs and exchange programs that raise awareness among Chinese leaders of different models for governance that protect ethnic minorities’ rights and allow them to exercise meaningful autonomy over their affairs, in line with both Chinese law and international human rights standards.
  • Support programs that promote models for economic development in China that include participatory decisionmaking from ethnic minority communities. Call on the Chinese government to examine the efficacy of existing grasslands policies in ameliorating environmental degradation and to take steps to ensure that the rights of herders are also protected.
  • Support non-governmental organizations that address human rights conditions for ethnic minorities in China, enabling them to continue their research and develop programs to help ethnic minorities increase their capacity to protect their rights. Encourage such organizations to develop training programs on promoting economic development that includes participatory decisionmaking from ethnic minority communities; programs to protect ethnic minority languages, cultures, and livelihoods; and programs that document conditions and research rights abuses in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, and other ethnic minority areas.
  • Encourage human rights and rule of law programs operating in China to develop projects that address issues affecting ethnic minorities in China.
  • Call on the Chinese government to release people detained, imprisoned, or otherwise held in custody for advocating ethnic minority rights, including Mongol rights advocate Hada (who remains in custody without apparent legal basis despite the expiration of his 15-year sentence in December 2010) and other prisoners mentioned in this report and in the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database.
POPULATION PLANNING

Findings

  • Chinese government officials continued to implement population planning policies that interfere with and control the reproductive lives of citizens, especially women. Officials employed various methods including fines, withholding of state benefits and permits, threats of eviction or home demolition, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and arbitrary detention to punish policy violations.
  • The Commission observed during the 2012 reporting year that local governments continued to carry out population planning policies and measures with a special focus on migrant workers.
  • The PRC Population and Family Planning Law is not consistent with the standards set forth in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and the 1994 Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development. Controls imposed on Chinese women and their families, and additional abuses engendered by China’s population planning system, from forced abortion to discriminatory policies against "out-of-plan" children, also violate standards in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. China is a state party to these treaties and is bound to uphold their terms.
  • Chinese law prohibits official infringement upon the rights and interests of citizens while implementing population planning policies but does not define what constitutes a citizen’s right or interest. Chinese law does not stipulate punishment for officials who demand or implement forced abortion. Provincial population planning regulations in at least 18 of China’s 31 provinces explicitly endorse mandatory abortions, often referred to as a "remedial measure" (bujiu cuoshi), as an official policy instrument.
  • Chinese officials have allowed for limited relaxation of local population planning policies during this reporting year, yet continue to rule out the near-term possibility of major nationwide population planning policy reform or cancellation. Citizens have increased calls this year for population policy reform.
  • The Chinese government’s population planning policies continue to exacerbate the country’s demographic challenges, which include an aging population, diminishing workforce, and skewed sex ratio.
  • Chen Guangcheng, a self-trained legal advocate who has been the object of continued official harassment and maltreatment after he publicized population planning abuses in 2005, escaped from illegal home confinement in April 2012 and left for the United States with his family in May. Chen has expressed frustration with the Chinese government’s failure to conduct an investigation into official abuses against him and his family, and concern regarding the continued harsh treatment of family members who remain in Shandong.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Urge Chinese government officials to cease coercive methods of enforcing family planning policies. Urge the Chinese government to dismantle coercive population controls and employ a human rights-based approach to provide greater reproductive freedom and privacy for all citizens, especially women.
  • Urge Chinese officials to reevaluate the PRC Population and Family Planning Law and bring it into conformance with international standards set forth in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and the 1994 Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
  • Urge China’s central and local governments to enforce vigorously provisions under Chinese law that provide for punishments of officials and other individuals who violate the rights of citizens when implementing population planning policies and to clearly define what these rights entail. Urge the Chinese government to establish penalties, including specific criminal and financial penalties, for officials and individuals found to commit abuses such as coercive abortion and coercive sterilization—practices that continue in China. Urge the Chinese government to bar material, career, and financial incentives and disincentives that motivate officials to use coercive or unlawful practices in implementing family planning policies.
  • Support the development of programs and international cooperation on legal aid and training that help citizens pursue compensation under the PRC State Compensation Law and that help citizens pursue other remedies against the government for injury suffered as a result of official abuse related to China’s population planning policies.
  • Urge the Chinese government to discontinue all forms of reprisal against those connected to Chen Guangcheng and to thoroughly investigate the officially sanctioned abuses he and his family have suffered.
FREEDOM OF RESIDENCE AND MOVEMENT

Findings

  • The Chinese government’s household registration (hukou) system continues to limit the right of Chinese citizens to freely establish their permanent place of residence and hinders access to social services. Hukou regulations that condition legal rights and access to social services on residency status have resulted in discrimination against rural hukou holders who migrate to urban areas for work. The discriminatory effect of these regulations is especially pronounced in the area of education.
  • Chinese authorities continued to relax some hukou restrictions consistent with earlier efforts. The key provisions of these reforms make it easier for some rural hukou holders to transfer residency status to urban areas, based on meeting certain criteria. Despite these limited attempts to relax hukou criteria, most reforms still exclude the majority of migrants.
  • The Chinese government introduced new guidelines on hukou reform that reflect a gradual and controlled approach to hukou reform. Some notable reforms include prohibiting coercive requisition and conversion of rural residents’ land in exchange for urban hukous and barring future policies that use hukou status as a precondition for access to social services. Chinese scholars and media outlets, however, have criticized the lack of specifics and limitations of these measures, leading some to question their eventual effectiveness.
  • The Chinese government continued to impose restrictions on freedom of movement that are inconsistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese authorities continued to arbitrarily prevent rights defenders, advocates, and critics from leaving China.
  • The Chinese government also continued to place restrictions on liberty of movement within China to punish and control rights defenders, advocates, and critics. These restrictions, which appear to violate international legal standards, were especially harsh during politically sensitive periods. Authorities employed a range of measures including stationing plainclothes police or hired personnel to monitor the homes of rights defenders, forcing rights advocates to "drink tea" with security personnel, moving or relocating rights defenders from their homes to unknown locations, and imprisoning them.
  • Chinese authorities used particularly forceful techniques to intimidate and control the family members and supporters of human rights advocates during this reporting period.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support programs, organizations, and exchanges with Chinese policymakers and academic institutions engaged in research and outreach to migrant workers in order to advance legal assistance programs for migrant workers and encourage policy debates on the hukou system.
  • Encourage U.S. academic and public policy institutions to consult with the Commission on avenues for outreach to Chinese academic and public policy figures engaged in policy debates on reform of the hukou system.
  • Stress to Chinese government officials that non-compliance with international agreements regarding freedom of movement negatively impacts confidence outside of China that the Chinese government is committed to complying with international standards more generally.
  • Call on the Chinese government to revise the PRC Exit and Entry Control Law and the PRC Passport Law to clarify the meaning and scope of harm or loss to state security or national interests under Article 12(5) and Article 13(7), respectively.
  • Raise specifically Chinese authorities’ restriction on liberty of movement of rights defenders, advocates, and critics including Liu Xia, wife of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo; Dong Xuan, daughter of housing rights advocate and lawyer Ni Yulan; and family members and supporters of self-trained legal advocate Chen Guangcheng.
STATUS OF WOMEN

Findings

  • Chinese officials continue to promote existing laws that aim to protect women’s rights, including the amended PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests and the amended PRC Marriage Law; however, ambiguity and lack of clearly outlined responsibilities in China’s national-level legislation limit progress on concrete protections of women’s rights.
  • In its domestic laws and policy initiatives and through its ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Chinese government has committed to ensuring female representation in government. Female representation at all levels of government appears to have made no significant progress in the 2012 reporting year.
  • In August 2011, the Supreme People’s Court issued a new interpretation of the PRC Marriage Law, which, some have argued, leaves women’s property rights unprotected.
  • In June 2012, the Shenzhen Municipal Fifth People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Gender Equality Promotion Regulations, the first legislation of its kind in China to focus on gender equality.
  • China has committed under CEDAW to take "all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment." While China’s existing laws such as the PRC Labor Law, the amended PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests, and the PRC Employment Promotion Law prohibit gender discrimination, women continue to experience widespread discrimination in areas including job recruitment, promotion, wages, and retirement.
  • The amended PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests (LPWRI) and the amended PRC Marriage Law prohibit domestic violence, and individuals charged with the crime of domestic violence are punishable under the PRC Criminal Law. These national legal provisions leave many who encounter domestic violence unprotected, however, as they do not define domestic violence or outline specific responsibilities of government departments in prevention, punishment, and treatment. Domestic violence reportedly remains pervasive, affecting men, women, and children. China’s amended LPWRI also prohibits sexual harassment and provides an avenue of recourse for victims. The LPWRI does not, however, provide a clear definition of sexual harassment or specific standards and procedures for prevention and punishment, presenting challenges for victims in protecting their rights. Surveys show that sexual harassment remains commonplace in China.
  • Statistics and analysis from studies published in recent years regarding China’s skewed sex ratio suggest that sex-selective abortion remains widespread, especially in rural areas, despite the government’s legislative and policy efforts to deter the practice. Some observers, including Chinese state-run media, have linked China’s skewed sex ratio with an increase in forced prostitution, forced marriages, and other forms of human trafficking.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support programs in China that increase women’s leadership training through U.S.-China exchanges and international conferences. Support exchanges and legal programs that promote women’s land rights, especially in rural areas, and urge higher levels of government to increase supervision over village committees to ensure that local rules and regulations are in accordance with national-level laws and policies and to ensure adequate protection of women’s rights and interests.
  • Urge the Chinese government to take steps to faithfully implement provisions in the PRC Labor Law, the amended PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests, and the PRC Employment Promotion Law that prohibit gender discrimination. Urge Chinese officials to address specifically gender discrimination in job recruitment, promotion, wages, and retirement. Support programs that teach women how to protect and advocate for their rights and interests in the workplace.
  • Urge the Chinese government to follow through on stated plans to enact comprehensive national-level legislation that clearly defines domestic violence, assigns responsibilities to government and civil society organizations in addressing it, and outlines punishments for offenders. Urge officials to release drafts of such legislation for public comment. Urge the Chinese government to further revise the PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests or enact new comprehensive national-level legislation to provide a clear definition of sexual harassment and specific standards and procedures for prevention and punishment. Support training programs that increase awareness among judicial and law enforcement personnel of domestic violence and sexual harassment issues.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Findings

  • China remains a country of origin, transit, and destination for the trafficking of men, women, and children. The majority of human trafficking cases are domestic and involve trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor, and forced marriage. The full extent of the forced labor problem in China is unclear.
  • The Chinese government acceded to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol) in December 2009; however, Chinese domestic legislation still does not fully conform with the UN TIP Protocol.
  • As Chinese law conflates human smuggling, illegal adoption, and child abduction with human trafficking, accurate official statistics on the number of trafficking cases the government investigated and prosecuted during the past reporting year are not available. In cooperation with non-governmental organizations and international organizations, Chinese authorities took limited steps to improve protection, services, and care for victims of trafficking but continued to focus efforts on women and children.
  • The Chinese government does not offer legal alternatives to deportation for foreign victims of trafficking, and continues to deport North Korean refugees under the classification of "economic migrants," regardless of whether or not they are victims of trafficking.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Urge the Chinese government to abide by its commitments under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; and to bring anti-trafficking legislation into alignment with international standards. Specifically, urge the Chinese government to legally distinguish the crimes of human smuggling, child abduction, and illegal adoption from that of human trafficking, and to expand the current definition of trafficking to include all forms of trafficking, including offenses against adult male victims, certain forms of non-physical coercion, and commercial sex trade of minors.
  • Call on the Chinese government to provide more protective services for trafficking victims. Support expanding training programs for law enforcement personnel and shelter managers that help raise awareness and improve processes for identifying, protecting, and assisting trafficking victims. Support legal assistance programs that advocate on behalf of both foreign and Chinese trafficking victims.
  • Object to the continued deportation of North Korean trafficking victims as "economic migrants." Urge the Chinese government to abide by its international obligations under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol with regard to North Korean trafficking victims and provide legal alternatives to repatriation.
NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES IN CHINA

Findings

  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, central and local authorities continued policies classifying all North Korean refugees in China as "illegal" economic migrants and forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees in China, amid rising concerns over humanitarian crises and political instability in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
  • The Chinese government continued to deny the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) access to the Chinese-North Korean border and to North Korean refugees in northeast China. The inability of the UNHCR to access North Koreans seeking asylum in China makes it difficult for the UNHCR and human rights organizations to obtain accurate information on the number of North Korean refugees and de facto stateless persons, the reasons behind the North Korean defections, and the concerns of North Korean refugees over forced repatriation.
  • North Korean women in China continue to be trafficked into forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation. The Chinese government’s repatriation of trafficked North Korean women contravenes the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) and its 1967 Protocol (Protocol), as well as Article 7 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol). The Chinese government’s failure to take adequate measures to prevent North Korean women from being trafficked and to protect North Korean victims of trafficking contravenes its obligations under Article 9 of the UN TIP Protocol and Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  • During this reporting year, Chinese authorities forcibly detained, tortured, and deported those who attempted to assist North Korean refugees in China, including foreign aid workers and those involved with humanitarian organizations.
  • Chinese local authorities near the border with the DPRK continued to deny household registration (hukou) to the children of North Korean women married to Chinese citizens. Without household registration, these children live in a stateless limbo and cannot access education and other social benefits.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support the efforts of the UNHCR to gain unfettered access for itself and its implementing partners to North Korean refugees and de facto stateless populations in China, beginning with children born to a North Korean parent in China. Encourage the Chinese government to work with the UNHCR in enacting and implementing national asylum legislation that conforms with China’s obligations under the 1951 Convention and its Protocol. Urge the Chinese government to immediately cease detaining and repatriating North Koreans in China.
  • Urge central and local Chinese government officials to abide by their obligations under the UN TIP Protocol (Article 9) and CEDAW (Article 6) to prosecute human traffickers in northeastern China and along the border with the DPRK.
  • Urge Chinese officials to grant residency status and related social benefits to North Koreans married to Chinese citizens and to grant the same to their children. In particular, urge local Chinese officials to allow these children to receive an education in accordance with the PRC Nationality Law (Article 4) and the PRC Compulsory Education Law (Article 5). Urge the Chinese government to provide greater numbers of North Korean refugees with safe haven and secure transit until they reach third countries.
  • Support exchanges between U.S. agencies and Chinese public security officials on issues regarding human trafficking, asylum processing, immigration, and border control.
PUBLIC HEALTH

Findings

  • Public health advocates continued to face government harassment and interference in their advocacy work during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year. Restrictions that central authorities placed on registration and funding of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 1998 and 2009, respectively, remain in effect and have reportedly been used to monitor, control, and limit NGO activities. In the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Beijing Huiling, an NGO that provides housing and services to disabled persons, continued to face obstacles in securing registration, which could impact its operations.
  • The Chinese government’s domestic legislation explicitly forbids discriminatory practices in employment, and as a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Chinese government has committed to eliminate discrimination in employment and education against persons with disabilities or infectious diseases. Health-based discrimination in employment and education remains commonplace, and those who seek legal recourse face challenges. Reports also indicate that discrimination based on HIV status remains a barrier that prevents many from accessing adequate healthcare.
  • The Chinese government reviewed revised drafts of the first national mental health law in October 2011 and August 2012. The drafts contain revisions that, if faithfully implemented, could further constrain officials from abusing psychiatric detention to stifle or punish dissent. Despite these potential improvements, the revised drafts continue to raise concerns regarding the law’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which China has signed and ratified.
  • In March 2012, a top Chinese health official announced plans to "abolish" the practice of organ harvesting from death-row prisoners within three to five years. The announcement follows a trend in recent years of increased government regulation surrounding the transfer of human organs, and comes amid numerous reports of illegal organ transplant cases this year.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Call on the Chinese government to stop repression of public health advocates and provide more support to U.S. organizations that work with Chinese NGOs to address public health issues in China.
  • Urge Chinese officials to focus attention on effective implementation of the PRC Employment Promotion Law and related regulations that prohibit discrimination in employment, education, and healthcare against persons living with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B virus, and other illnesses or disabilities. Support Chinese NGO programs that raise rights awareness among individuals living with medical conditions.
  • Urge the Chinese government to address concerns that individuals and NGOs have raised regarding the most recent drafts of the Mental Health Law. Urge Chinese officials to enact the Mental Health Law in a timely manner and then to ensure the consistent implementation of the law across localities.
  • Urge the Chinese government to close gaps in the 2007 Regulations on Human Organ Transplantation in which illegal organ trafficking currently operates. Urge Chinese officials to take prompt measures to accomplish their stated goal of abolishing the practice of organ harvesting from death-row prisoners in three to five years.
THE ENVIRONMENT

Findings

  • Despite some progress, pollution problems remain severe, especially in rural areas, and the associated financial costs continue to grow. In addition to the migration of polluting industries, pollution incidents and environmental protests continue to pose long-term challenges. Authorities continue to develop a regulatory framework to address these environmental problems, although some efforts appear stifled. Authorities released draft revisions to the PRC Environmental Protection Law (EPL) to the public for comments. The draft contained some incentives for greater transparency and official accountability, but did not contain language that specified stronger support for public participation that had been present in previous drafts. Work to pass an administrative guideline regarding public participation in environmental impact assessments appeared to have stalled. In a positive development, 2011 revisions to the PRC Criminal Law expanded the scope of behaviors affecting the environment that could be considered criminal. Significant challenges for the development of the rule of law in the sector remain, including lax enforcement and non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
  • Access to formal legal remedies remains unreliable, despite potential advancements in public interest law. In October 2011, an environmental tribunal in Yunnan province accepted an environmental public interest lawsuit filed jointly by non-governmental organizations and a local environmental protection bureau. Citizens, however, continued to face barriers in bringing environmental cases to court, including judges reluctant to accept cases.
  • During the reporting year, authorities also continued to harass or in some cases detain environmental advocates, including Liu Futang, Wu Lihong, and Zhang Changjian. In February 2012, authorities in Sichuan province detained three environmental advocates associated with the Tawu Environmental Protection Association. In addition, there are many cases of citizens who complain about pollution problems and later face retribution from officials.
  • Protests regarding pollution are increasing and are often a tool of last resort for citizens seeking justice or the alleviation of environmental harms. Official and academic reports reportedly give a combined range of 20 to 30 percent increase in protests annually, although the academic report notes the actual number remains a secret. In some of these cases, protesters became destructive, and authorities beat, detained, or sentenced protesters.
  • Authorities in various locations took steps to improve some aspects of environmental information transparency, but some locations have not made much progress, and a report highlighted the widening gap in information disclosure between more transparent eastern coastal regions and western and central regions. Some news reports highlighted cases of non-transparency related to environmental accidents. In addition, central government officials are revising a regulation that, if passed in its current form, could strengthen the government’s tight control over environmental quality monitoring and reporting. During the reporting year, however, central environmental authorities passed measures to gradually improve air quality information transparency. In addition, citizens have become more proactive in making requests for environmental data, but barriers to obtaining information remain.
  • During this reporting year, the State Council issued the 12th Five-Year Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control Work Program and a white paper on climate change, which outlined a variety of actions and plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Chinese leaders have pledged to improve data reliability and transparency related to energy use and climate change, as well as baseline data related to international greenhouse gas reduction projects. Nevertheless, reports detailed significant challenges in this regard.
  • Some hydroelectric dam projects reportedly continued to involve involuntary relocation practices and arbitrary detention. Grassland herder relocation programs, reportedly conducted by authorities to address grassland degradation as well as modernize the animal husbandry industry, have also in some cases been involuntary.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Call upon the Chinese government to cease punishing citizens for their grassroots environmental activism or for utilizing official and institutionalized channels to voice their environmental grievances or to protect their rights. Support efforts by Chinese and U.S. groups working in China to expand awareness of citizens’ environmental rights and to promote the protection of those rights. Include environmental law issues in the bilateral human rights and legal expert dialogues.
  • Support multilateral exchanges regarding environmental enforcement and compliance tools, including environmental insurance, market mechanisms, criminal prosecution of serious environmental infringements, and public interest litigation mechanisms. Encourage Chinese leaders to strengthen environmental impact assessment processes and citizen participation in those processes. Engage Chinese officials and others who seek to devise a fair compensation system for people harmed by pollution.
  • Support continued expansion of environmental information disclosure in China. Share U.S. Government experiences with the Toxics Release Inventory Program and other U.S. programs that seek to provide more environmental transparency. Support programs that educate Chinese citizens about China’s system of open government information. In addition, continue
  • U.S. Government engagement with relevant individuals and organizations in developing China’s capacity to reliably measure, report, publicize, and verify emissions reduction strategies and techniques.
  • Encourage the development of environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in China, including incorporating joint U.S.-China non-governmental participation into bilateral projects. Support efforts to raise the technical and operational capacity of Chinese environmental NGOs.
  • Urge Chinese authorities to end non-voluntary relocation of nomadic herders and to conduct relocation programs in a manner consistent with international scientific and human rights norms. To this end, urge authorities to consider the suggestions contained in the 2012 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Addendum, Mission to China, to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
CIVIL SOCIETY

Findings

  • Chinese civil society organizations continue to grow in number and engage in valuable educational work, social welfare service provision, and issue advocacy. A restrictive regulatory environment, however, limits the development of an independent civil society. Official policy is to control the development of civil society by expanding and bringing under government control groups that promote Chinese government and Communist Party objectives, while marginalizing groups that seek to operate more independently.
  • The government’s broad restrictions on a citizen’s ability to form an organization contravene the right to freedom of association guaranteed in Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China has signed and declared an intention to ratify.
  • Chinese law recognizes three main types of civil society organizations—social organizations (SOs), non-governmental and non-commercial enterprises (NGNCEs), and foundations. These organizations must obtain a government-approved sponsor organization and register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs or its provincial or local counterpart. The government tightly restricts the number of organizations that cover an issue and requires minimum thresholds for staff and funding. Once registered, the organization remains subject to annual government reviews and sponsor organization oversight. Organizations that try to carry out activities independently without registration are considered illegal. A 2009 State Administration of Foreign Exchange circular that places bureaucratic burdens and foreign exchange restrictions on foreign funding remains in place, and authorities continue to express suspicion toward foreign-funded groups.
  • Chinese officials, scholars, state-controlled media, and non-governmental organization (NGO) leaders continued to criticize the current system, pointing to the large number of groups that cannot register because they are unable to secure a sponsor organization and the slow growth of registered groups. Unregistered groups and those registered as businesses do not enjoy certain tax benefits, are ineligible for government projects, cannot legally solicit donations, and face the risk of shutdown at any time. Official campaigns against unregistered groups continue.
  • Harassment of NGOs engaged in advocacy on issues the government and Party deem politically sensitive continued this past year. A crackdown on NGOs advocating for workers in the manufacturing center of Guangdong province was reported to have started early in 2012 and continued throughout the summer.
  • Chinese officials continue to pursue local and provincial initiatives intended to streamline the registration process, but not fundamentally alter the government’s role in approving and overseeing all groups. This past year, the Commission observed examples of such developments in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and in Yunnan and Guangdong provinces. At the national level, such proposals have reportedly stalled. In July 2012, the Ministry of Civil Affairs published regulations for the management of foundations in an effort to improve transparency and accountability of charitable donations.
  • The Minister of Civil Affairs reportedly said political and human rights NGOs would be treated equally in the registration process, but reiterated the government’s broad discretion to decide who may form an organization. The government and Party also issued an opinion to "encourage and standardize" religious communities’ participation in public service, including calling for "equal treatment" of religious groups in establishing charitable organizations. The opinion emphasizes, however, consistency with the Party’s basic policy on religion.
  • The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed an amendment to the PRC Civil Procedure Law in August 2012 which states that "relevant organizations" (youguan zuzhi) determined by law will be able to bring to court public interest cases on environmental protection and consumer rights issues, among others. It is not yet clear to what extent NGOs will be included in this broad term.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Ask Chinese officials for updates on recent reforms at the local level relating to registration of NGOs, domestic financial support to NGOs via foundations and government procurement of services from NGOs, the role of NGOs in public interest litigation, and other aspects of civil affairs. Encourage these officials to broaden reform efforts that relax constraints on NGOs and apply them to other parts of the country through national legislation and regulatory development.
  • Ask the Chinese government to refrain from applying uneven or selective enforcement of regulations to intimidate groups that they consider to be handling sensitive work. Request the Chinese government to revisit the recently issued State Administration of Foreign Exchange circular concerning overseas donations to Chinese organizations. Emphasize that NGOs, both domestic and international, are outlets for citizens to channel their grievances and find redress, and in turn contribute to the maintenance of a stable society. Conversely, point out that stricter controls over civil society organizations could remove a potentially useful social "safety valve," thereby increasing the sources of instability. During discussions with Chinese officials, mention the Tsinghua University report that found that, even as the government increased spending on public security and tightened its control over civil society, social conflicts were happening with greater regularity.
  • Take measures to facilitate the participation of Chinese citizens who work in the NGO sector in relevant international conferences and forums, and support training opportunities in the United States to build their leadership capacity in nonprofit management, public policy and public interest legal advocacy, strategic planning, and media relations.
INSTITUTIONS OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

Findings

  • During the 2012 reporting year, the Communist Party continued to dominate political affairs, government, and society through networks of Party committees or branches that exist at all levels in government, legislative, and judicial agencies, as well as in businesses, major social groups (including unions), the military, and most residential communities. Party officials stepped up efforts to expand Party organizations and focused Party-building and Party-loyalty campaigns in universities, non-state-owned businesses, social organizations, and the military.
  • China’s political institutions do not comply with the standards defined in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Chinese leaders have signed and declared an intention to ratify. Nor do China’s political institutions comply with the standards outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During this reporting year, at least one top central-level Chinese leader continued to make public statements about "political structural reform." The statements, however, lacked details, and any proposed reforms would still take place within the framework of one-party control. Local governments issued measures meant to improve the efficiency of bureaucratic governance and to bolster trust in the Party.
  • Authorities continued to detain, arrest, and sentence democracy advocates who exercised their right to freedoms of assembly, speech, movement, and association guaranteed in China’s Constitution and under international human rights standards. This reporting year, authorities imposed particularly harsh prison sentences, including those of Chen Wei, Chen Xi, Li Tie, Zhu Yufu, and Xue Mingkai. Other democracy advocates given long prison sentences over the last four years remained imprisoned, including Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xianbin, Guo Quan, Zhou Yongjun, Xie Changfa, and Huang Chengcheng.
  • The Party continues to strengthen its legitimacy and control in the political realm by intensifying and extending its reach into citizens’ social lives through institutions at all administrative levels in the name of "social management" and maintaining "social stability." Party and government leaders plan to establish "social management structures" under the leadership of the Party and with roles for government, social organizations, and the general public. Mass organizations, residence committees, workplace personnel, students, and ordinary citizens will assist with social management tasks, including monitoring of citizens.
  • During the reporting year, elections continued for local people’s congress deputies at the township and county levels. Party authorities influenced elections through investigative groups sent to lower levels with control and supervision tasks. In some places, the groups acted to "optimize" nomination lists. Officials took a variety of other actions to interfere in local congress elections and to prevent independent candidates from being nominated or elected as delegates.
  • Village elections for "villager committees" have spread throughout China; their implementation, however, remains problematic. Ongoing problems with elections included vote buying, ballot stuffing, cancelled elections, interference from township officials, lack of transparency, and higher level officials’ efforts to "optimize" the mix of personnel on villager committees.
  • Central authorities reportedly encouraged the strengthening of open government information (OGI) procedures and policies, and also clarified conditions under which information would not be disclosed. Proactive disclosure of information remained sporadic. Citizens continued to be proactive in making open government information requests. Nevertheless, challenges in accessing information and bringing OGI cases to court remained.
  • Central and provincial authorities encouraged policies to enhance government accountability. The lack of accountability, however, remained a challenge. In October 2011, an official media report noted the prevalence of "selective governance" at the grassroots level in some areas. The cases of Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai, and Gu Kailai raise issues of official lack of accountability, abuse of power, and non-transparency.
  • Corruption reportedly remains high and Chinese authorities took regulatory steps to address it. Corruption in state-owned enterprises and public institutions increased. Protections for whistleblowers remained insufficient and authorities continued to have little tolerance for non-governmental anticorruption efforts.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support U.S. research programs that shed light on the structure, functions, and development of the Chinese Communist Party, including its roles within government institutions, non-state-owned companies, and social organizations. Urge Chinese officials to further increase the transparency of Party affairs. Support research by U.S. citizens that focuses on understanding China’s shift toward "social management." Make inquiries into recent campaigns to "send down to the countryside" teams of Party and government officials.
  • Call on the Chinese government to release people detained or imprisoned for exercising their right to call for political reform within China, and other political prisoners mentioned in this report and in the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database, including Chen Wei, Chen Xi, Li Tie, Zhu Yufu, Xue Mingkai, Zhou Yongjun, Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xianbin, Guo Quan, Xie Changfa, and Huang Chengcheng.
  • Support continued substantive exchanges between Members of the U.S. Congress and delegates of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, especially in relation to congressional oversight processes and responding to constituent demands. Support research programs for U.S. citizens to study political and social developments at the grassroots level in China. Expand the number of U.S. consulates throughout the country to facilitate understanding of China.
  • Support projects by U.S. or Chinese organizations that research village and local people’s congress elections in China. Support programs that include expansion of domestic election monitoring systems, training of Chinese domestic election monitors, and joint U.S.-Chinese election monitoring activities.
  • Support projects of U.S. or Chinese organizations that seek to work with local Chinese governments in their efforts to improve transparency and accountability, especially efforts to expand and improve China’s government information disclosure initiatives. Such projects might include joint efforts to better publicize the Open Government Information (OGI) Regulations at local levels and citizen and group trainings about how to submit OGI requests.
  • Support programs that assist local governments, academics, and the nonprofit sector in expanding transparent public hearings and other channels for citizens to incorporate their input into the policymaking process. Such programs could include pilot projects in China in which citizens’ suggestions to authorities about draft laws, regulations, or policies are made available to the public.
COMMERCIAL RULE OF LAW

Findings

  • December 11, 2011, was the 10th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Supporters of China’s membership in the WTO had hoped that WTO membership would bring about changes in China, which appeared at the time to be developing a market economy. The Chinese government, however, has flouted WTO rules and "gamed the system." Over the past five years, the Chinese government has developed a state-capitalist system that is not compatible with the WTO, and has intensified the state’s intervention in the economy.
  • China has been a party to several WTO cases since acceding to the WTO. In March 2012, the United States, in coordination with the European Union and Japan, requested consultations with China in a case concerning restraints on exports of rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum, and in July the WTO established a panel to hear the dispute. The United States also brought two WTO cases against China concerning the auto industry. The first case, initiated in July, challenges China’s imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on certain automobiles from the United States. The United States requested consultations in the second case in September 2012, challenging certain of China’s export subsidies to auto and auto parts manufacturers.
  • The Chinese government reportedly intimidates some foreign companies that raise concerns with China’s WTO compliance, threatening "to withhold necessary approvals or take other retaliatory actions against foreign enterprises if they speak out against problematic Chinese policies or are perceived as responding cooperatively to their government’s efforts to challenge them." This makes it difficult for other WTO members to bring WTO cases against China.
  • Foreign investment into China must undergo a government approval process to ensure that it is in keeping with Chinese policies on economic growth. In 2012, the Chinese government revised the foreign investment guidance catalogue, listing industries in which investment is encouraged, restricted, or forbidden. Investments in industries that are not listed are allowed. Chinese authorities issued the first foreign investment guidance catalogue in 1995, and have amended it five times, including the 2012 amendment. The 2012 amendment reflected policies outlined in the 12th Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development, which was passed in March 2011, including those for development of seven "strategic emerging industries."
  • Chinese outbound investment has continued to grow, with investments in the form of mergers and acquisitions tending to be in mining, manufacturing, transportation, electric power, and retailing and wholesaling. Like foreign investment in China, Chinese outbound investment is highly regulated.
  • Though the value of the yuan rose about 8 percent against the U.S. dollar between June 2010 and May 15, 2012, according to the U.S. Treasury Department, the yuan is still undervalued. China has taken several measures to loosen controls on cross-border capital flows, however, with the goal of internationalizing the yuan.
  • China continued to have serious food safety problems during the 2012 reporting year, impacting consumers in China and in other countries, including the United States. While China has taken a number of regulatory and other measures to deal with food safety, the efficacy of these measures is limited; authorities have found it difficult to control China’s small and scattered food producers.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Develop and support a project surveying the role of China’s industrial policies in the Chinese economy from the perspective of WTO requirements, including how the development of these policies and the role they play in directing China’s economy influence transparency, rule of law, and China’s compliance with its international commitments.
  • Through the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the International Trade Enforcement Center, or other channels, conduct a comprehensive study of situations in which Chinese authorities have intimidated or retaliated against U.S. companies for speaking out against Chinese government policies or actions. Support USTR in developing or furthering a strategy of challenging Chinese regulatory procedures, including the approval process and other administrative licensing procedures, that provide channels for Chinese authorities to engage in intimidation or retaliation against U.S. companies.
  • Through bilateral dialogues between (1) USTR and the U.S. Department of Commerce and (2) China’s Ministry of Com-merce, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, obtain details on the amount of Chinese investment (other than in financial instruments) in the United States, the criteria Chinese authorities use in making approval decisions concerning such investment, and how such investment is financed.
  • Implement capacity-building programs for Chinese food safety regulators on U.S. best practices in food safety programs. Pass legislation authorizing a larger U.S. Food and Drug Administration presence in China, with additional inspectors; support training programs in China conducted by U.S. inspectors, producers, and food safety experts; and ensure that regulated products imported from China into the United States are certified by the relevant bodies in China.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Findings

  • Chinese citizens’ ability to seek redress of perceived wrongs continued to face significant challenges during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year. Authorities continued to promote a "harmonious" socialist society with Chinese characteristics. Key policies and regulations during the past year reflect the Communist Party’s ongoing concern with handling social conflicts and maintaining stability.
  • Party and government officials continued to limit judicial independence and exert political control over courts and judges. Although Article 126 of China’s Constitution specifically guarantees judicial independence from "any administrative organ, public organization or individual," China’s judiciary continued to be subject to a variety of internal and external controls—from political legal committees to official interference—that significantly limit its ability to engage in independent decisionmaking.
  • During the reporting year, Chinese citizens continued to use petitioning as a means to seek redress. The petitioning—or xinfang (often translated as "letters and visits")—system exists to provide a channel, outside of formal legal challenges, through which citizens may present their grievances and seek to appeal government, court, and Communist Party decisions.
  • Citizen petitioners seeking redress of their grievances continued to face reprisals, harassment, violence, and detention, especially by local governments, due to incentive structures linked to citizen petitioning. This past year, some Chinese media reports addressed the phenomenon of citizens "having faith in petitioning and not having faith in the law."
  • During the 2012 reporting year, government and Party officials continued to promote "people’s mediation" (renmin tiaojie) as a tool to maintain social stability. In his work report to the National People’s Congress, Supreme People’s Court President Wang Shengjun emphasized the role of mediation in resolving disputes and highlighted that 67.3 percent of civil cases in 2011 were either mediated or withdrawn.
  • During the reporting year, official Chinese sources announced increased funding for legal aid and the expansion of legal aid access. In February 2012, the Ministry of Justice reported a substantial increase in the number of cases involving legal aid. Local legal aid agencies handled a total of 844,624 cases in 2011, up 16.1 percent from 2010 statistics. The central government allocated 200 million yuan (US$31.4 million) during the year to help with legal aid, up from 100 million yuan (US$15.7 million) in the previous year, and central special lottery funds for legal aid programs increased to 100 million yuan in 2011 from 50 million yuan (US$7.8 million) in 2010.
  • Officials at various levels of government continued to discourage, intimidate, and detain human rights lawyers who take on issues, cases, and clients that officials deem to be "sensitive." Officials employed a spectrum of measures, including stationing police to monitor the homes of rights defenders; forcing them to travel to unknown areas or to attend meetings to "drink tea" with security personnel; and imprisoning them.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program and other bilateral exchange programs that bring Chinese human rights lawyers, advocates, and scholars to the United States for study and dialogue. Support similar programs in the non-governmental organization and academic sectors that partner with China’s human rights lawyers and nonprofit legal organizations.
  • Support exchange, education, and training in legal aid expertise with Chinese criminal defense lawyers, legal professionals, and law schools.
  • Continue to monitor the policy of mediation as the Chinese government’s preferred way to resolve disputes. Achieve a clear understanding of its implications for Chinese citizens’ access to justice and the Chinese government’s compliance with international standards.
  • Express concern to Chinese authorities over treatment of petitioners and encourage Chinese leaders to examine the incentive structures at the local level that lead to abuse of petitioners who seek to express their grievances.
  • Object to the continued harassment of human rights lawyers and advocates. Call for the release of lawyers and activists who have been subject to unlawful home confinement, "disappearance," or harassment by officials for their activities defending and promoting the rights of Chinese citizens.
XINJIANG

Findings

  • Chinese government and Communist Party authorities continued to commit serious human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Authorities in the XUAR used repressive security policies to stifle peaceful expression and dissent, especially among Uyghurs. Authorities have applied the "three forces" label (terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism) to include peaceful political dissent and religious activity outside of state control, while providing limited and conflicting information to support claims of terrorist or separatist threats. The Chinese government continued to obscure information about people tried in connection with the July 2009 demonstrations and riots in Urumqi city. The number of trials completed in the XUAR in 2011 for crimes of endangering state security—a category of criminal offenses that authorities in China have used to punish citizen activism and dissent—increased over 2010.
  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, central government-led development projects, which authorities have strengthened in recent years, undercut the rights of Uyghurs and other non-Han groups to maintain their cultures, languages, and livelihoods. Authorities intensified regional development objectives announced at the Xinjiang Work Forum, convened in Beijing in 2010 by central government and Party leaders. XUAR authorities bolstered efforts to relocate and resettle farmers and herders away from grasslands.
  • Authorities strengthened campaigns against "illegal religious activities" during this reporting year, and maintained harsh legal restrictions over religion in the XUAR. Authorities used the specter of "religious extremism" to enforce continuing controls over the practice of Islam, continued to identify "religious extremism" as one of the "three forces" threatening stability in the region, and targeted religious practice in security campaigns. Some Muslims continued to serve prison sentences in connection with exercising their faith. Reports of official campaigns to prevent men from wearing "large beards" and women from wearing veils or clothing perceived to have religious connotations appeared to increase during the reporting year, based on Commission monitoring. Officials required some recipients of welfare benefits in the XUAR to agree not to wear veils or large beards. Officials also continued to place controls over the observance of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan.
  • Some government and private employers in the XUAR continued to discriminate against non-Han ("ethnic minority") job candidates. Authorities also continued programs to "transfer the excess rural labor force" to jobs outside workers’ home areas, a practice that has focused on young non-Han men and women.
  • Chinese government development policies continued to prevent Uyghurs from preserving their cultural heritage. Authorities continued to demolish and rebuild the Old City section of Kashgar city, as part of a five-year project launched in 2009 that has drawn opposition from Uyghur residents and other observers for requiring the resettlement of the Old City’s 220,000 residents and for undermining cultural heritage protection. State media also reported on demolitions and the resettlement of residents in traditionally Uyghur communities in areas throughout the XUAR, with XUAR authorities stating that 1.5 million homes would be "reconstructed" regionwide by 2015.
  • This past year, Western media reported that authorities sentenced 16 of the 20 Uyghur asylum seekers who were forcibly returned from Cambodia to China in 2009 to prison terms ranging from 16 years to life in prison. Chinese officials had earlier linked some of the asylum seekers to terrorism, but the exact charges they were convicted of are unknown. The "refoulement" of such asylum seekers raised concerns regarding the risk of unfair trials, torture, and other types of mistreatment that Uyghur asylum seekers may face after fleeing to neighboring countries under the sway of China’s influence and its disregard for international law.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Support legislation that expands U.S. Government resources for raising awareness of human rights conditions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), for protecting Uyghur culture, and for increasing avenues for Uyghurs to protect their human rights.
  • Raise concern to Chinese officials about human rights conditions in the XUAR and condemn the use of security campaigns to suppress human rights. Call on the Chinese government to release people imprisoned for advocating for their rights or for their personal connection to rights advocates, including Gheyret Niyaz (sentenced in 2010 to 15 years in prison for "leaking state secrets" after giving interviews to foreign media); Nurmemet Yasin (sentenced in 2005 to 10 years in prison for allegedly "inciting racial hatred or discrimination" or "inciting separatism" after writing a short story); Alim and Ablikim Abdureyim (adult children of activist Rebiya Kadeer, sentenced in 2006 and 2007 to 7 and 9 years in prison, respectively, for alleged economic and "separatist" crimes), as well as other prisoners mentioned in this report and in the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database.
  • Call on the Chinese government to provide details about each person detained, charged, tried, or sentenced in connection with demonstrations and riots in the XUAR in July 2009, including each person’s name, the charges (if any) against each person, the name and location of the prosecuting office (i.e., procuratorate), the court handling each case, and the name of each facility where a person is detained or imprisoned. Call on the Chinese government to ensure people suspected of crimes in connection with events in July 2009 are able to hire a lawyer and exercise their right to employ legal defense in accordance with Articles 33 and 96 of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law and to ensure suspects can retain legal defense of their own choosing.
  • Support non-governmental organizations that address human rights issues in the XUAR to enable them to continue to gather information on conditions in the region and develop programs to help Uyghurs increase their capacity to preserve their rights and protect their culture, language, and heritage. Provide support for media outlets devoted to broadcasting news to the XUAR and gathering news from the region to expand their capacity to report on the region and provide uncensored information to XUAR residents. Provide support for libraries that hold Uyghur-language collections to increase their capacity to collect and preserve books and journals from the XUAR. Support organizations that can research and take steps to safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the XUAR.
  • Call on the Chinese government to support development policies in the XUAR that promote the broad protection of XUAR residents’ rights and allow the XUAR government to exercise its powers of regional autonomy in making development decisions. Call on central and XUAR authorities to ensure eq-uitable development that not only promotes economic growth but also respects the broad civil and political rights of XUAR residents and engages these communities in participatory decisionmaking.
  • Raise concern about the demolition of the Old City section of Kashgar city, as well as demolitions and the resettlement of residents in traditionally Uyghur communities in areas throughout the XUAR. Call on authorities to ensure that development projects take into account the particular needs and input of non-Han ethnic groups, who have faced unique challenges protecting their rights in the face of top-down development policies and who have not been full beneficiaries of economic growth in the region. Call on authorities to ensure that residents have input into resettlement initiatives and receive adequate compensation. Call on authorities to take measures to safeguard the rights of herders to preserve their cultures and livelihoods.
  • Call on the Chinese government to ensure government and private employers abide by legal provisions barring discrimination based on ethnicity and cease job recruiting practices that reserve positions exclusively for Han Chinese. Call on authorities to monitor compliance with local directives promoting job opportunities for non-Han groups, who continue to face discrimination in the job market. Call on Chinese authorities to investigate reports of coercion and exploitative working conditions within labor transfer programs that send rural non-Han men and women to jobs in other regions of China.
  • Call on the Chinese government to provide information on the whereabouts and current legal status of Uyghur asylum seekers forcibly returned from Cambodia in December 2009. Raise the issue of Uyghur refugees and asylum seekers with Chinese officials and with officials from international refugee agencies and from transit or destination countries for Uyghur refugees. Call on Chinese officials and officials from transit or destination countries to respect the asylum seeker and refugee designations of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the refugee and citizenship designations of other countries. Call on transit and destination countries for Uyghur asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants to abide by requirements on "refoulement" in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention against Torture.
TIBET

Findings

  • Formal dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and Chinese Communist Party and government officials has been stalled since the January 2010 ninth round, the longest interval since such contacts resumed in 2002. During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese officials reiterated positions that seek to prevent Tibetans from securing protection for their culture, language, religion, and environment, and instead pressure the Dalai Lama to support Party positions on Tibetan history and the relationship between China and Taiwan. The Dalai Lama’s representatives—his Special Envoy and Envoy— resigned their positions effective on June 1, 2012, citing "the deteriorating situation inside Tibet since 2008 leading to the increasing cases of self-immolations by Tibetans."
  • The incidence of Tibetans resorting to self-immolation accelerated sharply this past year and spread from Sichuan province into Qinghai and Gansu provinces and the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Forty-five Tibetan self-immolations (39 fatal) reportedly took place during the period from October— the start of the Commission’s reporting year—through August 27, 2012. Reports of self-immolators’ calls for Tibetan freedom and the Dalai Lama’s return are concurrent with increasing Chinese government and Party use of legal measures to repress and control core elements of Tibetan culture, and with the China-Dalai Lama dialogue’s failure to achieve any sign of progress. The Party and government have not indicated any willingness to consider Tibetan grievances in a constructive manner and to hold themselves accountable for Tibetan rejection of Chinese policies, and handled the crisis as a threat to state security and social stability instead of as a policy failure.
  • The status of religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists declined steeply. The government and Party initiated unprecedented measures to further strengthen control over the Tibetan Buddhist religion and monastic institutions and transform them into entities prioritizing loyalty to the Party and patriotism toward China while seeking to bring to an end the Dalai Lama’s influence on Tibetans. Officials opened a TAR "comprehensive school for Tibetan Buddhism" that the Party expects to "establish a normal order" for the religion that conforms to current Party and government objectives. The Party established management committees whose members are Party and government officials within all TAR monasteries and nunneries. In a signed statement, the Dalai Lama rejected Party attempts to use historical misrepresentation and government regulation to impose unprecedented control over lineages of teachers whom Tibetan Buddhists believe are reincarnations.
  • The Party and government increased pressure on and interference with the Tibetan people’s aspiration to preserve the viability and vibrancy of their culture and language. A senior Party official influential on Tibet policy expressed views favoring ethnic assimilation and ending or changing some policies that have the potential to benefit ethnic minority cultures, such as educational programs in ethnic minority languages. Such views, if implemented, could adversely affect the Tibetan people’s cultural and linguistic identity and further deepen resentment against the government. The Party deployed teams of cadres to every village-level administrative entity in the TAR to strengthen Party grassroots control. The first-ever such deployment will last at least through 2014. Public security officials continued to detain Tibetan writers, entertainers, and cultural advocates; Tibetan students continued to protest language policy.
  • The Party and government continued to impose "adherence to a development path with Chinese characteristics and Tibetan traits," a policy the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee established in 2010 that subordinates Tibetan culture and aspirations to Party economic, social, and political objectives. A senior Party official influential on Tibet policy called for development initiatives in ethnic minority areas to promote "consolidating national unification and central authority," and to promote and make irreversible "mixed habitation" among ethnic groups. TAR officials called for accelerating railroad construction; the central government issued an opinion calling for the settlement of all herders nationwide (including on the Tibetan plateau) to be "basically" accomplished by 2015. Officials continued to detain Tibetans who protested against development initiatives they consider harmful to the environment.

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Urge the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions. Urge dialogue on matters including protecting the Tibetan culture, language, religion, and heritage within the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and the Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, and Yunnan provinces. As tensions continue to rise in Tibetan areas and Tibetans express their respect for the Dalai Lama, a Chinese government decision to engage in dialogue can result in a durable and mutually beneficial outcome for the Chinese government and Tibetans that will improve the outlook for local and regional security in coming decades.
  • Urge the Chinese government to consider the role of government regulatory measures and Party policies in the wave of Tibetan self-immolations. Point out to Chinese officials that if the government and Party address Tibetan grievances in a constructive manner, the results could benefit state security and social stability; point out to Chinese officials that strengthening the measures and policies that Tibetans resent most strongly is unlikely to result in conditions that could be characterized as consistent with "social stability" or a "harmonious society."
  • Convey to the Chinese government the urgent importance of refraining from expanding use of intrusive management committees or legal measures to infringe upon and repress Tibetan Buddhists’ right to the freedom of religion. Point out to Chinese officials that government- and Party-led campaigns to establish a new "order" for Tibetan Buddhism are inconsistent with state respect for "freedom of religious belief"; and that increased pressure on Tibetan Buddhists created by aggressive use of regulatory measures, "patriotic" and "legal" education, and anti-Dalai Lama campaigns is likely to harm "social stability," not protect it. Urge the government to respect the right of Tibetan Buddhists to identify and educate religious teachers in a manner consistent with Tibetan preferences and traditions.
  • Request that the Chinese government follow up on a 2010 statement by the Chairman of the TAR government that Gedun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama whom the Dalai Lama recognized in 1995, is living in the TAR as an "ordinary citizen" along with his family. Urge the government to invite a representative of an international organization to meet with Gedun Choekyi Nyima so that Gedun Choekyi Nyima can express to the representative his wishes with respect to privacy; photograph the international representative and Gedun Choekyi Nyima together; and publish Gedun Choekyi Nyima’s statement and the photograph.
  • Convey to the Chinese government the importance of respecting and protecting the Tibetan culture and language. Urge Chinese officials to promote a vibrant Tibetan culture by honoring the Chinese Constitution’s reference to the freedoms of speech, association, assembly, and religion, and refraining from using the security establishment, courts, and law to infringe upon and repress Tibetans’ exercise of such rights. Urge officials to respect Tibetan wishes to maintain the role of both the Tibetan and Chinese languages in teaching modern subjects and not to consign Tibetan language to inferior status by discontinuing its use in teaching modern subjects.
  • Encourage the Chinese government to take fully into account the views and preferences of Tibetans when the government plans infrastructure, natural resource development, and settlement or resettlement projects in the Tibetan areas of China. Encourage the Chinese government to engage appropriate experts in assessing the impact of such projects and in advising the government on the implementation and progress of such projects.
  • Increase support for U.S. non-governmental organizations to develop programs that can assist Tibetans to increase their capacity to peacefully protect and develop their culture, language, and heritage; that can help to improve education, eco-nomic, health, and environmental conservation conditions of ethnic Tibetans living in Tibetan areas of China; and that create sustainable benefits for Tibetans without encouraging an influx of non-Tibetans into these areas.
  • Continue to convey to the Chinese government the importance of distinguishing between peaceful Tibetan protesters and rioters; condemn the use of security campaigns to suppress human rights; and request the Chinese government to provide complete details about Tibetans detained, charged, or sentenced for protest-related crimes. Continue to raise in meetings and correspondence with Chinese officials the cases of Tibetans who are imprisoned as punishment for the peaceful exercise of human rights. Representative examples include: former Tibetan monk Jigme Gyatso (now serving an extended 18-year sentence for printing leaflets, distributing posters, and later shouting pro-Dalai Lama slogans in prison); monk Choeying Khedrub (sentenced to life imprisonment for printing leaflets); Bangri Chogtrul (regarded by Tibetan Buddhists as a reincarnated lama, serving a sentence of 18 years commuted from life imprisonment for "inciting splittism"); and nomad Ronggye Adrag (sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment for shouting political slogans at a public festival).
  • Encourage the Chinese government to respect the right to freedom of movement of Tibetans who travel domestically, including for the purpose of visiting Tibetan economic, cultural, and religious centers, including Lhasa; to provide Tibetans with reasonable means to apply for and receive documents necessary for lawful international travel; to respect the right of Tibetan citizens of China to reenter China after traveling abroad; and to allow access to the Tibetan autonomous areas of China to international journalists, representatives of non-governmental organizations, representatives of the United Nations, and United States government officials.
DEVELOPMENTS IN HONG KONG AND MACAU

Findings

  • During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Hong Kong held its first elections since the Legislative Council (LegCo) passed legislation in 2011 implementing electoral reforms that fell short of provisions in Hong Kong’s Basic Law concerning universal suffrage. A 1,200-member selection committee chose Hong Kong’s chief executive in March 2012 in a process that was inherently non-democratic. The selection was characterized by extensive interference by the mainland government, disregarding the principle of "one country, two systems."
  • On September 9, 2012, Hong Kong held its first LegCo elections since the 2011 electoral reforms. Democracy advocates picked up three of the five new seats created under the electoral reforms, and retained the one-third of the seats needed to block "fundamental changes" in Hong Kong laws, which may be critical when LegCo considers legislation for the 2017 elections. However, pro-Beijing parties gained seats as well, potentially leading to legislative gridlock.
  • In the run-up to the LegCo election, thousands took part in demonstrations against Hong Kong’s controversial National Education Plan, and some Hong Kong students and teachers staged a hunger strike to protest the plan. In the face of the demonstrations, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive C Y Leung withdrew the requirement that schools start teaching the Beijing-backed curriculum by 2015. Former chief executive Donald Tsang initiated the plan in 2010, which the People’s Daily defended as in keeping with international practice of "patriotic education." However, in an editorial in the New York Times, one Hong Kong parent who took part in a demonstration against the plan in July 2012 described the new curriculum as a "one-sided, totally positive portrayal of Communist Party rule ... ."
  • According to one journalists’ organization, press freedom deteriorated in Hong Kong in 2011, with Hong Kong’s international ranking dropping to 54th from 34th the previous year. Another organization listed the Hong Kong press as "partly free." Journalists in Hong Kong report that press freedom has deteriorated, with one prominent representative citing a number of causes, including government control of information, rough treatment of reporters, denial of media access to events, restrictions on movement around government offices, self-censorship, and censorship by media outlets, many of the owners of which have business interests in the mainland.
  • The government of Macau proposed reforms to its electoral system, seeking an opinion from the mainland Chinese National People’s Congress Standing Committee on the procedure for reform, and undergoing two consultation exercises. The first consisted of 8 sessions, only 1 of which was open to the public, and the second consisted of 10 sessions, only 3 of which were open to the public. The final reforms were minor. Some civil groups said the consultation exercise was manipulated to "fabricate" public opinion. In June, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee approved the proposed reforms, providing for the addition of two directly elected and two indirectly elected seats to the Legislative Assembly, and increasing the number of members of the Chief Executive Selection Committee from 300 to 400. In August, Macau’s Legislative Assembly passed laws making the proposed changes, which one legislator had earlier described as "democracy rolling back."

Recommendations

Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Continue to make every effort to visit Hong Kong when traveling to mainland China. U.S. Government delegations’ meetings in Hong Kong should include meetings with members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, officials with the Hong Kong government administration, members of the judiciary, and representatives of reporters’ organizations. Such meetings show U.S. support for a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong under the system of "one country, two systems" and for rule of law.
  • In meetings with Chinese government officials, urge them to allow the people of Hong Kong to enjoy the high degree of autonomy articulated in the Basic Law and the Sino-U.K. Joint Declaration, especially in matters concerning elections, and to allow the introduction of universal suffrage with "one man, one vote," if this is the wish of the people of Hong Kong.
  • Make every effort to visit Macau when traveling to mainland China or Hong Kong. While there, meet with members of the Legislative Assembly, especially directly elected members, with the Macau government administration, and with leaders outside the government.
  • Support and encourage agencies and organizations to explore projects to support the development of democracy, and to strengthen democratic practices and rule of law in Macau.
POLITICAL PRISONER DATABASE

Recommendations

When composing correspondence advocating on behalf of a political or religious prisoner, or preparing for official travel to China, Members of Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:

  • Check the Political Prisoner Database (PPD) (http:// ppd.cecc.gov) for reliable, up-to-date information on a prisoner or groups of prisoners. Consult a prisoner’s database record for more detailed information about the prisoner’s case, including his or her alleged crime; specific human rights that officials have violated; stage in the legal process; and location of detention or imprisonment, if known.
  • Advise official and private delegations traveling to China to present Chinese officials with lists of political and religious prisoners compiled from database records.
  • Urge U.S. state and local officials and private citizens involved in sister-state and sister-city relationships with China to explore the database and to advocate for the release of political and religious prisoners in China.
A POWERFUL RESOURCE FOR ADVOCACY

The Commission’s 2012 Annual Report provides information about Chinese political and religious prisoners1 in the context of specific human rights and rule of law abuses. Many of the abuses result from the Chinese Communist Party’s and government’s application of policies and laws. The Commission relies on the Political Prisoner Database (PPD), a publicly available online database maintained by the Commission, for its own advocacy and research work, including the preparation of the Annual Report, and routinely uses the database to prepare summaries of information about political and religious prisoners for Members of Congress and Administration officials. The Commission invites the public to read about issue-specific Chinese political imprisonment in sections of this Annual Report and to access and make use of the upgraded PPD at http://ppd.cecc.gov. (Information on how to use the PPD is available at: http://www.cecc.gov/pages/victims/index.php.)

The PPD received approximately 61,900 online requests for prisoner information during the 12-month period ending August 31, 2012. During the 12-month period ending in August 2012, the United States was the country of origin of the largest share of requests for information (approximately 51 percent), followed by China (20 percent), Germany (7 percent), France (4 percent), and Great Britain (3 percent). Approximately 19 percent of the requests originated from worldwide commercial (.com) Internet domains, 16 percent from worldwide network (.net) domains, 11 percent from U.S. Government (.gov) domains, 5.4 percent from domains in Germany (.de), 2.9 percent from domains in France (.fr), 2.1 percent from U.S. education (.edu) domains, 1.0 percent from domains in the Russian Federation (.ru), 0.8 percent from worldwide nonprofit organization (.org) domains, 0.8 percent from domains in Japan (.jp), and 0.6 percent from domains in Australia (.au). Approximately 36 percent of the requests for information were from numerical Internet addresses that do not provide information about the name of the registrant or the type of domain.

POLITICAL PRISONERS

The PPD seeks to provide users with prisoner information that is reliable and up-to-date. Commission staff members work to maintain and update political prisoner records based on the staff member’s area of expertise. The staff seek to provide objective analysis of information about individual prisoners and about events and trends that drive political and religious imprisonment in China.

As of September 1, 2012, the PPD contained information on 6,989 cases of political or religious imprisonment in China. Of those, 1,475 are cases of political and religious prisoners currently known or believed to be detained or imprisoned, and 5,514 are cases of prisoners who are known or believed to have been released, or executed, who died while imprisoned or soon after release, or who escaped. The Commission notes that there are considerably more than 1,475 cases of current political and religious imprisonment in China. The Commission staff works on an ongoing basis to add cases of political and religious imprisonment to the PPD.

The Dui Hua Foundation, based in San Francisco, and the former Tibet Information Network, based in London, shared their extensive experience and data on political and religious prisoners in China with the Commission to help establish the database. The Dui Hua Foundation continues to do so. The Commission also relies on its own staff research for prisoner information, as well as on information provided by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other groups that specialize in promoting human rights and opposing political and religious imprisonment, and other public sources of information.

MORE POWERFUL DATABASE TECHNOLOGY

The PPD has served since its launch in November 2004 as a unique and powerful resource for the U.S. Congress and Administration, other governments, NGOs, educational institutions, and individuals who research political and religious imprisonment in China or who advocate on behalf of such prisoners. The July 2010 PPD upgrade significantly leveraged the capacity of the Commission’s information and technology resources to support such re-search, reporting, and advocacy.

The PPD aims to provide a technology with sufficient power to cope with the scope and complexity of political imprisonment in China. The most important feature of the PPD is that it is structured as a genuine database and uses a powerful query engine. Each prisoner’s record describes the type of human rights violation by Chinese authorities that led to his or her detention. These types include violations of the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and free expression, including the freedom to advocate peaceful social or political change and to criticize government policy or government officials.

The design of the PPD allows anyone with access to the Internet to query the database and download prisoner data without providing personal information to the Commission and without the PPD downloading any software or Web cookies to a user’s computer. Users have the option to create a user account, which allows them to save, edit, and reuse queries, but the PPD does not require a user to provide any personal information to set up such an ac-count. The PPD does not download software or a Web cookie to a user’s computer as the result of setting up such an account. Saved queries are not stored on a user’s computer. A user-specified ID (which can be a nickname) and password are the only information required to set up a user account.

Notes to Section I—Executive Summary

Voted to adopt: Representatives Smith, Wolf, Manzullo, Royce, Walz, Kaptur, and Honda; Senators Brown, Baucus, Levin, Feinstein, Merkley, Collins, and Risch; Deputy Secretary Harris, Under Secretary Otero, Under Secretary Sánchez, Assistant Secretary Campbell, and Assistant Administrator Biswal.

1 The Commission treats as a political prisoner an individual detained or imprisoned for exercising his or her human rights under international law, such as peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of association, free expression, including the freedom to advocate peaceful social or political change, and to criticize government policy or government officials. (This list is illustrative, not exhaustive.) In most cases, prisoners in the Political Prisoner Database were detained or imprisoned for attempting to exercise rights guaranteed to them by China’s Constitution and laws, or by international law, or both. Chinese security, prosecutorial, and judicial officials sometimes seek to distract attention from the political or religious nature of imprisonment by convicting a de facto political or religious prisoner under the pretext of having committed a generic crime. In such cases defendants typically deny guilt but officials may attempt to coerce confessions using torture and other forms of abuse, and standards of evidence are poor. If authorities permit a defendant to entrust someone to provide him or her legal counsel and defense, as China’s Criminal Procedure Law guarantees in Article 32, officials may deny the counsel adequate access to the defendant, restrict or deny the counsel’s access to evidence, and not provide the counsel adequate time to prepare a defense.

 

I. 执行摘要

本文件仅英文原文具法律约束力。本文件中文译文仅作参考之用。两者之间不一致之处均以英文原文为准。

概述

过去一年里,两种截然相反的趋势集中反映了中国在人权与法治方面的变化。一方面,委员会注意到中国人民常常冒着很大的风险行使其理应享有的基本自由权利,并要求政府领导人承认这些权利。这一变化并非来自外力,而是源于中国人民自发的行动,它不仅见于为数不多的维权人士的行动,而且在社会各阶层都有显著的表现。与此同时,委员会也看到,在中国人民不断增多的要求和政府满足这些要求的能力及意愿之间存在一个日益加深的断层。在这一年里,重大的内部政治丑闻和领导层的更迭引人瞩目,中国官员似乎更关心‘‘维稳’’和保持现状,而不是回应中国各地基层民众要求改革的呼声。

公民针对缺乏基本自由和官员滥用权力而举行的抗议活动广泛涉及委员会追踪的各类不同问题,在某些情况下创下了前所未有的先例。2011年末和2012年初,身处困境的中国工人继续举行罢工,并组织起来,要求增加工资和改善工作条件。据报道,爆发了自2010年夏季以来影响最大的一系列示威活动。据委员会记录,在这一阶段内至少有10个省级行政区的多个产业中发生了示威活动。在西藏高原的不同地点发生了多起前所未有的自焚悲剧,反映了共产党和政府进一步压制文化和宗教的做法导致更大的失望。在委员会2012报告年度内,据报有45名藏人因政治和宗教原因自焚(39人死亡),而自2009年2月起总共有50名藏人自焚。在四月、六月和七月,内蒙古自治区的蒙古族人举行了一系列抗议活动,抗议政府和私人开发项目强行占用草场。大批示威者走上街头,抗议强占土地、污染环境和大规模能源项目。从七月至九月,数以万计的香港居民举行抗议活动,抗议一项有争议但受到北京支持的国民教育政策,迫使香港特首梁振英作出重大让步。据报道,自2005年以来,中国发生的群体事件增加了一倍。

中国公民要求信息自由流动,能够不受阻碍地表达批评意见和质疑政府政策,这一愿望继续以强有力的方式在互联网上得到表达。中国的互联网用户人数继续迅速增加,在2012年6月达到5.38亿人。至2012年4月,据报道中国有超过10亿个手机账户。由于政府控制的媒体对某些重大事件不予报道,并对这些事件的消息进行严格审查,大批公民涌向互联网,特别是利用中国广受欢迎的微博服务,以便自由分享和获取有关公众关心的重要事件的消息。此类事件包括涉及被罢黜的前政治局委员兼重庆市委书记薄熙来的丑闻和7月在北京发生的大规模洪灾。看到互联网上广泛流传的令人难以目睹的照片之后,中国各地的公民对冯建梅事件表达了极大的愤慨。她被地方官员强行绑架,并被逼迫做堕胎,这一事件揭露了中国强制性计划生育政策的运作。陈卫和陈西等倡导民主的人士由于在互联网上发表自己的观点而被判处重刑。

中国公民还寻求利用和加强中国微弱的政治和法律机构。政府官员继续严格控制地方人大选举,但这种做法并未能阻碍大批独立候选人尝试参加过去一年中在全国各地举行的选举。毫不奇怪,其中许多候选人遭受巨大的压力和骚扰,许多人在实际选举之前就被删除。关心公益的公民继续援引中国的政府信息公开法律索取信息,希望能够提高中国政府机构的透明度。在政府官员考虑修改中国的某些法律和法规时,公民寻求就立法草案发表意见。例如,他们支持《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》修正版中能够更好地保护被告权利的条款。

中国政府和共产党未能跟上公民日益增加的需求。在许多地方,官员们以敷衍了事的措施应对,并没有彻底解决公民提出的问题,在某些情况下甚至增强了政府滥用职权的能力。就《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》进行了许多讨论,政府在三月通过的重大修正条款虽然比原来的法律有一些改善,但也使多种形式的秘密拘留合法化,而此类拘留可能导致公民遭受酷刑和虐待,并且过去曾被用来对付异议人士。从1月起,某些地区的政府官员开始发布有关微小污染颗粒(PM2.5)的信息,有限地提高了环境方面的透明度,但与此同时,也打算对独立监测环境的做法设置障碍。二月,政府官员发布了一份通知,阐述了旨在改革中国户口制度的政策,户口制度限制了中国公民自由选择永久居住地的权利。中国学者和媒体对拟议的政策提出批评,认为这些政策不够明确,且范围有限。政府继续为更多民众使用互联网提供便利,但采取了旨在消除‘‘谣传’’和防止匿名发帖的措施,而这些措施可能造成寒蝉效应,对自由表达产生严重不利影响。政府初步表示有意让政府批准的宗教团体参加公民社会中某些领域的活动,但宗教事务局加强了对宗教团体内部事务的干涉。家庭教会和法轮功等未经政府批准的宗教团体继续受到压制,[中国]与罗马教廷的关系恶化。当局继续以从事‘‘非法宗教活动’’的名义监禁和拘留维吾尔族穆斯林并对他们处以罚款。

在其他一些领域,改革和进步嘎然而止。在《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》(ICCPR)问题上,政府的立场并无改变,尽管多年来中国官员一直表示有意批准该公约。六月,政府发布了《国家人权行动计划(2012-2015年)》,声称完成了某些‘‘行政和司法改革’’,以便在未来某个日期批准《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》——这一说法比政府在2009–2010国家人权行动计划中的类似提法更加模糊。同样令人忧虑的是,2012–2015行动计划删除了2009–2010行动计划中有关《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》和《世界人权宣言》是制订该行动计划时所遵循的‘‘基本原则’’的文字。在公民社会方面,政府继续推迟提出旨在为公民社会组织登记清除障碍的国家法规修正条款,而代之以在地方上进行的小修小补的试验。与达赖喇嘛的代表所进行的谈判没有恢复,这是自2002年重新对话以来时间最长的一次中断。

在此期间,严重违反人权的事件继续发生,政府试图加强压制能力。政府继续拘留北韩难民并将其遣返朝鲜民主主义人民共和国(DPRK),尽管这些难民被遣返后会受到严厉处罚。任意拘留活动人士的情况依然屡见不鲜,当局对撰写政治评论、参加民主活动和上访人员判处重刑。知名人权律师高智晟已经失踪多年,中国官员声称他在五年缓刑期结束的前一周违反了假释条件,这意味着他必须服满原来的三年刑期。

面临藏族自治地区和新疆等中国少数民族自治地区的抗议活动,当局继续以既定政策应对,预期这些政策只会进一步破坏对语言、文化和宗教的保护,并阻碍中国宪法和法律应当予以保护的地方自治。新疆官员扩大了‘‘双语教育’’政策的实施范围,这种政策推动在学校中使用汉语授课,减少了对维吾尔语及其他‘‘少数民族’’语言的使用。在青海省,藏族学生抗议有关部门试图以汉语课本取代藏语课本的做法。在2012年2月,中央统战部副部长朱维群在他的一篇文章中对进一步同化少数民族表示支持,这一政策变化几乎肯定会进一步削弱对少数民族语言、文化和宗教的保护。朱维群在少数民族事务上很有影响力,其表态预示着政府和党可能考虑实行更加事与愿违的政策。一场旨在清除法轮功并‘‘转变’’其修炼者的运动进入了第三个年头。党和政府以‘‘社会管理’’的名义扩大了对社会的控制,对倡导民主的人士和维权人士及全体公民都加强了监视。

委员会注意到,过去一年里也出现了一些给人希望的新情况。据官方报告,采矿业死亡人数下降,中国政府颁布的一些措施要求奖励举报职业安全危险和掩盖工伤事故行为的员工。新近修订的《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》在获取刑事辩护、保留审讯记录、更细致的案件讨论、保障申诉权、更严格的司法审查等方面有所改善。政府继续增加法律援助资金,并使更多人能够利用这项重要的服务。全国人民代表大会常务委员会正在审议中国第一部精神卫生法律草案,其中包含的一些条款可能限制官员滥用强制精神科治疗的手段,不过该草案没有规定对最初诊断进行复核,并缺乏限制强制住院时间之类的保障机制。在口头上,中国官员继续作出很好的承诺,例如废除摘取死囚犯的器官以及不歧视希望登记注册的政治和人权组织。如往常一样,温家宝总理继续在最高领导层中独自公开表示他对政治改革的支持——不过是在一党统治的框架内——并呼吁限制党和政府的权力。但是,这些令人鼓舞的表态以及法律和政策进展似乎作用有限,其原因可能是缺乏具体的实施计划,也可能是它们未能涉及根本问题:中国公民依然未能享有中国法律和国际法赋予的基本权利。

委员会注意到,中国政府内部继续存在不同的声音,包括对某些改革举措的支持。2012年2月,国务院发展研究中心和世界银行发布了一份报告,题为《2030年的中国:建设现代、和谐、有创造力的高收入社会》。报告认为,过去三十年中国经济取得了成功,但‘‘中国已经到达另一个转折点,需要再一次进行根本性战略转变’’。报告呼吁对中国的国有企业进行改革,这一部门是贸易冲突的一个重要来源。报告还呼吁加快户口制度的改革,使中国人民享有更大的迁徙和居住自由。报告说,必须允许公众在更大程度上参与,增强中国公民的权能,这样他们才能为国家的发展和生活水平的提高作出贡献。报告说:‘‘政府应当主动满足这些需求,通过鼓励广泛参与的明确规则赋予个人、家庭、企业、社区、学术机构及其他非政府组织权利’’。最后,报告强有力地论证了在中国加强法治的重要性。报告认为,中国‘‘需要作出改变,建立一个精益、廉洁、透明、高效、在法治下运作的现代政府’’。报告强调了委员会追踪的人权和法治问题与中国长期经济稳定之间的密切相关性。

根据立法所定的任务,委员会的工作包括追踪中国对人权法律和公约的执行状况,特别是《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》和《世界人权宣言》包含的内容,并追踪中国法治建设的状况。作为其任务之一,委员会每年十月发布一份年度报告,其内容涵盖此前十二个月,并就美国可以采取的立法或行政措施提出建议。下文列出了委员会向美国国会议员和行政部门官员提出的主要建议,以及更具体的调查结果和就本报告中的19个问题领域逐一提出的建议。

主要建议

  • 国际法和基本自由。美国国会议员和行政部门官员应当敦促中国官员立即批准和立法实施《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》(ICCPR)。中国于1998年签署该公约,并多次承诺予以批准。对于中国政府继续普遍拒绝给予公民的许多自由(如本报告所记载),包括言论、宗教、结社和迁徙等方面的自由,《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》是一个重要的基础。工人不能成立独立工会。各种宗教信仰者——包括佛教徒、天主教徒、法轮功修炼者、穆斯林、基督教徒和道教教徒——以及公民社会团体不能自由结社,并受到政府的严密监管。超过五亿中国互联网用户不能在互联网上自由分享信息,中国的新闻媒体继续受到严密审查。异议人士不能自由旅行。
  • 政治犯和维权人士。美国国会议员和行政部门官员应当敦促中国官员立即释放并停止骚扰和虐待行使国际公认的人权的中国公民,包括诺贝尔和平奖获得者、身陷囹圄的政治活动人士刘晓波、房产维权律师倪玉兰、人权律师高智晟、藏族牧民荣吉阿扎(Ronggye Adrag,音译)、天主教主教苏志民、维吾尔族记者海来特•尼亚孜(Gheyret Niyaz)、民主倡导者陈卫、选举专家姚立法、知名艺术家和维权人士艾未未、以及本报告中提及的其他人士。
  • 法治。美国国会议员和行政部门官员应当敦促中国官员在各个领域加强法治。应当鼓励他们考虑《2030年的中国》报告中提出的建议,包括建立一个‘‘高效的、在法治下运作的现代政府’’。为了实现这一目标,应当敦促官员们结束不公正贸易行为,例如操纵货币、产业政策、以及使用配额和补贴,并确保中国完全履行其作为世界贸易组织成员的承诺。应当鼓励中国官员废除助长违反法治的行为和机制,例如导致地方官员强制执行堕胎和绝育的配额和奖励。还应当鼓励官员们通过去除共产党的影响来确保司法独立。陈光诚一案集中反映了中国在法治方面面临的挑战,应当鼓励官员们履行承诺,对陈光诚及其家人遭受的虐待进行调查,并根据中国法律给予施虐者公正的处罚。只有在各个领域——不仅是经济领域——改善法治,中国才能实现《2030年的中国》报告中描述的经济发展目标。
  • 少数民族政策。鉴于西藏高原各处发生的前所未有并且正在持续的自焚事件,少数民族政策的变化似乎特别令人担忧。美国国会议员和行政部门官员应当敦促中国官员保障少数民族的基本权利,立即并显著增加对话,并且公开接触所有少数民族社区及其代表,包括达赖喇嘛的代表,而不附加先决条件。
  • 透明度。本报告发现,在许多不同的问题领域中存在一个共同的问题,即中国政府显著缺少透明度。从对互联网的审查到发布环境污染数据,中国官员经常偏重于保密,而不注重透明度。应当鼓励中国官员确保政府和党的行为及信息——包括决策程序和司法程序、政府数据和统计资料、意见和指令——具有广泛的透明度,并允许公众提出建议和参与其中。具体而言,政府应当鼓励中国公民利用2008年颁布的《政府信息公开条例》,并就政府部门发布信息建立更强的奖励机制。

委员会中来自行政部门的成员参与并支持了委员会的工作。本年度报告的内容——包括其调查结果、观点和建议——不一定反映具体行政部门成员的看法或行政部门的政策。

委员会以19:0的表决结果通过了这份报告。

具体调查结果和建议

言论自由 | 工人权利 | 刑法 | 宗教自由 | 少数民族权利 | 计划生育 | 居住和迁徙自由 | 妇女的状况 | 人口拐卖 | 在中国的北韩难民 | 公共卫生 | 环境 | 公民社会 | 民主治理机构 | 商业领域的法治 | 司法公正新疆 | 西藏 | 香港和澳门的发展

下文中本年度报告的每一部分均对具体调查结果作了概述,其内容涵盖了委员会追踪的各个领域。在每一个领域中,委员会均列举了需要在下一年度关注的一组问题,并且根据法律对委员会的要求,提出了一组建议,以便总统和国会采取立法和行政措施。

言论自由

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度,中国官员继续对言论自由保持广泛的限制,这些限制违反了国际人权准则,包括《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》第19条和《世界人权宣言》第19条和第29条。为了保障国家安全和公共秩序等利益,这些准则允许国家在有限的情况下限制言论,但中国的限制涵盖了远为广泛的活动,包括以和平方式发表不同意见和对共产党提出批评。
  • 据负责互联网事务的行政机构中国互联网络信息中心发布的数据,截至2012年6月底 中国共有超过5.38亿互联网用户,比上一年度增加5300万人。中国政府承诺让更多人能够使用移动技术和互联网,以促进经济发展和扩大政府宣传。
  • 在本报告年度内,中国类似推特的微型博客(微博)网站继续强劲增长,成为互联网用户就富有争议的话题表达不满意见、组织集体行动和发表独立新闻报道的主要场所。中国的微博网站——包括中国最受欢迎的微博网站新浪微博——的用户大幅度增加,至2011年底已经有2.5亿个登记账户,而2010年底还只有6300万个登记账户。
  • 虽然国际和国内观察家继续看到中国互联网和手机的使用十分普遍和活跃,政府和党的官员并无放松政治控制的迹象。过去一年里,中国当局继续试图屏蔽和过滤被认为政治上敏感的内容,其具体做法包括大规模删除内容、实行登记实名制、强行关闭网站、下达审查指令、实施拘留等。
  • 官员们继续任意限制言论,其手段为滥用模糊不清的刑法条款和覆盖面极广的法规条例以及针对记者、出版社、新闻媒体和互联网的登记要求。批评政府的公民被指控犯有危害国家安全的罪行,例如‘‘煽动颠覆’’。以反腐败名义进行的培训和监管记者的大规模官方活动继续大量灌输政治教条。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 对中国政府继续坚持认为其对言论自由的限制符合国际准则表达关切,并吸引国际社会对此进一步关注。中国官员声称,此类措施旨在保障国家安全和公共秩序,但能够获得的信息表明,许多措施的目的在于迫使对共产党提出反对意见的人士噤声或屏蔽与敏感的政治议题有关的自由流动信息。
  • 强调中国政府的立场违反了有关言论自由的国际人权准则,特别是《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》第19条和《世界人权宣言》第19条和第29条包含的内容。
  • 向中国官员强调共产党和政府对互联网和新闻媒体的审查将减弱公众对媒体和政府的信任,可能导致不稳定。
  • 与中国政府官员对话和沟通,讨论政府如何以最佳方式确保对言论自由的限制不被滥用,不致于超出保护国家安全、未成年人和公共秩序所必需的范围。强调程序保障的重要性,例如公众参与制定有关言论自由的限制条款、在实施此类限制时保持透明度、以及对此类限制进行独立核查。
  • 强调中国官员自己就在立法过程中提高透明度和公众参与而发出的呼吁。此类讨论可以作为更广泛的讨论的一项内容,而更广泛的讨论可以侧重于美中两国政府能够怎样合作,以确保互联网上的共同利益受到保护,包括保护未成年人、计算机安全和隐私权。
  • 承认中国政府为增加互联网和手机用户所作的努力,特别是在农村地区的努力,同时继续敦促官员们遵守国际准则。为有关技术研发提供支持,帮助中国公民获取和分享根据国际人权准则他们理应能够获取和分享的政治和宗教内容。就具体做法、中文工具和培训材料提供支持,帮助中国公民以确保其安全和隐私的方式获取和分享内容。
  • 在互联网上传播中文信息,特别要利用广受欢迎的中国社交网站,以帮助中国公民了解根据国际准则他们所应当享有的权利和自由。
  • 对中国官员把法律——包括模糊不清的妨害国家安全罪名——用作压制公民自由权利的工具,质疑此类做法是否符合‘‘法治’’精神。
  • 对骚扰外国记者的行为表示更严重的关切。过去一年里,一些外国记者遭受殴打或驱逐。据报道,当局一再推迟或拒绝批准某些记者的签证申请,对此亦应当表示关切。
工人权利

调查结果

  • 无论在法律中还是在实际操作层面,中国工人根据国际准则应当享有的全部权利——包括组织独立工会的权利——都没有得到保障。共产党领导下的官方工会中华全国总工会 (ACFTU)是中国唯一的合法工会组织。所有基层工会必须是中华全国总工会的附属。
  • 地方工会必须对党和政府保持忠诚,并不始终如一或一致地增进工人的权利。据报道,中华全国总工会的分会继续在劳工关系中优先强调‘‘和谐’’与‘‘稳定’’,牺牲了工人的权益。过去一年里,工会代表寻求尽快结束纠纷,有时并没有解决工人提出的问题。
  • 由于担心工人的行动对 ‘‘和谐’’与‘‘稳定’’产生的影响,官员们有时动员武力对付或拘留示威工人,并寻求制止工人示威。例如,在2011年10月,湖南省邵阳市的官员下令把煤矿工人赵足英行政拘留10天,此前, 赵足英和另外18名矿工曾聚集在邵阳市的一个公共广场,就一些劳工问题表达不满。据委员会记录,在以下地点发生的事件中官员曾动员武力对付示威工人:广东省东莞市、上海市、浙江省湖州市、四川省成都市。
  • 2012年1月,《企业劳动争议协商调解规定》(简称‘‘规定’’)生效,要求所有大中型企业设立负责调解工作场所争议的委员会。‘‘规定’’对个人权利提供了一些有限的保护,但并未解决中国工人组织独立工会的权利没有保障的问题,从而使政府、共产党和雇主在争议解决的过程中享有较大的发言权。
  • 流动工人依然是在工作场所特别容易遭受剥削的群体。过去一年里,流动工人继续面临拖欠工资、缺乏有效的投诉程序、资方虐待等问题。随着中国流动工人的数量不断增加,城市化程度提高,新一代流动工人更年轻、受教育程度更高、权利意识更强,一些地方政府采取了若干步骤帮助流动工人融入城市地区。
  • 2012年初,为了改善富士康工厂的工作条件,苹果公司和富士康同意采取一组措施,包括到2013年7月1日在工作时间方面全面执行中国法律。一些观察家认为,这些措施如果能够按照计划实施,可能促进中国的其他雇主为工人改善条件。目前对建议的措施之效果进行评估还为时过早,但设在香港的非政府组织大学师生监察无良企业行动(Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior)在2012年5月报告说富士康工厂中依然存在工作条件问题。
  • 中国工人,特别是煤矿工人,继续面临职业安全与健康风险。过去几年里,死亡人数稳步下降,但与此同时官方报告的矿工职业病发病率上升。有报道说,一些矿主和地方官员试图隐瞒矿井事故信息。2012年5月,国家安全生产监督管理总局和财政部发布了《安全生产举报奖励办法》,对敢于举报职业安全危险的人士颁发现金奖励并依法提供保护。2011年12月,《中华人民共和国职业病防治法》(下称《职业病防治法》)修正案生效。该修正案包含的条款可能帮助工人获得就与工作相关的疾病领取赔偿金所需要的证书,但工人在获得赔偿方面继续面临障碍,包括难以获得诊断和证明与雇主有雇佣关系,这些都是领取证书的必需步骤。
  • 关于中国使用童工的范围并不清楚了,部分原因是政府不发布童工数据,尽管美国政府、其他国家政府和国际组织一再提出要求。虽然存在一个解决该问题的国家级法律框架,执行方面的系统性问题削弱了这些法律措施的有效性。在本报告年度内,仍然有使用童工的报道。例如,2012年2月,据报道苏州当局在当地一家生产电子设备的工厂发现超过10名童工。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持推动改革中国劳工法律法规的项目,以反映国际公认的劳工准则。制定重点项目,不仅重视法律法规的起草和制定,而且对实施情况进行分析,按照国际公认的劳工准则在车间一级评估进展。
  • 在集体谈判取得成功的地方,与政府官员、工人和工会负责人进行对话;寻找宣传这些进展的途径;在集体谈判取得较少成功的地方,把这些进展告诉政府官员和工会。在有可能的地方,重点支持明显具有集体谈判能力的项目,即使工厂中并没有官方工会。
  • 表达对直接选举工会代表的支持。与政府官员和地方工会负责人进行对话,寻找机会宣传直接选举工会代表的成功经验。
  • 鼓励扩大美国集体谈判方面的人员与中国非政府组织中的劳工维权人士、律师协会、学术界和官方工会之间的交流。重点支持强调与从事实际工作的人员和培训教员进行面对面会谈的项目。
  • 鼓励对导致劳工法律法规实施不一致的因素进行研究。此类研究可包括编集和分析中国劳工纠纷诉讼和仲裁案例以及省级和省级以下的基层法院发布或接收的指导文件,并在此基础上出版中文案例汇编,供工人、仲裁人、法官、律师、雇主、工会负责人和中国的法学院使用。
  • 支持能力建设项目以加强维护工人权利的中国劳工和法律援助团体。鼓励地方上的中国官员与国内外劳工组织建立、保持和深化关系,邀请这些组织为中国提供更多培训项目。支持工人培训项目,帮助他们在工厂一级发现问题,掌握解决问题的能力,以便他们有效地向雇主表达自己的关切。
  • 适当时向中国官员介绍目前美国通过法律法规或非政府途径保护工人权利的经验和做法。增加实地考察和其他交流活动,帮助中国官员了解美国劳工维权组织、律师、美国劳工部(USDOL)及美国政府中负责劳工事务的各级监管部门的做法并与之交流想法。
  • 支持美国劳工部与中华人民共和国人力资源和社会保障部(MOHRSS)之间在下列问题上的交流:制定和实施最低工资标准;加强社会保障;改善就业统计;就改善工作场所安全和工人健康与中国国家安全生产监督管理总局(SAWS)进行对话与交流。支持美国劳工部2010年与中国启动的年度劳工对话及其建立安全对话的计划。支持美国劳工部与中国国家安监总局就工作场所安全与健康开展的技术合作项目,把对话内容从矿业生产扩大至总体职业安全与健康领域。支持通过政府与民间伙伴关系解决工作场所安全与健康问题的试点项目。
刑法

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度,中国政府官员承诺在控制犯罪和保护人之间取得平衡。3月,全国人民代表大会审议并通过了自从1996年以来对《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》(CPL,简称《刑诉法》)的第一次重大修订。2012年6月,国务院新闻办公室发布了新的《国家人权行动计划(2012-2015年)》。就公平、合法地对待刑事嫌疑人和被告而言,这些改革措施似乎包含了一些令人鼓舞的政策目标。
  • 执法部门在行使治安权力时采取的一些行动可能阻碍近期的改革,反映了[政府]继续侧重于‘‘维护社会稳定’’以及党的绝对控制高于一切。在2012报告年度中,地方当局的权力继续扩大,却没有建立问责机制,最终导致前政治局委员兼重庆市委书记薄熙来下台。据报道,薄熙来授权在重庆非法‘‘打黑’’,16位前党的官员谴责说,‘‘打黑’’只是一种‘‘幌子’’,其实质是折磨和迫害批评人士和维权人士。
  • 中国官员继续骚扰和恐吓作家、艺术家、互联网博客作者、律师、倡导改革者、以及维护自身权利或他人权利的普通公民。这些人士遭到各种形式的非法拘留,包括强迫失踪、关‘‘黑监狱’’和没有足够医学根据的情况下强迫入住精神病院。新修订的《刑诉法》第73条(新增条款)为执法部门滥用这些手段并使之合法化提供了便利。
  • 中国的被告在充分获取辩护方面继续面临障碍。虽然新修订的《刑诉法》有可能改善许多被拘押者获得法律帮助的机会,涉及‘‘危害国家安全’’和其他政治敏感罪名的人士依然面临障碍。另外,《中华人民共和国刑法》第306条规定,强迫或诱使证人改变证词或伪造证据的律师须承担刑事责任,妨碍了律师在刑事案件中进行有效的辩护。
  • 在以和平方式维护其合法权利的公民和被指控违反刑法的其他公民之间似乎存在双重标准。最近的改革承诺为后者提供保护,却把压制和虐待前者的行为合法化。在这种体制下,公民活动人士无法享有《世界人权宣言》和《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》以及《刑事诉讼法》和中国的《宪法》所保障的全部权利。
  • 在2012报告年度中出现了一些积极的变化。由于发生了一系列拘留中非正常死亡事件,政府颁布了新法规,禁止侮辱、体罚或虐待看守所、监狱和劳动教养设施中的人员,并规定在某些情况下违规者须承担刑事责任。另外,中国政府还采取步骤提高透明度,改进量刑审判的复审标准,包括对死刑案件的审判。有关处决的信息依然被视作国家机密,但政府披露,从死刑犯身上摘取的器官占中国器官移植总数的三分之二,包括肝、肾、心脏、肺和角膜。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 呼吁中国政府遵循国际人权准则确保刑事嫌疑人和被告的权利,并就批准《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》向国际社会提出具体的时间表,中国政府于1998年签署了该公约,但至今没有批准。
  • 明确表示国际社会赞赏中国政府在《国家人权行动计划(2012-2015年)》中对公平审批权利和被拘留者权利作出的承诺。请求中国政府提供把此等承诺正式变成法律法规的信息以及当局将采取哪些步骤确保其成功实施。支持促进此等努力的双边和多边合作与对话。
  • 鼓励中国政府履行通过修订《刑事诉讼法》作出的承诺,废除双重对待的做法,例如第73条对公民活动人士和所有其他公民的区别对待。向中国政府施加压力,要求立即释放因行使合法权利而被监禁或拘留的维权人士,遵守公正审判准则,在案件涉及容易被滥用的概念(如‘‘危害国际安全’’)时确保程序上的保护。
  • 向中国政府施加压力,要求采纳联合国禁止酷刑委员会的建议,调查和披露‘‘黑监狱’’及其他秘密拘留设施的情况,作为废除此类法外拘留的第一个步骤。促请中国政府邀请联合国任意拘留问题工作组访问中国。
  • 支持在中国省级执法部门和美国州级执法部门之间建立交流机制,以了解治安、取证、囚犯权利、以及中国正在进行的其他刑法改革。
宗教自由

调查结果

  • 在这个报告年度中,中国政府继续限制中国公民的宗教自由。中国的《宪法》保证‘‘宗教信仰自由’’,但把对宗教活动的保护局限于‘‘正常的宗教活动’’,此一概念的实施方式违反了有关宗教自由的国际人权保护准则。政府依然仅仅承认五种宗教——佛教、天主教、伊斯兰教、基督教和道教——并要求属于这些宗教的团体在政府登记。登记的团体就其宗教活动获得某些法律保护,但继续受到政府控制。无论是登记团体还是未登记团体的成员,只要被视作违反了国家的宗教规定,就可能受到骚扰、拘留和其他不公平对待。有些未登记的团体享有从事其宗教活动的空间,但这种有限的容忍并不等于官方承认其权利。当局还取缔了有些未登记团体的活动,并继续禁止另外一些宗教或信仰团体(包括法轮功)的存在。[有关新疆和西藏的宗教自由方面的调查结果和建议,请分别参阅新疆和西藏部分。]
  • 政府继续用法律控制中国的宗教活动,而不是保护全体中国公民的宗教自由,在这一报告年度中,政府继续修改或制定法规条例。与近年来制定的宗教法规一样,新近颁布的法规是对2005年开始实施的《宗教事务管理条例》(RRA)条款的扩充。近期的法规使《宗教事务管理条例》的现有条款趋于一致,但也加强了已经十分严格的控制。
  • 当局继续确保佛教教义和活动符合党和政府的目标。
  • 在遴选中国主教及从事其他信仰活动方面,当局继续拒绝赋予天主教会承认罗马教廷权威的自由。当局继续骚扰、拘留和监视一些未登记的神父和主教,并强迫一些主教参加罗马教廷视为不合教规的、由政府控制的教会活动。
  • 中国各地的地方政府继续禁止穆斯林在国家规定的范围之外从事宗教外展活动和布道活动。
  • 对基督教徒持续的骚扰和拘留、禁止业主向家庭教会出租房屋的压力、信息收集、以及宗教事务局官员与未登记团体增多的接触都显示出当局迫使家庭教会隶属于政府支持的‘‘三自爱国会’’的决心。
  • 当局继续控制道教活动,并敦促道教‘‘现代化’’。
  • 为了迫使法轮功修炼者放弃其信仰和活动,当局推行的为期三年的运动可能会延续。该运动是一场范围更广、已经延续了十多年的运动的一部分,后者则是一场广泛的、系统的、在某些情况下使用暴力的运动。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 呼吁中国政府遵循《世界人权宣言》第18条保证全体公民的宗教自由,拆除政府建立的仅仅承认某些宗教团体并给予有限保护的框架。向中国当局强调宗教自由包括从事宗教活动的权利以及保持宗教信仰的权利,说明中国对‘‘正常的宗教活动’’的有限保护不符合国际人权准则中保护宗教自由的定义。呼吁官员把保护宗教自由的措施变成在中国改善人权的实施计划。向中国政府强调宗教自由权利包括:佛教徒不受国家对宗教的控制在寺庙中从事活动的权利、藏传佛教徒公开表达对藏传佛教老师——包括达赖喇嘛——的尊重和忠诚的权利、天主教徒在任命主教及其他信仰活动中承认罗马教廷权威的权利、法轮功修炼者在中国自由修炼法轮功的权利、穆斯林在国家规定的范围之外从事宗教外展活动和布道活动而不受以‘‘维稳’’名义对国际上受保护的宗教自由进行限制的权利、基督教徒不受政府对教义的控制而自由礼拜和在未登记教会中礼拜、不受骚扰、拘留和其他虐待的权利、道教徒不受政府指导诠释其教义的权利。
  • 呼吁释放因追求宗教自由权利(包括持有和实践其精神信仰的权利)而被限制行动自由、拘留或监禁的中国公民。此类被监禁者包括:索郎拉措(Sonam Lhatso,音译)(藏传佛教尼姑,2009年被判处10年监禁,原因是她和另外一些尼姑举行抗议活动,呼吁西藏独立、祝达赖喇嘛长寿并返回西藏);苏志民(未登记天主教会的主教,于1996年被警察拘留后失踪);王志文(法轮功修炼者,因在1999年组织法轮功修炼者进行和平抗议被判处16年监禁);努尔泰•买买提(Nurtay Memet)(穆斯林,因从事与其宗教相关的‘‘迷信’’活动被判处5年监禁);范亚峰(法学专家、宗教自由倡导者和家庭教会领导人。就在一场广泛镇压维权人士的运动正在进行时,范挺身维护未登记基督教团体的权利而从2010年11月起被软禁在家中);以及本报告中提及和委员会政治犯数据库中的其他人士。
  • 呼吁当局允许中国律师自由地为有宗教信仰的公民代理法律事务,对法律、法规、裁决或官员、警察、检察官和法院针对宗教活动采取的行动之合法性提出质疑。
  • 呼吁政府官员们废除针对宗教和精神运动实施的刑事和行政处罚,这些手段一直被用于处罚行使宗教自由权利的中国公民。特别是要呼吁政府废除《中华人民共和国刑法》第300条(关于使用‘‘邪教’’妨碍国家法律实施的规定)和《中华人民共和国治安管理处罚法》第27条(对组织或煽动他人从事‘‘邪教’’活动或利用‘‘邪教’’或‘‘冒用宗教名义’’扰乱社会秩序或损害他人身体健康者处以拘留或罚款)。
  • 促进法律交流活动,安排中国专家访问美国和美国专家访问中国,以增进对国际人权准则的了解,保护宗教自由,包括有宗教信仰的公民、团体和基于宗教信仰的慈善机构的权利。支持非政府组织在中国收集有关宗教自由状况的信息,帮助中国公民了解如何捍卫其宗教自由权利,防止政府滥用职权。支持有关组织帮助因行使宗教自由权利而被判处监禁或劳教的人士提出上诉;对政府没收财产的做法提出争议;并且对与宗教信仰相关的就业歧视提出争议。
少数民族权利

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度中,中国的少数民族在维护中国法律和国际法规定的权利时继续面临独特的挑战。《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》规定,一个国家中的少数民族及宗教和语言方面的少数群体 ‘‘不得否认这种少数人同他们的集团中的其他成员共同享有自己的文化、信奉和实行自己的宗教或使用自己的语言的权利’’。《中华人民共和国民族区域自治法》为少数民族的权利提供了某些保护,建立了在指定地区实行区域自治的制度。但是,对政府政策内容及实施方式的限制妨碍了少数民族按照国际准则充分享有其权利和实行实质性自治。
  • 在当局认为其权威受到最大威胁的地区——包括西藏自治区和藏族自治的其他地区、新疆维吾尔自治区和内蒙古自治区——政府控制最为严厉。[请参见有关新疆和西藏的调查结果和建议。]政府当局继续拘留和法外拘留试图促进自身权利或被视为挑战国家权力的蒙古族人士。
  • 一批重要的政府官员和学者更加热烈地讨论在少数民族地区减少民族自治和促进同化政策的建议。一份共产党刊物中的一篇文章以及国家民族事务委员会主办的网站上的评论都探讨了在中华人民共和国各地统一实施政策和放弃少数民族政策的建议。
  • 中国政府继续实施自上而下的发展政策,此类政策在经济上带来了某些改善,但削弱了区域自治,限制了少数民族保持其独特文化、语言和谋生方式的权利。政府继续实施已经长期奉行的草原政策,禁止放牧,并要求牧民从草原上迁移至其他地方,放弃游牧生活方式。这些政策的实施影响到蒙古族人、藏人、哈萨克人和中国的其他一些少数民族。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持法治项目和提高意识的交流项目,帮助中国领导人了解不同的治理模式,根据中国法律和国际人权准则保护少数民族权利,使他们以具有实质意义的方式实行自治。
  • 支持在中国促进经济发展模式的项目,包括允许少数民族社区参与决策。呼吁中国政府审查现有草原政策在治理环境退化方面的有效性,采取步骤确保牧民权利也受到保护。
  • 支持为中国少数民族改善人权状况的非政府组织,使它们能够继续进行研究,并制定项目帮助少数民族增强其维护自身权利的能力。鼓励此类组织制定下列项目:通过鼓励少数民族社区参与决策而促进经济发展的培训项目;保护少数民族语言、文化和谋生方式的项目;在内蒙古自治区、新疆维吾尔自治区、西藏自治区及其他少数民族地区记录违反人权事件并从事有关研究的项目。
  • 鼓励在中国运作的人权和法治项目在其活动中帮助解决对中国少数民族有影响的问题。
  • 呼吁中国政府释放因维护少数民族权利而被拘留、监禁或以其他方式关押的人士,包括蒙古族维权人士哈达(Hada)(他的15年刑期在2010年12月届满,但在并无明显法律根据的情况下继续被关押)以及本报告中提及和委员会政治犯数据库中的其他人士。
计划生育

调查结果

  • 中国政府官员继续实施干涉和控制其公民——特别是妇女——生殖活动的计划生育政策。官员们采用罚款、取消政府福利和许可证、威胁赶出或拆除住宅、强制节育、强制流产、任意拘留等各种方法处罚违反政策的人。
  • 委员会在2012报告年度注意到,地方政府继续执行针对流动人口的计划生育政策和措施。
  • 《中华人民共和国人口与计划生育法》不符合1995年《北京宣言》和1994年开罗国际人口与发展会议《行动纲领》的准则。强加给中国妇女及其家庭的控制以及该制度所带来的其他滥用职权行为——从强制堕胎到针对‘‘计划外’’儿童的歧视性政策——也违反了《儿童权利公约》和《经济、社会、文化权利国际公约》的准则。中国是这些条约的缔约国,理应遵守其条款。
  • 中国法律禁止官员在执行计划生育政策时侵犯公民的权利和利益,但并没有定义什么是公民的权利和利益。中国法律对要求或实施强制堕胎的官员并无处罚规定。在中国的31个省级行政区中,至少有18个颁布了明确支持把强制堕胎(经常称为‘‘补救措施’’)作为官方政策工具的计划生育条例。
  • 在本报告年度内,中国官员有限地放宽了地方上的计划生育政策,但继续排除近期对全国性计划生育政策进行重大改革甚至废除的可能性。在这一年里,有更多公民呼吁进行计划生育政策改革。
  • 中国政府的计划生育政策继续使中国面临的人口挑战加剧,这包括人口老龄化、劳动力减少、性别比例失调等。
  • 陈光诚是一位自学成才的法律维权人士,他在2005年公开了计划生育领域中存在的迫害行为后一直受到官方的骚扰和虐待。他于2012年4月从非法软禁中逃脱,并于5月和家人一道抵达美国。陈对中国政府未能调查官员对其本人及其家人的迫害表示沮丧,并对留在山东的家人继续遭受严厉的对待感到关切。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 敦促中国政府官员停止以强制方式执行计划生育政策,并敦促中国政府废除强制性的计划生育手段,采用基于人权的方式,在生育和隐私权方面为全体公民特别是妇女提供更大的自由。
  • 敦促中国官员重新评估《中华人民共和国人口与计划生育法》,使之符合1995年《北京宣言》和1994年开罗国际人口与发展会议《行动纲领》阐明的国际准则以及《儿童权利公约》和《经济、社会、文化权利国际公约》。
  • 敦促中国的中央和地方政府强有力地执行中国法律中的有关条款,对在实施计划生育政策过程中侵犯公民权利的官员和个人予以处罚,并明确界定此等权利的范围。敦促中国政府针对官员和一些个人的强制堕胎和强制节育等违反人权的行为——此类行为在中国继续发生——制定具体的处罚措施,包括追究刑事责任和罚款。敦促中国政府禁止以物质、金钱及晋升为奖励机制驱使官员们在实施计划生育政策时采用强制或非法手段。
  • 支持制定法律援助和培训项目,加强国际合作,帮助公民就官员们在实施计划生育政策过程中的违反人权行为所造成的伤害根据《中华人民共和国国家赔偿法》向政府寻求赔偿和其他补偿。
  • 敦促中国政府停止对与陈光诚有关联的人士的各种形式的报复,彻底调查在官员纵容下对其本人及其家人的迫害。
居住和迁徙自由

调查结果

  • 中国政府实行的户口制度继续限制中国公民自由选择永久居住地的权利,妨碍了公民接受社会福利。户口规定把居民身份作为享有合法权利和接受社会福利的前提,导致对前来城市寻求就业机会的农村人口的歧视。此类规定的歧视性后果在教育领域中特别明显。
  • 中国当局继续放宽某些户口限制,这与此前采取的一些做法一致。此类改革措施的关键内容在于允许符合某些标准的农村人口把户口转至城市。尽管有这些放宽户口标准的有限努力,大部分改革措施依然把大多数流动人口排除在外。
  • 中国政府颁布了户口改革的新指南,这些指南反映了逐步地、有控制地进行户口改革的做法。一些值得一提的改革措施包括禁止以城市户口为交换强行征用农村人口的土地和禁止未来的政策把户口用作接受社会福利的先决条件。不过,中国学者和媒体批评这些措施不够具体和存在局限性,因此有人质疑它们最终是否能够产生效果。
  • 中国政府继续对公民的行动自由施加限制,这些限制不符合《世界人权宣言》和《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》。在委员会的2012报告年度中,中国当局继续任意阻碍维权人士、社会活动家和批评人士离开中国。
  • 中国政府还继续对公民在中国境内的行动自由施加限制,以惩罚和控制维权人士、社会活动家和批评人士。这些限制显然违反了国际法标准,在政治敏感期间特别严厉。当局采用多种手段,包括部署便衣警察或雇用其他人监视维权人士的住宅,强迫他们与安全人员‘‘喝茶’’,把他们从家中转移至不明地点或监禁。
  • 在本报告期内,中国当局使用了特别具有强制性的方法恐吓和控制维权人士的家属和支持者。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持与中国决策者以及从事流动工人研究和外展的学术机构相关的项目、组织和交流 ,以促进为流动工人提供法律援助的项目,鼓励有关户口制度的政策辩论。
  • 鼓励美国学术和公共政策机构向委员会咨询,探讨如何接触参加户口制度改革政策辩论的中国学术界人士和公共政策人物。
  • 向中国政府官员强调在行动自由方面不符合国际协议将导致外界对中国政府在总体上执行国际准则的承诺失去信心。
  • 呼吁中国政府修订《中华人民共和国出境入境管理法》和《中华人民共和国护照法》,分别澄清第12(5) 款和第13(7) 款中危害国家安全或对国家利益造成损失的定义和范围。
  • 特别提出中国当局对维权人士、社会活动家和批评人士的行动自由的限制,此类人士包括诺贝尔和平奖获得者刘晓波的妻子刘霞、维护房产权利人士和律师倪玉兰的女儿董璇、以及自学成才的法律维权人士陈光诚的家人和支持者。
妇女的状况

调查结果

  • 中国官员继续推动执行旨在保护妇女权利的现有法律,包括经修订的《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》和经修订的《中华人民共和国婚姻法》;但是,中央政府立法中的模糊之处和缺少明确界定的责任限制了在保护妇女权利方面取得的进展。
  • 通过其国内法律和政策以及批准《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》(CEDAW),中国政府承诺确保妇女在政府中的代表性。在2012报告年度中,妇女在各级政府中的任职比例似乎没有重大进展。
  • 2011年8月,最高人民法院发布了对《中华人民共和国婚姻法》的新解释,有人认为,该文件未能保护妇女拥有财产的权利。
  • 2012年6月,深圳市第五届人民代表大会常务委员会通过了《深圳经济特区性别平等促进条例》,这是中国第一部以性别平等为主要内容的法规。
  • 根据《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》,中国承诺采取‘‘一切适当措施,消除在就业方面对妇女的歧视’’。虽然中国的现有法律——例如《中华人民共和国劳动法》、 经修订的《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》和《中华人民共和国就业促进法》——禁止性别歧视,妇女在聘用、晋升、工资和退休等方面继续遭受普遍的歧视。
  • 经修订的《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》(LPWRI)和经修订的《中华人民共和国婚姻法》禁止家庭暴力。被指控犯有家庭暴力罪的人应当依据《中华人民共和国刑法》予以处罚。然而,由于这些国家及法律条款没有给出家庭暴力的定义或阐明政府部门在预防、处罚和处理方面的具体责任,致使许多遭受家庭暴力的人没有受到保护。据报道,家庭暴力依然普遍存在,受害者包括男人、妇女和儿童。中国经修订的《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》还禁止性骚扰,并为受害者提供了寻求救助的途径。但是,该法律没有明确定义性骚扰,也没有就预防和处罚提出具体标准和程序,使受害者在保护自身权利时面临困难。调研表明,性骚扰现象在中国依然十分普遍。
  • 在性别比例失调方面,近年来发布的统计数字和研究分析结果显示,基于性别选择的堕胎依然普遍,特别是在农村地区,尽管政府努力通过立法和政策加以阻止。一些观察人士——包括中国的国营新闻媒体——认为中国的性别比例失调与强迫卖淫、强迫婚姻及其他形式的人口拐卖活动增加有关。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 通过美中交流活动和国际会议支持中国加强妇女领导力培训的项目。支持促进妇女土地所有权——特别是在农村地区——的交流和法律项目,敦促高层政府部门对村委会加强监督,确保地方上的规则和规定符合国家法律和政策,并确保妇女权益受到充分保护。
  • 敦促中国政府采取步骤忠实地实施《中华人民共和国劳动法》、经修订的《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》和《中华人民共和国就业促进法》中禁止性别歧视的条款。敦促中国官员重点解决聘用、晋升、工资和退休等方面的性别歧视问题。支持帮助妇女了解在工作场所中如何保护和争取其自身权益的培训项目。
  • 敦促中国政府落实其申明的计划,在国家一级制定全面的法律,明确界定家庭暴力,规定政府和公民社会组织在消除该现象方面所承担的责任,阐明对施暴者的处罚。敦促官员们把此类立法的草案交与公众评议。敦促中国政府进一步修订 《中华人民共和国妇女权益保障法》或在国家一级制定新的内容全面的法律,明确界定性骚扰,并阐明预防和处罚方面的具体标准和程序。支持帮助司法和执法人员深入了解家庭暴力和性骚扰问题的培训项目。
人口拐卖

调查结果

  • 在人口拐卖方面(包括男人、妇女和儿童),中国依然是一个来源地、中转地和目的地。大部分人口拐卖案件属于国内拐卖,其目的是性剥削、强迫劳动和强迫婚姻。关于中国的强迫劳动现象的普遍性并不明了。
  • 中国政府在2009年12月加入了《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约关于预防、禁止和惩治贩运人口特别是妇女和儿童行为的补充议定书》(UN TIP Protocol) ,但是,中国国内的立法仍然未能完全符合该议定书。
  • 由于中国法律把人口偷渡、非法收养和拐骗儿童与人口拐卖归为同一范畴,在本报告年度内没有关于中国政府调查和起诉的人口拐卖案件的准确官方统计数字。中国当局与非政府组织及国际组织合作,采取了有限的步骤改善预防措施以及为人口拐卖受害者提供的服务和照顾,但依然侧重于关注妇女和儿童。
  • 对于人口拐卖的外国受害者,中国政府在法律上并没有就递解出境提供替代措施,并继续以‘‘经济移民’’的名义驱逐北韩难民,而不考虑他们是否是人口拐卖的受害者。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 敦促中国政府遵守其基于《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约关于预防、禁止和惩治贩运人口特别是妇女和儿童行为的补充议定书》作出的承诺;使反人口拐卖法律与国际准则一致。特别要敦促中国政府从法律上把人口偷渡、非法收养和拐骗儿童与人口拐卖区别开来,并扩大人口拐卖的现有定义,以包括各种形式的拐卖,包括对成年男性受害者的犯罪、某些形式的非暴力强迫、以及出于商业目的迫使儿童卖淫。
  • 呼吁中国政府为人口拐卖受害者提供更多保护服务。支持扩大为执法人员和庇护所管理者提供的培训项目,以提高意识,改进识别、保护、协助拐卖受害者的程序。支持既帮助人口拐卖的外国受害者又帮助中国受害者的法律援助项目。
  • 反对继续以‘‘经济移民’’的名义驱逐北韩的人口拐卖受害者。敦促中国政府履行1951年《关于难民地位的公约》和根据该公约制定的1967年关于北韩人口拐卖受害者的《议定书》,从法律上提供遣返的替代措施。
在中国的北韩难民

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度中,尽管朝鲜民主主义人民共和国(DPRK)的人道主义危机和政治上的不稳定引起更大的关切,中国中央和地方当局继续执行把所有在中国的北韩难民归类为‘‘非法’’经济移民并予以强迫遣返的政策。
  • 中国政府继续拒绝让联合国难民事务高级专员(UNHCR)前往中国与北韩的边界地区和看望在中国东北的北韩难民。由于无法接触寻求在中国避难的北韩人,难民办事处和人权组织难以就北韩难民及事实上无国籍人士的数目得到准确的信息,亦无法了解北韩人出逃的原因以及北韩难民对强迫遣返的担忧。
  • 在中国的北韩妇女继续被拐卖,遭受强迫婚姻和出于商业目的的性剥削。中国政府遣返被拐卖的北韩妇女的做法违反了1951年《关于难民地位的公约》(简称《1951年公约》)和根据该公约制定的1967年《难民地位的议定书》(简称《议定书》)以及《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约关于预防、禁止和惩治贩运人口特别是妇女和儿童行为的补充议定书》(UN TIP Protocol)第7条。中国政府未能采取有效措施防止北韩妇女被拐卖,亦未能为北韩人口拐卖受害者提供保护,违反了《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约关于预防、禁止和惩治贩运人口特别是妇女和儿童行为的补充议定书》第9条和《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》(CEDAW)第6条规定的义务。
  • 在本报告年度内,中国当局以强制拘留、酷刑、驱逐等手段对待试图帮助在中国的北韩难民的人士,包括外国援助人员和参与人权组织工作的人员。
  • 在临近北韩的边界地区,地方当局继续拒绝给与中国公民结婚的北韩妇女生育的子女登记户口。由于没有户口,这些孩子们生活在一个没有国籍的两难境地中,不能上学或享受其他社会福利。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持联合国难民事务高级专员办事处(UNHCR)的努力,以便办事处人员及其实施伙伴在不受阻碍的情况下接触在中国的北韩难民以及事实上无国籍的人口,首先是在中国出生的父母一方为北韩人的儿童。鼓励中国政府与联合国难民事务高级专员办事处合作,制定和实施全国性的避难法律,以履行中国根据《1951年公约》及其《议定书》所承担的义务。敦促中国政府立即停止拘留和遣返在中国的北韩人。
  • 敦促中国的中央和地方政府官员履行《联合国打击跨国有组织犯罪公约关于预防、禁止和惩治贩运人口特别是妇女和儿童行为的补充议定书》第9条和《消除对妇女一切形式歧视公约》第6条规定的义务,起诉中国东北以及靠近朝鲜民主主义人民共和国边界地区的人贩子。
  • 敦促中国官员为与中国公民结婚的北韩人提供居民身份和有关社会福利,并为其子女提供同样的身份和福利。特别要敦促中国地方政府官员允许这些孩子们按照《中华人民共和国国籍法》(第4条)和《中华人民共和国义务教育法》(第5条)接受教育。敦促中国政府为更多北韩难民提供庇护所和安全的中转途径,直至他们抵达第三国。
  • 支持美国政府机构与中国安全官员围绕人口拐卖、避难审批、移民和边境管制等议题进行交流。
公共卫生

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度中,公共卫生领域的倡导者继续面临政府骚扰,其倡导工作受到干预。中央政府在1998年和2009年对非政府组织(NGO)登记和捐款所规定的限制依然有效,据报道被用于监视、控制和限制非政府组织的活动。在委员会的2012报告年度中,为残疾人提供住房与服务的非政府组织北京慧灵在寻求登记时继续面临障碍,可能影响到其运作。
  • 中国政府的国内立法明文禁止在就业方面进行歧视,作为《经济、社会、文化权利国际公约》的缔约国,中国政府承诺消除就业和教育领域中对残疾人或传染病患者的歧视。就业和教育领域中基于健康状况的歧视屡见不鲜,那些寻求法律救济的人士面临障碍。一些报道显示,基于艾滋病毒携带者的歧视依然妨碍许多人获得有效的医疗服务。
  • 2011年10月和2012年8月,中国政府审议了第一部国家《精神卫生法》修订草案。如果能够落实,草案包含的某些修订条款可能进一步限制官员们通过强迫收住精神病院压制或惩罚异议人士的滥用职权行为。尽管有此类改进的可能,人们对修订草案是否能够符合中国已经签署并批准的联合国《残疾人权利国际公约》继续感到关切。
  • 2012年3月,一位中国高级卫生官员宣布了在未来三至五年‘‘取消’’从死囚身上摘取器官的做法。这一宣布反映了近年来政府就人体器官移植颁布的法规不断增加,据今年的报道已经发生无数起非法移植器官的案件。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 呼吁中国政府停止压制公共卫生倡导者,为与中国非政府组织合作解决公共卫生问题的美国组织提供更多支持。
  • 敦促中国官员重视有效实施《中华人民共和国就业促进法》及相关条例,禁止在就业、教育和医疗保健领域歧视艾滋病患者/艾滋病毒携带者、乙肝病毒携带者、以及患有其他疾病或残障的人士。支持中国非政府组织在某些有健康和医疗需求的人口中提高权利意识的项目。
  • 敦促中国政府消除一些个人和非政府组织对最新《精神卫生法》草案表达的关切。敦促中国官员及时通过《精神卫生法》,并确保该法律在不同地区得到一致的实施。
  • 敦促中国政府弥补2007年《人体器官移植条例》中的漏洞,目前有人利用这些漏洞进行非法器官贩卖。敦促中国官员采取果断措施实现政府已经申明的目标,在未来三至五年‘‘取消’’从死囚身上摘取器官的做法。
环境

调查结果

  • 尽管取得了一些进展,但污染问题依然很严重,特别是在农村地区,污染造成的经济代价不断增大。除迁移污染工业外,污染事件和因环境问题引发的抗议依然构成长期挑战。当局继续通过完善一个监管框架来解决这些环境问题,不过有些努力似乎遭遇重大阻力。当局发布了《环境保护法》(EPL)修订草案,请求公众评议。草案包含一些鼓励提高透明度和增强政府机构问责性的机制,但没有包含较早文本中有关更加有力地支持公众参与的语言。就公众参与环境影响评估制定行政指南的工作似乎没有进展。在一项具有积极意义的进展中,《中华人民共和国刑法》2011年修正本扩大了环境刑事犯罪定义的范围。在该领域中实行法治仍然面临重大挑战,包括执法不力以及不遵守环境法律法规的行为。
  • 尽管在公共利益法律方面可能取得进展,但通过正式途径寻求法律救济依然困难重重。2011年10月,云南省的一个环保审判庭受理了一项环境公共利益诉讼,该诉讼由非政府组织和一个地方环保局联合提出。但是,普通公民在提出环境诉讼方面继续面临障碍,包括法官不愿意受理此类案件。
  • 在本报告年度内,当局还继续骚扰并在某些情况下拘留环保人士,包括刘福堂、吴立红和张长建。2012年2月,四川省当局拘留了道孚县环境保护协会的三位环保人士。另外,在许多案例中,公民由于投诉环境污染问题而受到官员的报复。
  • 污染引发的抗议正在增加,常常被公民用作寻求公正或减轻环境危害的最后手段。据报道,官方和学术界报告说,抗议次数的年度增幅在20-30%,但学术界的报告说实际数目被保密。在某些案例中,抗议者造成破坏,当局殴打、拘留抗议者,甚至把抗议者判刑。
  • 一些地方当局采取步骤在某些方面提高环境信息透明度,但在另外一些地方鲜有进展。有一份报告突出表明,透明度较高的东部沿海地区和西部及中部地区的信息公开差距日益增大。一些媒体报道凸显了环境事故不透明现象。另外,中央政府官员正在修订一条法规,如果当前的修订本获得通过,该法规将能够加强政府对环境质量监测与报告的严格控制。但是,在本报告年度内,中央政府的环境部门制定了逐步提高空气质量信息透明度的措施。另外,公民在索取环境数据方面也更加积极主动,不过在获取信息方面依然存在障碍。
  • 在本报告年度内,国务院发布了《‘‘十二五’’控制温室气体排放工作方案》和一份气候变化白皮书,阐明了减轻和应对气候变化的多项行动和计划。中国领导人承诺提高数据的可靠性和透明度,包括能耗和气候变化数据以及与国际温室气体减排项目相关的基线数据。然而,有报告详细描述了这方面的挑战。
  • 据报道,某些水力发电大坝项目继续强制居民迁移,并存在任意拘留现象。另据报道,在当局为了治理草原退化和实现畜牧业现代化的项目中也曾出现强制牧民迁移的情况。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 呼吁中国政府停止惩罚从事草根环保活动的公民或利用官方和正式渠道就环境问题提出投诉或寻求保护自身权利的公民。支持中国团体和在中国的美国团体提高公民环境权利意识的努力以及促进对此类权利加以保护的努力。把环境法律问题纳入中美人权对话和中美法律专家对话。
  • 支持就环境法规的执行和实施工具进行多边交流,此类工具包括环境保险、市场机制、对严重违反环境法律者追究刑事责任、公共利益诉讼机制等。鼓励中国领导人加强环境影响评估程序以及公民对此类程序的参与。与寻求为污染受害者制定公平赔偿制度的中国官员和其他人士接触。
  • 支持在中国继续扩大环境信息公开范围。介绍美国政府通过‘‘有毒物质排放清单项目’’(Toxics Release Inventory Program)和其他旨在提高环境透明度的项目所积累的经验。支持帮助中国公民了解中国的政府信息公开系统的项目。另外,继续美国政府与有关个人和组织的接触,帮助中国增强能力,改进战略与方法,可靠地测量、报告、发布、核查减排信息。
  • 鼓励中国环保领域非政府组织的发展,包括在双边项目中鼓励美中两国的非政府组织共同参与。支持加强中国环保领域非政府组织技术和运作能力的努力。
  • 敦促中国当局终止强迫牧民迁移的做法,根据国际科学与人权规范执行迁移项目。在这方面,敦促当局考虑下列文件中提出的建议:《2012年食物权问题特别报告员提交的报告》;《向联合国人权事务高级专员办事处提交的有关对中国访问的报告,增编》。
公民社会

调查结果

  • 中国公民社会组织的数目继续增加,它们从事有价值的教育、社会服务和专题倡导工作。但是,由于政府监管方面的制约,独立公民社会的发展受到限制。官方政策旨在控制公民社会的发展,促进中国政府和共产党的目标的组织获准扩大,但须受政府的控制;寻求更独立的运作的团体则被边缘化。
  • 政府广泛限制公民成立组织的能力违反了《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》第22条保证的结社自由权利,而中国已经签署该公约,并宣布有意批准。
  • 中国法律承认三大类公民社会组织—— 社会团体(SOs)、民办非企业组织(NGNCE)、基金会。这些组织必须有获得政府批准的业务主管单位,并在民政部或省或地方民政局登记。政府严格限制同一领域中的组织数目,对人员和资金也有最低要求。登记后,一个组织每年还须通过政府审查,并受到主管单位监督。未经登记而试图独立从事活动的组织则被视为非法组织。国家外汇管理局2009年发布的一份通知对外国资金的申报和兑换作了限制,当局对外来资金资助的组织继续持怀疑态度。
  • 中国官员、学者、政府控制的媒体以及非政府组织领导人继续批评当前的体制。他们指出,许多组织由于找不到业务主管单位而无法登记,而获准登记的组织增加的速度太慢。未登记组织和作为商业实体登记的组织不享受某些税收优惠,不得承包政府项目,不能通过合法途径募集捐款,并随时面临被关闭的风险。官方打击未登记组织的运动依然持续。
  • 过去一年里,在政府和党认为具有政治敏感性的问题上从事倡导活动的非政府组织继续受到骚扰。据报道,从2012年上半年开始,在广东省的制造业基地展开了对为工人代言的非政府组织的镇压,并在整个夏季持续进行。
  • 中国官员继续寻求在地方上和省一级简化登记程序,但没有从根本上改变政府在审批和监督所有组织方面承担的角色。过去一年里,委员会注意到在深圳经济特区及云南和广东省出现了此类发展。在国家一级,据说此类建议被搁置。2012年7月,民政部颁布了基金会管理条例,以增进慈善捐款的透明度和问责性。
  • 据报道,民政部说非政府政治组织和人权组织在登记管理上与其他组织享有平等待遇,但重申在总体上政府有权决定谁有资格成立组织。政府和党还发布了一份意见书,对宗教界参与公众服务进行‘‘鼓励和规范’’,包括要求在成立慈善机构方面给予宗教组织‘‘平等对待。’’但是,该意见书强调必须符合党在宗教方面的基本政策。
  • 全国人民代表大会常务委员会2012年8月通过了《民事诉讼法》修订本,根据该修订本,法律定义的‘‘有关组织’’有权为维护公共利益向法院提出诉讼,这包括有关环境保护和消费者权益的问题。目前尚不明了这一总体规定在何种程度上包括非政府组织。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 请中国官员就地方政府最近在下列方面推行的改革措施提供最新信息:非政府组织登记、非政府组织通过国内基金会获得的资金和通过政府机构的采购服务获得的支持、非政府组织在公共利益诉讼方面的作用、以及涉及公民事务的其他信息。鼓励这些官员扩大改革范围,放宽对非政府组织的限制,并通过制定全国性法律法规把这些做法向中国其他地方推广。
  • 促请中国政府不要通过不一致或限制性执法的手段威吓被视为从事敏感工作的团体。请中国政府重新审议国家外汇管理局最近颁布的有关海外向中国组织捐款的通知。强调非政府组织(无论是国内组织还是国际组织)是公民表达不满和寻求救助的渠道,有助于维护社会稳定。反之,指出对公民社会组织更严格的控制可能失去一个可能很有益处的社会‘‘安全阀’’,从而导致不稳定来源增加。与中国官员讨论时,提及清华大学的一份报告,该报告说,尽管政府增加了公共安全支出并加强了对公民社会的控制,社会冲突的发生频率依然在上升。
  • 采取措施促进作为非政府组织成员的中国公民参加有关国际会议和论坛,支持在美国提供培训机会,帮助他们增强在非营利组织管理、公共政策、公共利益法律维权、战略规划、媒体关系等方面的领导能力。
民主治理机构

调查结果

  • 在2012报告年度里,共产党继续通过由党委会和党支部组成的网络控制政治事务,这些党的组织存在于各级政府、立法和司法机关、以及企业、大型社会团体(包括工会)、军队和大部分居民社区。党的官员加强了扩大党组织的努力,重点在大学、非国有企业、社会组织和军队中进行党的建设和鼓励效忠党的活动。
  • 中国的政治体制不符合《公民权利和政治权利国际公约》第25条定义的准则,虽然中国领导人已经签署该公约并宣称有意批准。中国的政治体制亦不符合《世界人权宣言》所陈述的准则。在本报告年度内,至少有一位中央领导公开谈论‘‘政治体制改革’’。但是,其谈话缺乏细节,并且任何建议的改革措施仍然是在一党控制的框架内。地方政府采取的措施旨在增进官僚机构的效率和加强公众对党的信任。
  • 对于依照中国宪法和国际人权准则行使集会、言论、示威、结社自由权利的民主人士,当局继续予以拘留和逮捕,并判处徒刑。在本报告年度内,当局对此类人士的量刑特别严厉,被判刑的人士包括、陈卫、陈西、李铁、朱虞夫和薛明凯。过去四年里被判处长期监禁的其他民主人士仍然身系囹圄,其中包括刘晓波、刘贤斌、郭泉、周永军、谢长发和黄成城。
  • 党继续以‘‘社会管理’’和维持‘‘社会稳定’’的名义通过各级机构进一步深入公民的社会生活,以加强党的合法性及对政治领域的控制。党和政府领导人计划在党的领导下建立由政府、社会组织和公众参与的‘‘社会管理体制’’。群众组织、居民委员会、工作人员、学生和普通公民将协助完成社会管理任务,包括监视公民。
  • 在本报告年度内,乡镇和县两级继续举行地方人民代表大会代表的选举。党的领导机构通过派往基层的督查组影响选举,这些督查组承担控制和监督任务。在有些地方,督查组采取行动‘‘优化’’候选人名单。官员们还采取其他多种措施干预地方人大选举,防止独立候选人被提名或当选为代表。
  • ‘‘村委会’’选举在中国已经普及;但是,实施过程依然存在问题。持续发生的问题包括贿选、一人投多张票、取消选举、乡镇官员干预、缺乏透明度、上层官员‘‘优化’’村委会的人员组合。
  • 据报道,中央领导机构鼓励加强政府信息公开(OGI)程序和政策,并澄清了信息公开的条件。主动公开信息的情况依然少见。公民继续积极主动地索取公开政府信息。然而,公民在获取信息和就违反公开政府信息的做法向法院提起诉讼方面依然面临挑战。
  • 中央和省级领导机构鼓励增强政府问责性的政策。但是,缺乏问责的问题依然存在。一家官方媒体在2011年10月报道说,在某些地区,基层领导实行‘‘选择性治理’’的现象很普遍。王立军、薄熙来和谷开来的案件反映了政府机构缺乏问责、滥用职权和不透明等问题。
  • 据报道,腐败现象依然很普遍,中国当局采取了监管步骤以解决这个问题。国有企业和事业单位的腐败增加。为举报者提供的保护依然不足,当局仍旧不允许政府之外的其他方介入反腐败的措施。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持旨在揭示中国共产党结构、功能和发展的美国研究项目,包括对党在政府机构内部、非国有企业和社会组织中的作用进行研究的项目。敦促中国官员进一步提高党的事务的透明度。支持美国公民进行的旨在理解中国向‘‘社会管理’’转移的研究。询问最近党政官员小组‘‘下农村’’的运动。
  • 呼吁中国政府释放因行使公民权利要求在中国实行政治改革而被拘留或监禁的人士以及本报告中提到和收录于委员会政治犯数据库中的其他良心犯,包括陈卫、陈西、李铁、朱虞夫、薛明凯、周永军、刘晓波、刘贤斌、郭泉、谢长发和黄成城。
  • 支持美国国会与全国人民代表大会及中国人民政治协商会议成员之间的实质性交流,特别侧重于国会的监督职能以及回应公民要求的职能。支持美国公民进行的关于中国基层政治和社会发展的研究。增设中国各地的领事馆,以增进对中国的理解。
  • 支持美国或中国团体进行的有关中国村委会和地方人大选举的研究,并为从事下列活动的项目提供支持:扩大国内选举监督系统、培训中国国内选举监督人员、美中联合开展的选举监督活动。
  • 支持寻求与中国地方政府合作提高透明度和问责性的美国或中国组织,特别侧重于扩大和改进中国政府公开信息计划的努力。此类项目可能包括在地方上更好地宣传《政府信息公开条例》的联合行动以及为公民和团体提供的有关索取公开政府信息的培训。
  • 支持协助地方政府、学术界和非营利组织增加透明和公开的听证会及公民参与决策程序渠道的项目。此类项目可能包括在中国进行的一些试点,把公民就法律、法规或政策草案对当局提出的建议向公众公开。
商业领域的法治

调查结果

  • 2011年12月11日是中国加入世贸组织(WTO)十周年。中国加入世界贸易组织的支持者们曾经希望中国获得该组织的成员资格会在中国带来变革,因为当时中国似乎正在发展市场经济。但是,中国政府违反了世贸组织规则,并且‘‘利用了该系统’’。在过去五年中,中国政府发展了与世贸组织不一致的国家资本主义体系,并且加强了国家对经济的干预。
  • 自从加入世贸组织以来,中国曾涉及数起世贸组织案件。2012年3月,美国经与欧盟和日本协调在一个限制稀土、钨和钼出口的案件中要求与中国谘商,7月,世贸组织成立了一个专家小组处理这起争议。美国还在另外两个有关汽车工业的案件中向世贸组织投诉。第一个案件于七月提出,质疑中国向某些来自美国的汽车征收反倾销税和反补贴税。2012年9月,美国在第二个案件中要求谘商,质疑中国为汽车和汽车配件制造商提供某些出口补贴。
  • 据报道,中国政府恐吓某些对中国未能遵守世贸组织规则表示关切的外国公司,威胁说‘‘如果外国公司批评有争议的中国政策或被认为与其本国政府合作对此等政策提出质疑,就拒绝给它们颁发必要的许可或对它们采取其他报复措施’’。这使得其他世贸组织成员难以在该组织对中国进行投诉。
  • 进入中国的外商投资必须经过政府审批,以确保符合中国的经济增长政策。2012年,中国政府修改了外商投资产业指导目录,列出了鼓励、限制或禁止投资的产业。允许对未列出的产业进行投资。中国当局于1995年首次发布外商投资产业指导目录,此后作了五次修订,包括2012年进行的修订。2012年的修订本反映了2011年3月通过的‘‘国民经济和社会发展十二五规划纲要’’中阐述的政策,包括有关发展七个‘‘战略性新兴产业’’的政策。
  • 境外中资持续增加,投资形式为合并与并购,涉及的行业主要有采矿、制造、交通运输、电力、以及零售和批发。与外商对中国的投资类似,境外中资也受到严格地监管。
  • 据美国财政部发布的数字,从2010年6月至2012年5月15日,人民币相对美元升值约8%,但人民币估值依然偏低。然而,中国采取了多项措施放宽对跨境资本流动的管制,以便使人民币走向国际化。
  • 在2012报告年度内,中国继续面临严重的食品安全问题,影响到中国和其他国家(包括美国)的消费者。虽然中国采取了若干监管措施及其他措施解决食品安全问题,此类措施的有效性有限;当局很难控制中国分散的小型食品生产者。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 制定和支持一个项目,基于世贸组织的要求调查中国的产业政策对中国经济的影响,包括这些政策的制定及其对中国经济的指导作用如何影响透明度、法治、以及中国履行其国际承诺的状况。
  • 通过美国贸易代表办公室、国际贸易执法中心或其他渠道进行一项全面的研究,了解中国当局如何恐吓或报复批评中国政府政策或行动的美国公司。支持美国贸易代表制定或加强一项战略,对中国当局借以恐吓或报复美国公司的监管程序——包括批准程序及其他行政许可程序——提出质疑。
  • 通过美国贸易代表和美国商务部为一方、中国商务部、国家发展与改革委员会和国有资产监督管理委员会为另一方的双边对话,了解境外中资(不包括金融产品)的详细数额、中国当局审批此类投资时参照的标准、以及此类投资的资金来源。
  • 实施能力建设项目,帮助中国食品安全监管人员了解美国在食品安全方面的最佳规范。通过立法授权美国食品和药物管理局在中国增设办事处和增派检查员;支持美国检查员、生产者和食品安全专家在中国举办的培训项目;确保从中国出口至美国的受监管产品经过中国有关部门的认证。
司法公正

调查结果

  • 在委员会的2012报告年度中,中国公民在就不公正待遇提出投诉方面依然面临重大困难。当局继续促进有中国特色的‘‘和谐’’社会主义社会。过去一年中的重大政策和法规反映了党对处理社会冲突和维持稳定继续而感到担忧。
  • 党和政府官员继续限制司法独立,并对法院和法官进行政治控制。尽管《中华人民共和国宪法》第126条专门提出保证司法‘‘不受行政机关、社会团体和个人的干涉’’,中国的司法部门依然受到许多内部和外部的控制——从政法委到官员的干预——显著削弱了司法部门独立裁决的能力。
  • 在本报告年度内,中国公民继续以请愿的形式申诉冤屈。‘‘信访制度’’(常常译为‘‘信函与访问’’)是在正式司法程序外提供的一种渠道,公民可借以申诉冤屈,请求对政府、法院和共产党作出的决定重新裁决。
  • 通过信访申诉冤屈的公民继续面临主要是来自地方政府的报复、骚扰、暴力和拘留,这种情况与拦截上访的奖惩机制相关。在这一年中,一些中国媒体报道说,公民‘‘信访不信法’’。
  • 在2012报告年度内,政府和党的官员继续推动把‘‘人民调解’’用作维护社会稳定的工具。最高人民法院院长王胜俊在对全国人民代表大会提交的工作报告中强调了调解在解决纠纷中的作用,并重点指出2011年有67.3%的民事案件成功调解或撤诉。
  • 在本报告年度内,官方宣布增加了法律援助资金,并扩大法律援助的方案。2012年2月,司法部报告说接受法律援助的案件显著增加。2011年,地方法律援助机构总共办理了844,624起案件,比2010年的统计数字上升16.1%。在这一年里,中央政府为法律援助拨款2亿元(3140万美元),比前一年度的一亿元(1570万美元)明显增加。2011年,中央专项彩票公益金为法律援助提供的资金增加至一亿元,2010年该项资金为5000万元(780万美元)。
  • 各级政府官员继续遏阻、恐吓和拘留就‘‘敏感’’问题、案件和客户提供代理服务的人权律师。官员们采取多种手段,包括派出警察监视维权人士的住宅;迫使他们前往未知地区或与安全官员会见并‘‘喝茶’’,以及监禁他们。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持美国国务院的国际访问者领导力项目以及其他双边交流项目,请中国人权律师、维权人士和学者前来美国学习和对话。支持与中国人权律师和非营利法律组织合作的非政府组织和学术机构举办的类似项目。
  • 支持与中国的刑法辩护律师、法律专业人员和法学院进行交流,开展法律援助方面的教育和培训活动。
  • 继续追踪中国政府把调解作为解决纠纷的优先方法的政策。清楚地了解这种方法对中国公民寻求法律公正的帮助以及中国政府执行国际准则的状况。
  • 就寻求申诉冤屈的上访人员受到的待遇向中国当局表达关切,鼓励中国领导人重新审议导致在地方一级虐待他们的奖惩机制。
  • 对继续骚扰人权律师和维权人士表示反对。呼吁释放由于为中国公民辩护和促进其权利而被在家中非法软禁、‘‘失踪’’或受到官员骚扰的律师和活动人士。
新疆

调查结果

  • 中国政府和共产党领导机构继续在新疆维吾尔自治区(XUAR)严重侵犯人权。新疆维吾尔自治区当局利用安全政策压制和平表达与异议活动,尤其是在维吾尔人中。当局使用‘‘三股势力’’标签(恐怖主义、分裂主义和宗教极端主义)来对付和平表达政治异议的活动和不受官方控制的宗教活动,同时以有限和相互矛盾的信息作为恐怖主义或分裂主义威胁指控的佐证。中国政府继续掩盖与2009年7月乌鲁木齐市发生的示威和骚乱相关的受审人士的信息。2011年新疆维吾尔自治区因危害国家安全罪(中国当局用于处罚公民活动人士和异议人士的一种罪名)受审的人数超过2010年的人数。
  • 在委员会的2012年报告年度内,中央政府领导的开发项目(近年来当局加强了此类开发项目)削弱了维吾尔人和其他非汉族群体维护自己的文化、语言和谋生方式的权利。当局加强了2010年中央政府和党的领导人在北京召开的新疆工作座谈会宣布的地区发展目标。新疆维吾尔自治区当局加强了将农民和牧民迁移出草原和定居的做法。
  • 在本报告年度内,当局加强了反对‘‘非法宗教活动’’的力度,并对新疆维吾尔自治区的宗教活动保持严厉的法律限制。当局继续利用‘‘宗教极端主义’’这一令人恐惧的罪名对伊斯兰教活动实施控制,继续将‘‘宗教极端主义’’视为威胁该地区稳定的‘‘三股势力’’之一,并在安全工作中以宗教活动为防范目标。一些穆斯林继续因与宗教信仰相关的活动被监禁。根据委员会的观察,本报告年度内关于阻止男人留‘‘大胡须’’和妇女披面纱或被视为是有宗教意义的衣服的官方运动的报道增多。政府官员要求新疆维吾尔自治区一些接受社会福利的人同意不披面纱或留大胡须。政府官员还继续对伊斯兰教斋月假期的活动进行控制。
  • 新疆维吾尔自治区的一些政府和私营雇主继续歧视非汉族(即‘‘少数民族’’)求职者。当局还继续推行‘‘将过剩的农村地区劳动力’’转移到其家庭所在地之外的计划,该计划以非汉族青年男女为对象。
  • 中国政府的开发政策继续阻止维吾尔人保持自己的文化传统。作为2009年开始的五年项目的一部分,当局继续拆毁和重建喀什噶尔老城区。该项目要求老城区的22万名居民搬迁,并对文化遗产保护造成损失,因而受到维吾尔族居民和其他观察家的反对。政府媒体还报道了在新疆维吾尔自治区各地的传统维吾尔族社区展开的拆迁活动。新疆维吾尔自治区当局声称,截至2015年整个自治区将‘‘重建’’150万套住宅。
  • 过去一年里,西方媒体报道说中国当局将2009年从柬埔寨遣返中国的寻求政治避难的20名维吾尔人中的16名分别判处了16年监禁至无期徒刑。中国政府官员此前曾将一些寻求政治避难的人与恐怖主义联系在一起,但这些人受到的实际指控不明。受中国影响的邻国对于寻求政治避难者的遣返引起了关切。人们担心,由于中国的影响力及其无视国际法的做法,寻求政治避难的维吾尔人在被遣返后可能面临不公正审判、酷刑和其他类型的虐待。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 支持通过立法增加美国政府提供的资源,提高人们对新疆维吾尔自治区人权状况的意识,保护维吾尔族文化,增加维吾尔人保护自己的人权的途径。
  • 就新疆维吾尔自治区的人权状况向中国政府官员表达关切,谴责利用治安管理运动压制人权的做法。呼吁中国政府释放因倡导自身权利或个人与维权人士有关联而被监禁的人士,包括海来特•尼亚孜(Gheyret Niyaz)(2010年因接受外国媒体采访后以‘‘泄露国家机密’’的罪名被判处15年监禁);努尔买买提•亚森(Nurmemet Yasin,音译)(2005年因写作一篇短篇小说以所谓‘‘煽动民族仇恨或歧视’’或‘‘煽动分裂主义’’的罪名被判处10年监禁);阿里木•阿布都热依木和阿不力克木•阿布都热依木(Alim and Ablikim Abdureyim,音译)(活动人士热比娅•卡德尔(Rebiya Kadeer)的成年儿子,于2006年和2007年因所谓的经济犯罪和‘‘分裂主义’’罪行分别被判处七年和九年监禁);以及本报告中提及和列入委员会政治犯数据库中的其他人士。
  • 呼吁中国政府提供与2009年7月新疆维吾尔自治区示威和骚乱相关的每一名被拘留、指控、审理或判刑人士的详细情况,包括每一个人的姓名、对每一个人提出的指控(如有)、检察院名称和地点、审理每个案件的法院以及关押或监禁此等人士的每个设施的名称。呼吁中国政府确保与2009年7月事件相关的犯罪嫌疑人能够聘请一位律师,依照《中华人民共和国刑事诉讼法》第33条和96条的规定行使聘请法律辩护人的权利,并确保犯罪嫌疑人能够自己选择法律辩护人。
  • 支持关注新疆维吾尔自治区人权问题的非政府组织,使他们能够继续搜集有关该地区状况的信息,并制定计划帮助维吾尔人增强维护自身权利及保护自己的文化、语言和传统的能力。支持致力于对新疆维吾尔自治区播音并从该地区采集新闻的媒体机构,以增强其对该地区进行报道的能力,为自治区居民提供未经审查的信息。向拥有维吾尔语藏书的图书馆提供支持,以便提高此类图书馆搜集和保存新疆维吾尔自治区书籍和期刊的能力。支持能够开展对于新疆维吾尔自治区的研究和采取措施来保护维吾尔有形和无形文化遗产的组织。
  • 呼吁中国政府支持在新疆维吾尔自治区制定促进广泛保护自治区居民权利的政策,并允许自治区政府在作出开发决定时行使地区自主权。呼吁中央政府和自治区当局确保均衡的开发,不仅促进经济增长,而且广泛尊重自治区居民的公民和政治权利,并使这些社区能参与决策。
  • 对于喀什噶尔老城区的拆除以及在新疆维吾尔自治区各地的传统维吾尔族社区进行的拆迁活动表达关切。 呼吁当局确保开发项目考虑到非汉族的具体需求和意见。由于自上而下的开发政策,他们在保护自身权利方面面临独特的挑战,并且没有成为该地区经济增长的受益者。呼吁当局确保居民能够对迁移计划发表意见,并获得足够的迁移赔偿。呼吁当局采取措施保障牧民保护其文化和生活方式的权利。
  • 呼吁中国政府确保政府与私人雇主遵守禁止基于民族归属进行歧视的法律条款,停止在人员招聘时为汉族人保留职位的做法。呼吁当局追踪为非汉族人促进就业机会的地方指令的执行状况,非汉族群体在就业市场中依然面临歧视。有报道说在把非汉族农村男人和妇女转移至中国其他地区就业的过程中存在强迫劳动和剥削现象,呼吁中国当局对此展开调查。
  • 呼吁中国政府说明2009年12月从柬埔寨遣返中国的寻求政治避难的维吾尔人的下落及其当前所处的法律状态。与中国官员、国际难民机构官员以及维吾尔难民的过境国和目的地国官员讨论维吾尔难民与寻求政治避难者的状况。呼吁中国官员以及过境国和目的地国官员尊重寻求政治避难者以及联合国难民事务高级专员办事处指定的难民身份和其他国家指定的难民和公民身份。呼吁维吾尔寻求政治避难者、难民和移民的过境国和目的地国遵守1951年《关于难民地位的公约》和《反酷刑公约》对遣返作出的规定。
西藏

调查结果

  • 自从2010年1月第九轮对话以来,达赖喇嘛的代表与中国共产党和政府官员之间的正式对话已经停止,这是自从2002年恢复对话以来终止时间最长的一次。在委员会2012报告年度内,中国官员重申了阻止藏人寻求保护自身文化、语言、宗教和环境的立场,同时力图迫使达赖喇嘛支持共产党在西藏历史以及中国和台湾关系上的立场。达赖喇嘛的代表——他的特使和使节——在2012年6月1日辞职,给出的理由之一是‘‘鉴于2008年以来藏区局势持续恶化,导致藏人自焚事件越来越多。’’
  • 在过去一年里,藏人自焚事件急剧增加,并从四川省扩大到青海省、甘肃省和西藏自治区(TAR)。据报道,从2011年10月(委员会报告年度起始月份)到2012年8月27日期间,有45名藏人自焚(39人死亡)。另据报道,在自焚者要求西藏自由和达赖喇嘛返回的同时,中国政府和共产党加强采用法律手段镇压和控制西藏文化的核心要素,中国政府与达赖喇嘛的对话没有任何取得进展的迹象。党和政府并未表现出任何以积极的态度考虑藏人的不满意见的意愿,亦无意对藏人拒绝接受中国政府的政策承担责任,反而将出现的危机视为对国家安全和社会稳定的威胁,并不是视为政策的失败。
  • 西藏佛教徒的宗教自由状况急剧恶化。中国政府和共产党采取了前所未有的措施,进一步加强对藏传佛教和寺院机构的控制,力图将它们改造成忠于共产党和热爱中国的实体,同时试图彻底消除达赖喇嘛对藏人的影响。中国官员在西藏自治区开设了一所 ‘‘藏传佛教综合学校’’,党期望通过这所学校建立与目前党和政府的目标保持一致的宗教‘‘正常秩序’’。党在西藏自治区的所有寺院和尼姑庵内成立了管理委员会,管理委员会的成员是党和政府官员。达赖喇嘛在一份签名的声明中拒绝接受共产党试图利用历史扭曲和政府规章对藏传佛教徒遵奉的老师传承转世制度进行前所未有的控制。
  • 对于藏人保存自身文化和语言及其长久性和生命力的愿望,党和政府加大了压力和干预力度。一名对西藏政策很有影响力的资深共产党官员表示赞成民族同化和结束或改变一些可能使少数民族文化受益的政策,例如用少数民族语言开设教育课程。如果此类观点被实施,可能对藏人的文化和语言特性造成不利影响,并进一步加深对中国政府的不满情绪。共产党对西藏自治区的每一个村派驻了众多的干部,以便加强党对基层的控制。第一批派出的人员至少会延续到2014年年底。公安人员继续拘留藏族作家、艺人和文化倡导者;藏族学生继续抗议语言政策。
  • 党和政府继续强力推行‘‘坚持走有中国特色、西藏特点的发展路子’’,这是中共中央政治局于2010年制定的一项政策,该项政策要求藏族文化和藏人的理想从属于党的经济、社会和政治目标。一位对西藏政策很有影响力的资深共产党官员要求少数民族地区的发展策略‘‘巩固国家统一和中央权威’’,并在各民族中促进和建立不可逆转的‘‘混居’’。西藏自治区官员呼吁加快铁路建设;中央政府发布的一份意见书要求至2015年‘‘基本’’实现全国(包括西藏高原)所有游牧民的定居工作。官员们继续拘留认为开发计划对环境有害并进行抗议的藏人。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 敦促中国政府与达赖喇嘛或其代表无先决条件地进行实质性对话,议题包括在西藏自治区(TAR)、藏族自治州和青海、甘肃、四川、云南的多个县保护藏族文化、语言、宗教和传统。随着藏族地区的紧张局势继续升级以及藏人表达对达赖喇嘛的敬仰,中国政府如决定开展对话可能导致对中国政府和藏人双方均有益的持久结果,并将改善今后几十年的地方和地区安全展望。
  • 敦促中国政府考虑政府监管措施和党的政策在藏人自焚浪潮中的作用。向中国官员指出,如果政府和党以建设性的方法化解藏人的冤屈,结果可能会对国家安全和社会稳定有利;另向中国政府官员指出,强化使得藏人最愤怒的措施和政策不可能导致被视为与‘‘社会稳定’’或‘‘和谐社会’’一致的状况。
  • 建议中国政府停止建立干涉藏人自主权的管理委员会,并停止推行侵犯和压制藏传佛教徒宗教自由权利的法律措施,向中国政府指出这样做的紧迫性和重要性。向中国政府官员指出,政府和党领导的建立藏传佛教新‘‘秩序’’的运动与国家尊重‘‘宗教信仰自由’’的政策不一致;同时指出,通过强力推行监管措施、‘‘爱国’’和‘‘法律’’教育以及反对达赖喇嘛的运动对藏传佛教徒施加更大的压力可能会危害‘‘社会稳定’’,而不会保持社会稳定。敦促中国政府尊重藏传佛教徒按照藏人自己的方式和传统挑选和教育宗教导师的权利。
  • 西藏自治区政府主席2010年声称,达赖喇嘛1995年确认的班禅喇嘛更登确吉尼玛(Gedun Choekyi Nyima)当时正在与自己的家人在西藏自治区作为‘‘普通公民’’生活,请中国政府就此提供进一步信息。敦促中国政府邀请一个国际组织的代表与更登确吉尼玛会面,以便更登确吉尼玛向该国际组织代表表达自己有关隐私权的愿望;让国际代表与更登确吉尼玛在一起合照;并发布更登确吉尼玛的声明和该照片。
  • 向中国政府表达尊重和保护西藏文化和语言的重要性。敦促中国官员尊重中国宪法中的言论、结社、集会和宗教自由条款,不要利用安全部门、法院和法律侵犯和禁止藏人行使此类权利,从而增强西藏文化的活力。敦促官员们尊重藏人的愿望,允许在讲授现代学科时使用藏语和汉语两种语言,而不是通过终止现代学科的藏语教学使藏语处于劣等地位。
  • 鼓励中国政府在规划中国藏族地区的基础设施、自然资源开发以及定居或迁居项目时使充分考虑藏人的观点和意愿。鼓励中国政府聘请适当专家参与评估此类项目的影响,并就此类项目的实施和进展状况向中国政府提出建议。
  • 增加对美国非政府组织的支持,以制定项目,协助藏人提高和平地保护和发展自己的文化、语言和传统的能力;帮助改善居住在中国藏族地区的藏人的教育、经济、健康和环保状况;给藏人带来可持续的益处,而不要鼓励藏人之外的其他族裔大量涌入这些地区。
  • 继续向中国政府表达把和平的藏人抗议者和骚乱者区别开来的重要性;谴责利用治安运动压制人权的行为;请求中国政府提供以涉及抗议的罪名被拘留、指控或判刑的藏人的详细信息。在与中国官员会谈和通信时,继续提出以和平方式行使人权而遭受监禁的藏人的案例,其中具有代表性的案例包括:前西藏僧侣晋美嘉措(Jigme Gyatso,音译)(因印刷传单、分发海报和后来在狱中呼喊亲达赖喇嘛的口号共被判处18年的延长刑期);僧侣曲因克珠(Choeying Khedrub,音译)(因印刷传单被判处无期徒刑);晋美丹增尼玛(Bangri Chogtrul,音译)(被藏传佛教徒视为转世喇嘛,因‘‘煽动分裂主义’’被判处无期徒刑,后减至18年刑期);以及牧民荣吉阿扎(Ronggye Adrag,音译)(因在公共庆祝活动中大声呼喊政治口号被判处8年刑期)。
  • 鼓励中国政府尊重在国内旅行的藏人的自由行动权,包括为访问西藏经济、文化和宗教中心(包括拉萨)的旅行;向藏人提供合理途径以便他们申请和收到合法国际旅行所需要的文件;尊重中国藏族公民在国外旅行后重新进入中国的权利;允许外国记者、非政府组织代表、联合国代表和美国政府官员进入藏族自治区域。
香港和澳门的发展

调查结果

  • 在委员会2012报告年度内,香港举行了自从立法会(LegCo)于2011年通过实施选举改革的立法以来的首次选举,但选举改革未达到香港的《基本法》有关普选条款的要求。2012年3月,由1200名成员组成的选举委员会以本质上不具民主性的程序选举了香港的行政长官。选举在很大程度上受到大陆政府的干涉,漠视了‘‘一国两制’’的原则。
  • 2012年9月9日,香港举行了自从2011年选举改革以来的首次立法会选举。民主人士获得了根据选举改革设立的五个新议员席位中的三个席位,并保留了阻止对香港法律作出‘‘重大变更’’所需的三分之一议员,这对立法会审议有关2017年选举的立法可能至关重要。但是,亲北京派掌控的席位也有所增加,因此可能导致立法僵局。
  • 在立法会选举前的一段时间,成千上万的人参加了反对富有争议的香港‘‘国民教育计划’’的示威游行,一些香港学生和老师为抗议该项计划开展了绝食活动。面对示威游行,香港行政长官梁振英撤销了到2015年学校开始教授北京支持的课程的要求。此项计划由前行政长官曾荫权于2010年提出,《人民日报》辩解说它与其他国家的‘‘爱国主义教育’’无异。但是,在《纽约时报》的一篇专题文章中,曾于2012年7月参加反对该计划游行示威的一位香港家长指出该新课程是‘‘片面的、对共产党统治绝对正面的描述……’’
  • 一个新闻记者组织认为,2011年香港的新闻自由状况恶化,致使香港的国际排名从前一年的第34位下降为第54位。另一个组织将香港的新闻界归入‘‘部分自由’’的类别。香港的新闻记者报道说新闻自由状况恶化,其中一位知名的代表列举了多种原因,其中包括政府对信息的管制、粗暴对待新闻记者、拒绝媒体对一些活动进行报道、限制记者在政府办公机构周围的行动、自我审查和媒体机构审查,其中很多媒体机构的业主在中国拥有商业利益。
  • 澳门政府提议对其选举系统进行改革,并向大陆的全国人民代表大会常务委员会征询有关改革程序的意见,还进行了两轮咨询活动。第一轮咨询活动包括八次会议,其中只有一次会议允许公众参加;第二轮咨询活动包括十次会议,其中只有三次会议允许公众参加。最终的改革幅度很小。一些民间组织认为咨询活动被操纵,以便‘‘编造’’公众意见。全国人民代表大会常务委员会于六月批准了提议的改革,规定在立法会中增加两个直选席位和两个非直选议员,并将行政长官选举委员会的人数从300人增加为400人。澳门立法会于八月通过了提议的改动,此前一名立法会议员将这次改动称为‘‘民主的倒退’’。

建议

委员会鼓励美国国会议员和行政部门官员:

  • 在到中国大陆访问时,继续尽最大努力访问香港。美国政府代表团在香港举行的会晤应当包括与香港立法会成员、香港政府行政官员、司法机构成员和新闻记者组织代表的会晤。此类会晤显示美国对基于‘‘一国两制’’在香港实现高度自治和法制的支持。
  • 在与中国政府官员会晤时,敦促他们允许香港人享受《基本法》和《中英联合声明》中阐明的高度自治,尤其是在涉及普选产生的问题上,并在遵循香港人民意愿的基础上允许实行‘‘一人一票’’的普选。
  • 在到中国大陆或香港访问时尽量访问澳门。在澳门与立法会议员(尤其是直选议员)、澳门政府行政官员和政府之外的领导人会晤。
  • 支持和鼓励各类机构和组织制定适当项目,在澳门支持民主发展、加强民主实践和法治。
 

II. Human Rights

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Introduction | International Standards for Free Expression | Internet and Other Electronic Media | Abuse of Criminal Law To Punish Free Expression | Extralegal Harassment | Freedom of the Press

Introduction

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese officials took steps to restrict free expression, control access to information, and punish those who peacefully expressed their opinions. The restrictions and punishments not only failed to comply with international human rights standards, but also violated rights and protections afforded under Chinese domestic legislation and the Constitution. While international standards permit states to restrict expression in limited circumstances to protect interests such as national security and public order, Chinese restrictions covered a much broader range of activity—including peaceful expression critical of the Communist Party and independent news reporting on human rights developments.

Over the past year, Chinese authorities called for strengthening the Party’s guidance of online opinion, targeted so-called "online rumors," and consistently censored politically sensitive information. The dramatic increase in Internet users and microblog services appeared to create new challenges, and opportunities, for official censorship. As citizen expression on China’s popular microblogs has grown, Chinese officials have implemented new regulations to exert stricter control over social media providers and users.

Chinese authorities continued to harass and punish citizens for exercising their right to free expression. Officials continued to abuse vague criminal charges—including "inciting subversion of state power"—to target peaceful discussion of government policies and political debate. Newly adopted regulations on journalists and real-name registration requirements on microblog users threatened to end online anonymity and produce a chilling effect. At the same time, Chinese authorities maintained broad regulations and registration requirements applicable to journalists, publishers, news media organizations, and Internet users.

International Standards for Free Expression

Many official Chinese restrictions on free expression failed to comply with international human rights standards. Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Articles 19 and 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights permit officials to restrict expression so long as it is (1) for the purpose of respecting the rights or reputations of others or protecting national security, public order, public health or morals, or the general welfare; (2) set forth in law; and (3) necessary and the least restrictive means to achieve the purported aim.1 Regarding the purpose requirement, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has said restrictions on "discussion of government policies and political debate," "peaceful demonstrations or political activities, including for peace or democracy," and "expression of . . . dissent," are inconsistent with Article 19 of the ICCPR.2 In June 2012, the UNHRC passed a landmark resolution supporting freedom of expression on the Internet, affirming that "the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression, which is applicable regardless of frontiers and through any media of one’s choice." 3

As outlined in this section, Chinese officials continued to restrict expression on the Internet and in the media for purposes that are impermissible under international law, such as to stifle peaceful criticism of the Communist Party. As to restrictions clearly set forth in law, this past year, Chinese officials abused vaguely worded criminal law provisions and resorted to extralegal measures to restrict free expression arbitrarily. As documented in this section, Chinese restrictions continued to be overly broad and disproportionate in protecting stated interests.

Internet and Other Electronic Media

BLOCKING AND FILTERING POLITICAL CONTENT

This past year, Chinese authorities continued attempts to block and filter online content deemed politically sensitive by implementing large-scale deletions, instituting real-name registration requirements, forcing Web site closures, implementing censorship directives, and carrying out detentions.4 Chinese officials remained non-transparent in disclosing content that is blocked or why it is blocked, and officials continued to block content arbitrarily for purposes impermissible under international standards.5 Chinese official censors maintained a growing list of blacklisted keywords as they tried to prevent the public from circulating information about controversial developments and news topics, including legal advocate Chen Guangcheng’s April 2012 escape from illegal home confinement, the June 2012 Tianjin shopping mall fire,6 the August 2012 Gu Kailai criminal trial,7 and the 2011 anticorruption and land rights protests in Wukan village.8

In late 2011, Chinese authorities announced plans to step up efforts to "stop rumors and punish individuals and Web sites spreading rumors." 9 In late March and early April 2012, officials intensified the clampdown on Internet users and microbloggers following controversial news developments and various unsubstantiated reports of a coup in Beijing.10 Xinhua, for instance, reported on March 30 that the State Internet Information Office (SIIO) and Beijing public security officials closed 16 Web sites and detained 6 people responsible for "fabricating or disseminating online rumors." 11 Chinese authorities initiated an unprecedented three-day suspension of comment functions on two of China’s most popular microblogging service providers, Sina and Tencent, from March 31 to April 3.12 A lack of government transparency surrounding the suspension of services and Web site closures makes it difficult to confirm the nature of information being targeted and to determine the legitimacy of these actions. The suspensions and closures, in some cases, appeared politically motivated and appeared to counter internationally promoted standards on freedoms of opinion and expression.13

In addition to restrictions on social media Web sites, Chinese regulators issued new regulations on online video content. In July 2012, the SIIO and the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) jointly issued a circular that requires online video content providers to review videos before making them available online and informs content providers that they will be held responsible for online video content on their sites.14 In discussing the circular, a spokesperson for SARFT claimed that the policy will "adhere to the correct orientation and dissemination of mainstream values." 15 A China Daily report quoted a film theorist who said that online videos and micro-films (commonly referring to short-length films appearing on the Internet) require supervision in order to avoid negatively influencing the masses.16 Internet users, however, reportedly criticized the efforts to further manage and control online content.17

Officials continued to detain and harass Chinese citizens who sought to share online material that authorities deem to be politically sensitive. In April 2012, public security officials in Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, criminally detained Internet user Xu Lin and later held him under "residential surveillance" at an undisclosed location, after he attended a public protest in support of officials’ financial disclosure and posted "sensitive" material online.18 Authorities prevented Xu’s lawyers and family members from visiting him until July, stating that Xu’s case involved "state secrets." 19 On July 5, authorities reportedly sent Xu home and placed him under "soft detention" (ruanjin), a form of illegal home confinement.20

Chinese regulatory and legal measures do not clearly define prohibited online content. Chinese Internet regulations contain vague and broad prohibitions on content that, for example, "harms the honor or interests of the nation," "spreads rumors," or "disrupts national policies on religion." 21 Chinese law does not define these concepts, and Chinese law does not contain specific benchmarks to establish whether an action presents a "harm" to the "honor or interests of the nation." 22 In China, the government places the burden on Internet service and content providers to monitor and remove content based on these vague standards and to maintain records of such activity and report it to the government.23

 

Microblogging and Free Expression

During this reporting year, China’s Twitter-like microblogging (weibo) sites continued strong growth and continued to develop as prominent places for Internet users to voice discontent over controversial topics, or­ganize collective actions, and circulate independent news reports.24 Chi­na’s microblogging sites—including China’s most popular microblog site Sina Weibo—experienced dramatic growth with 250 million registered accounts at the end of 2011, compared with 63 million at the end of 2010.25 Despite weibo censorship and blacklisted keywords, rights advo­cates, citizen journalists, and others successfully used various methods to circumvent official guidelines and circulate information online throughout the reporting year.26 In addition, advocates and activists used virtual private networks (VPNs), among other techniques, to access U.S.-based microblogging service provider Twitter (which has been blocked in China since June 2009),27 as well as other social networking sites blocked in China.28 In 2012, academics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Hong Kong released separate reports and data on how weibo censors work and on official trends in weibo censorship.29 In the Harvard study, for instance, researchers found that "criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored"; however, the censors focused on "curtailing collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization, regard­less of content." 30 With the rising popularity of microblogging services, Chinese authori­ties announced calls for restrictions over microblog service providers and users, citing official concerns over the dissemination of "online rumors" (wangluo yaoyan).31 While China’s central government news agency Xinhua reported "surging numbers of online rumors," the calls also ap­peared to target citizens’ legitimate rights to free expression.32 In recent years, microblog users have used online services to publicize controver­sial incidents or news—including the 2011 Wenzhou train collision,33 the 2011 Gansu school bus crash,34 and information related to the inves­tigation of former Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee (Politburo) member and former Party Secretary of Chongqing municipality Bo Xilai 35—despite strict directives censoring the topics in state-run news media. The widespread dissemination of sensitive microblog posts appeared to have influenced official reactions in high-profile cases, such as the investigation of Wang Lijun, former vice-mayor and head of the public security bureau in Chongqing.36

Government agencies and departments also used social media Web sites and microblogging tools for official purposes. In August 2012, Sina, a leading Chinese Web site, released its first report on microblogs oper­ated by ministry-level departments.37 According to the report, the Chi­nese government, at all levels, manages more than 50,000 microblog ac­counts.38 Official statements on microblogging have consistently empha­sized using social media technology "to promote social harmony and sta­bility." 39 On October 18, 2011, a document circulated at the Sixth Ple­nary Session of the 17th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party advocated "strengthening the guidance and management of social networks and instant communication tools." 40 In December 2011, Bei­jing municipality and other cities issued microblog regulations that re­quire users to provide real-name registration information to their microblogging service provider in order to verify identities of users.41 In June 2012, the State Internet Information Office announced plans to ex­pand these pilots nationally by amending national measures that over­see the administration of Internet sites, including blogs and microblog service providers.42 In addition to requiring real-name registration, the new regulations would also strengthen legal enforcement by requiring Internet companies to cooperate with public security bureau branches and by threatening criminal and administrative punishments for failing to comply.43 In line with official actions, Chinese officials also appeared to pressure domestic social media companies to enforce stricter guidelines and con­trols over user content. In an August 2011 visit to the Beijing head­quarters of Sina Corporation, which operates Sina Weibo, Politburo member Liu Qi reportedly told Internet companies to "step up the appli­cation and management of new technology, and absolutely put an end to fake and misleading information." 44 In May 2012, in line with increased sensitivity surrounding high-profile incidents, Sina Weibo introduced new user guidelines covering what users can post online and instituting a points-based self-censorship structure.45

 

EXPANDING OVERALL ACCESS, WHILE MAINTAINING CONTROL

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the administrative agency responsible for Internet affairs, there were over 538 million Internet users in China by the end of June 2012— an increase of 53 million users since June 2011.46 By April 2012, statistics indicated there were 1.02 billion mobile phone accounts, according to information from three of the country’s leading tele-communications operators.47

The Chinese government has pledged to expand access to mobile technologies and the Internet to promote economic development and increase government propaganda.48 According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s "Internet Industry ‘12th Five-Year Development Plan,"’ Chinese officials expect the number of Internet users to grow to more than 800 million people by 2015, including more than 200 million rural Internet users.49 In the 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, the Chinese government also sets its target of increasing Internet penetration in the country to more than 45 percent by 2015.50

Official statements and actions continue to emphasize control rather than freedom on the Internet.51 Nevertheless, international observers and foreign media continue to note the difficulties officials have in controlling this emerging and vibrant space for ex-pression, including expression of criticism of the government and discussion of some politically sensitive topics.52

Abuse of Criminal Law To Punish Free Expression

Officials continued to use vague criminal charges to imprison rights advocates, writers, Internet essayists, democracy advocates, and citizen journalists who engaged in peaceful expression and assembly.53 In late 2011 and early 2012, Chinese officials sentenced numerous rights advocates and writers in connection with the crackdown that followed protests in the Middle East and North Africa and calls for "Jasmine" protests domestically.54 For instance, the Hangzhou City Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang province sentenced writer and democracy rights advocate Zhu Yufu to seven years’ imprisonment for "inciting subversion of state power." 55 The prosecutor’s indictment reportedly included a poem Zhu wrote as evidence, as well as "other writings he had published online, his calls for monetary donations for prisoners of conscience, and interviews that he had given." 56 The harsh sentence against Zhu followed other severe sentences imposed by Chinese courts in December and January, including sentences against writers and democracy advocates Chen Wei, Chen Xi, and Li Tie.57

Officials also sentenced rights advocates on charges of "creating disturbances," a crime under Article 293 of the PRC Criminal Law.58 In April 2012, for example, the Xicheng District People’s Court in Beijing municipality sentenced housing rights advocate and lawyer Ni Yulan to two years and eight months’ imprisonment on charges that included "creating a disturbance" by hanging a banner outside her residence.59 The same court sentenced her husband to two years’ imprisonment for "creating a disturbance." 60 The actual threat these citizens posed to state security and public order—or the motivation for official action—is unclear, as details regarding many of these cases remain limited. Available information suggests that officials targeted the citizens to suppress political expression and dissent.61

Many of those targeted during the year had records of criticizing the government and Communist Party and advocating for democracy and human rights.62 In addition, Chinese criminal defense lawyers and suspects in free speech cases continued to face substantial obstacles in ensuring procedural safeguards and compliance with the right to a fair trial.63

Extralegal Harassment

Chinese officials continued to physically harm, restrict the travel of, and otherwise extralegally harass citizens to control information and stifle expression.64 In suppressing free speech rights, Chinese security authorities not only targeted Chinese citizens who sought to express their opinions peacefully, but also targeted their family members and acquaintances. In March 2012, officials forced the closure of democracy rights advocate Yao Lifa’s blog. According to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Chinese Human Rights Defenders, authorities had subjected Yao and his family members to a range of abuses since 2011, including repeated arbitrary detention and harassment.65 In January 2012, author and former vice president of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, Yu Jie, left China for the United States with his family, after reportedly being subjected to years of official harassment.66 At a January 18, 2012, press conference in Washington, D.C., Yu detailed how police harassed and tortured him while he was detained in December 2010.67

Beijing authorities continued to harass well-known artist and rights advocate Ai Weiwei, who was charged with tax evasion while detained at an undisclosed location for 81 days under "residential surveillance" in 2010.68 According to a March 2012 New York Times article, officials reportedly held Ai in harsh conditions and threatened him with a range of criminal charges, including subversion, during his off-site detention:69

In two different centers, Mr. Ai was confined to a cramped room with guards watching him around the clock. The second site, a military compound, was harsher, he said: lights remained on 24 hours, a loud fan whirred and two men in green uniforms stared silently from less than three feet away. Mr. Ai got two to five hours of sleep each night. He stuck to a minute-by-minute schedule dictating when he would eat, go to the toilet and take a shower. Mr. Ai . . . lost 28 pounds.70

Although authorities released Ai on bail in June 2011, ongoing surveillance and a tax evasion case against Ai led the artist and his supporters to claim that this official harassment was politically motivated, amounting to retribution for his outspoken criticism of official actions and government policies.71 In a June 2012 online video, Ai claimed that officials continued to hold him under "soft detention" (ruan jin), an illegal form of limited home confinement, to "punish [him] because [of his] activities in criticizing the violation of . . . very essential human rights . . . ." 72

 

Chinese Authorities React to the "Chen Guangcheng Incident"

Following the high-profile escape of legal advocate Chen Guangcheng from illegal home confinement in Linyi city, Shandong province, Chinese authorities strictly controlled information about Chen and censored key­words related to Chen and his escape.73 According to international news reports, Chinese search engines removed a number of keywords that could directly or indirectly refer to Chen, including variations of Chen’s name (in Chinese and English), Chaoyang Hospital, U.S. Embassy, "blind man," and "UA898." 74 Internet users searching censored terms on Sina Weibo received the message: "According to relevant laws and policies, results are not displayed." 75

Despite the tight controls, some Chinese Internet users were able to post and circulate information about the case using coded language to circumvent restrictions. Some users, for instance, referred to Chen as "A Bing," a well-known Chinese blind folk singer.76 (Chen is also blind.) One online user reportedly discussed the escape through a story of "a mole who was surrounded by a pack of wolves, but with the help of some mice he managed to escape." 77 Other Internet users reportedly re-posted popular quotes and images related to the rights advocate.78

Freedom of the Press

Chinese government and Communist Party control over the press continued to violate international standards. International experts have identified media serving "as government mouthpieces instead of as independent bodies operating in the public interest" as a major challenge to free expression.79 In its annual press freedom index, for instance, NGO Reporters Without Borders ranked China 174th out of 179 countries in terms of press freedoms, citing various concerns including those over official actions to prevent critical news reporting and efforts to increase "censorship and propaganda." 80

In China, officials expect the media to serve as the Party and government’s "mouthpiece." 81 In December 2011, some Chinese Internet users reacted critically to comments reportedly made by Hu Zhanfan—then chief editor of the Guangming Daily and current president of state-run broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV)—in January of the same year.82 In his public remarks, Hu condemned journalists for failing to view "their own role in terms of the propaganda work of the Party" and reportedly said that "the first and foremost social responsibility [of journalists] is to serve well as a mouthpiece tool." 83 Officials and state-run media agencies frequently criticized journalists who undertook "negative" (fumian) news reporting.84 In May 2012, for instance, the Beijing Daily, official newspaper of the Beijing Municipality Communist Party Committee, published an editorial criticizing the "poison" of Western-style journalism and negative press reports on topics such as food safety and official corruption.85 The editorial censured media workers who "indiscreetly criticize under the banner of ‘objective reporting,"’ claiming that China needed media professionals who "are responsible and reliable, [who] truly protect the fundamental interests of the nation, the public and the Chinese peoples." 86

PUNISHMENT OF JOURNALISTS

While the 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan of China announced official intentions to safeguard "the legitimate rights and interests of news agencies, journalists, editors and other persons concerned," Chinese authorities continued to punish journalists, news anchors, and news media outlets that publish sensitive or independent news reports.87

The Commission observed numerous reports of Chinese press companies taking actions to punish, suspend, or remove outspoken and independent journalists and newspaper staff. In October 2011, for example, popular news magazine Caijing reportedly forced Shanghai municipality-based reporter Yang Haipeng to resign after he publicized apparent procedural abuses in the Shanghai Mihang District People’s Court case against his wife.88 (Yang’s wife was sentenced to four years imprisonment on corruption charges the week following his resignation.) 89 In November, Yang claimed the resignation followed pressure on the magazine from Shanghai authorities and warnings to "remain silent" on the matter.90 In some cases, state-run media responded with disciplinary actions against journalists and news anchors who exercised free speech. In April 2012, authorities reportedly suspended CCTV news anchor Zhao Pu after he posted a microblog message warning people, especially children, to avoid consuming yogurt in apparent connection to concerns that yogurt and jelly products contained industrial gelatin made from discarded leather shoes.91 In July 2012, the Xi’an Evening News terminated the contract of journalist Shi Junrong after Shi reported on a local Communist Party meeting at which attendees smoked a costly brand of luxury cigarettes.92 Also in July, Chinese officials reportedly ordered the reshuffling of staff positions at a newspaper in Shanghai and a newspaper in Guangzhou municipality, Guangdong province, to remove top editorial staff in a move that the International Federation of Journalists characterized as a political shakeup.93

POLITICAL CONTROL OF MEDIA THROUGH REGULATION OF EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS

All media organizations in China are subject to an extensive licensing system and government supervision.94 In order to report the news legally, domestic newspapers, magazines, Web sites, and individual journalists must obtain a license or accreditation from the government.95 Radio and television broadcast journalists must pass a government-sponsored exam that tests them on basic knowledge of Marxist views of news and Communist Party principles.96

In order to address official concerns over "false information" in news reports, the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) released regulations in mid-October 2011 that aim to control journalists’ use of "unverified information" and to regulate news agencies’ review procedures.97 The regulations prohibit Chinese journalists from directly including "unverified information" obtained from the Internet or mobile text messages in their reporting.98 In addition, the regulations require that news agencies improve the system of accountability for "fake" or "false" news reports, terms which are not defined in the regulations.99 Some mainland Chinese journalists decried the regulations as "another move to step up censorship," and one Oriental Morning Post journalist claimed the regulations could endanger cross-regional reporting—which refers to instances when media in one region reports on sensitive events or local governments in another region.100

FOREIGN JOURNALISTS

This past year the Commission continued to monitor official harassment of foreign journalists as they attempted to report on news and events considered sensitive by Chinese officials. In February 2012, journalists with French broadcaster France 24 and the Netherlands Press Association reported being assaulted by what appeared to be plainclothes police or "hired thugs" while investigating illegal land seizures in Panhe village, Cangnan county, Wenzhou municipality, Zhejiang province.101 The Foreign Correspondents Club in China (FCCC) issued a statement on these assaults and a separate incident involving a Dutch journalist who was reportedly attacked by men "who appeared to be plain-clothes police." 102 The FCCC also warned members to be "especially alert" while reporting in Panhe village.103 In August 2012, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong released a statement on a series of incidents in which international news reporters working in China were threatened, harassed, and beaten.104 The statement, co-signed by the Beijing-based FCCC and its sister organization in Shanghai, expressed alarm over the frequency of abuses and said the incidents represented "a clear risk of serious physical harm to journalists merely carrying out their professional duties in China."105

Chinese authorities also reportedly took action against at least one foreign news agency. In May 2012, Chinese officials forced the closure of Al Jazeera English’s Beijing bureau office after authorities "refused to renew its correspondent’s press credentials and visa, or allow a replacement journalist," according to an Al Jazeera report.106 The FCCC released a statement following the decision addressing officials’ lack of transparency: "[Chinese officials] expressed unhappiness with the general editorial content on Al Jazeera English and accused [its English-language reporter] of violating rules and regulations that they [did] not [specify]." 107 The statement called the expulsion "a grave threat to foreign reporters’ ability to work in China." 108 The reporter was the first accredited foreign journalist to be denied reporting privileges since 1998.109

Notes to Section II—Freedom of Expression

1 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 19(3); Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 48, arts. 19, 29. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression has also used this three-factor test to describe the standard for determining when a restriction is permissible under Article 19, paragraph 3 of the ICCPR. UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue, 16 May 11, A/HRC/17/27, para. 24.

2 UN GAOR, Hum. Rts. Coun., 12th Sess., Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, adopted by Human Rights Council resolution 12/16, A/HRC/RES/12/16, 12 October 09, para. 5(p)(i).

3 UN GAOR, Hum. Rts. Coun., 20th. Sess., Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, Agenda Item 3, A/HRC/20/L.13, 29 June 12; "Human Rights Council Backs Internet Freedom," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 5 July 12.

4 See, e.g., David Bamman et al., "Censorship and Deletion Practices in Chinese Social Media," First Monday, Vol. 17, No. 3, 5 March 12; Josh Rudolph, "Bloomberg Blocked After Revealing Xi Family Wealth," China Digital Times, 29 June 12; "China Blocks Bloomberg Website After Report on Wealth of Next President’s Extended Family," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 29 June 12; Anne Henochowicz, "Ministry of Truth: Wang Lijun," China Digital Times, 10 April 12; Anne Henochowicz, "Directives From the Ministry of Truth, February 6– March 7, 2012," China Digital Times, 12 March 12.

5 Article 19 in both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which China signed and has committed to ratify, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), provide a general right to "impart information and ideas through any media." Despite international human rights standards, Chinese authorities have a well-documented track record of censoring politically sensitive news reporting that should be protected under international law. While governments may, under Article 19, impose limited restrictions on free expression— if such restrictions are for the purpose of protecting the rights and reputations of others, national security or public order, or public health and morals—Article 19 does not allow Chinese officials to restrict expression for the purpose of preventing Chinese citizens from imparting information that the Chinese government or Communist Party deem to be politically sensitive for other reasons. China’s Censorship of the Internet and Social Media: The Human Toll and Trade Impact, Hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 17 November 11, Testimony of Gilbert Kaplan, Partner, King & Spalding, President, Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws.

6 David Bandurski, "China’s Censors Turn on ‘Micro Films,"’ China Media Project, 10 July 12.

7 Laurie Burkit, "‘Body Double’ Blocked Online Amid Speculation About Gu Kailai," Wall Street Journal, 21 August 12.

8 Anne Henochowicz, "Directives From the Ministry of Truth, February 6–March 7, 2012," China Digital Times, 12 March 12; Joe McDonald and Didi Tang, "Chen Guangcheng, Escaped Blind Activist, Censored by Chinese Government," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 1 May 12; Reporters Without Borders, "News Blackout on Wukan Revolt, Grip Tightens on Micro-Blogs," 16 December 11.

9 "Three People Punished for Spreading Rumors Online," Xinhua, 25 October 11.

10 Tania Branigan, "China’s Censors Tested by Microbloggers Who Keep One Step Ahead of State Media," Guardian, 15 April 12; Tania Branigan, "Censorship in China: Crackdown on Bloggers as Rumours of Coup Swirl," Guardian, 31 March 12.

11 "Websites Closed, Six Detained for Spreading Rumors," Xinhua, 31 March 12.

12 Priscilla Jiao, "Microbloggers Back in Action," South China Morning Post, 4 April 12.

13 See, e.g., Liang Chen, "Blocking of Hepatitis B Website Raises Ire," Global Times, reprinted in People’s Daily, 30 July 12; Loretta Chao, "Beijing Cracks Down on Web Commentary To Quell Political Speculation," Wall Street Journal, 1 April 12; Keith B. Richburg, "Amid Rumors of Unrest, China Cracks Down on the Internet," Washington Post, 31 March 12; UN GAOR, Hum. Rts. Coun., 20th. Sess., Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights, Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Including the Right to Development, Agenda Item 3, A/HRC/ 20/L.13, 29 June 12; "Human Rights Council Backs Internet Freedom," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 5 July 12.

14 State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, "State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the State Internet Information Office Jointly Issued a Circular To Guide and Regulate the Healthy Development of Online Dramas, Microfilms and Internet Video Programming" [Guojia guangdian zongju he guojia hulianwang xinxi bangongshi lianhe xia fa tongzhi yindao he guifan wangluo ju, wei dianying deng wangluo shiting jiemu jiankang fazhan], 9 July 12; Josh Rudolph, "SARFT Extends Internet Video Censorship," China Digital Times, 12 July 12; "China Steps Up Online Video Regulation," Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily, 10 July 12.

15 State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), "SARFT Spokesperson Answers Reporters’ Questions on the ‘Circular To Further Strengthen Management of Online Dramas, Microfilms, and Internet Video Programming" [Guangdian zongju xinwen fayanren jiu "guanyu jinyibu jiaqiang wangluo ju, wei dianying deng wangluo shiting jiemu guanli de tongzhi" da jizhe wen], 9 July 12.

16 Sun Li, "Measures To Manage Online Programs," China Daily, 10 July 12.

17 David Bandurski, "China’s Censors Turn On ‘Micro Films,"’ China Media Project, 10 July 12.

18 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing Weekly May 29—June 4, 2012," 6 June 12.

19 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing Weekly July 7—12, 2012," 13 July 12.

20 Ibid.

21 State Council, Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services [Hulianwang xinxi fuwu guanli banfa], issued and effective 25 September 00, art. 15.

22 See, e.g., a November 2010 China Daily article that notes the concerns of one Chinese professor, who said there is a need for specific laws to determine when citizens have "spread rumors." Li Xinzhu, "Latest Batch of Rogue Netizens Exposed," China Daily, 3 November 10.

23 State Council, Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services [Hulianwang xinxi fuwu guanli banfa], issued and effective 25 September 00, arts. 15–16; Provisions on the Administration of Internet News Information Services [Hulianwang xinwen xinxi fuwu guanli guiding], issued 25 September 05, effective 25 September 05, arts. 19–21.

24 Alexa Olesen, "Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, Leads Microblog Craze," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 2 August 12; Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China,"January 2012, 3.

25 Gao Yuan, "Rate of Rise in Web Use Falls," China Daily, 6 February 12.

26 Louisa Lim, "Chinese Activists Turn to Twitter in Rights Cases," National Public Radio, 28 October 11.

27 Chenda Ngak, "China Shuts Down Twitter-Like Accounts Amid Political Scandal," CBS News, 25 April 12.

28 Ralph Jennings, "China Internet Users Use VPN Servers To Cross Firewall," Reuters, 28 January 10; Peter Simpson, "Chinese Police Raid Home of Human Rights Activist Hu Jia," Telegraph, 12 January 12.

29 Andrew Phelps, Nieman Journalism Lab, "Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship: Whenand Why Are Controversial Tweets Deleted?" 30 May 12; Gary King et al., Harvard University, "How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression," 18June 12; David Bamman et al., "Censorship and Deletion Practices in Chinese Social Media," First Monday, Vol. 17, No. 3, 5 March 12.

30 Gary King et al., Harvard University, "How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression," 18 June 12.

31 Wang Zhen, "Actively Launch Microblog Public Opinion Guidance Work" [Jiji kaizhan weiboke yulun yindao gongzuo], People’s Daily, 28 November 11.

32 "210,000 Posts Removed, 42 Websites Closed in China Rumor Cleanup," Xinhua, 12 April 12.

33 James T. Areddy, "China Blasts High-Speed Rail System," Wall Street Journal, 29 December 11.

34 "Fury Over Gift of Buses," Radio Free Asia, 28 November 11.

35 Reporters Without Borders, "Beijing Tries To Suppress Information About Politically-Charged Affair," 13 April 12.

36 Xinhua, the official state news agency, appeared to respond to certain microblog, or weibo,controversies, such as Wang Lijun’s investigation in February 2012. See, e.g., "Authorities Investigating Chongqing Vice Mayor’s Entering Into U.S. Consulate," Xinhua, 9 February 12.

37 Dong Changqing, "First Report on Ministries’ Microblogging Operations Available" [Shou fen buwei weibo yunying baogao mianshi], Beijing Daily, 25 August 12.

38 Ibid.

39 See, e.g., Wang Zhen, "Actively Carry Out Microblog Public Opinion Guidance Work" [Jijikaizhan weiboke yulun yindao gongzuo], People’s Daily, 28 November 11.

40 PRC Central People’s Government, "Central Committee Decision Concerning the MajorIssue of Deepening Cultural System Reforms, Promoting the Great Development and Prosperity of Socialist Culture" [Zhongyang guanyu shenhua wenhua tizhi gaige ruogan zhongda wenti dejueding], passed 18 October 11.

41 Beijing People’s Municipal Government, Several Provisions on the Development and Management of Microblogs in Beijing Municipality [Beijing shi weiboke fazhan guanli ruogan guiding], issued and effective 17 December 11; "Four Biggest Weibo Will All Require Real-NameRegistration by March 16; Unregistered Accounts Will Be Restricted from Posting and Re-posting" [Si da weibo 16 ri quanbu shiming zhuce wei shiming yonghu jiang jin fayan zhuanfa],Caijing, reprinted in Southern Metropolitan Daily, 7 February 12; Yang Jingjie, "Real-Name Weibo Expanded," Global Times, 23 December 11; "Beijing Requires Real Names in MicroblogRegistration," Xinhua, 16 December 11, For CECC analysis, see "Chinese Authorities Implement Real Name Microblog Regulations," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 10 May 12.

42 Elaine Kurtenbach, "China Looks To Boost Internet Limits on Microblogs," Associated Press, 7 June 12.

43 Ibid.

44 Josh Chin and Loretta Chao, "Beijing Communist Party Chief Issues Veiled Warning to Chinese Web Portal," Wall Street Journal, 24 August 11.

45 "China’s Sina Weibo Unveils New Censorship System," Voice of America, 29 May 12; Michael Wines, "Crackdown on Chinese Bloggers Who Fight the Censors With Puns," New York Times, 28 May 12; Josh Chin, "Censorship 3.0? Sina Weibo New ‘User Credit’ Points System," Wall Street Journal, 29 May 12.

46 China Internet Network Information Center, "The 30th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China" [Di 30 ci zhongguo hulianwangluo fazhan zhuangkuang tongji baogao], June 2012, 4.

47 "China Mobile Subscribers Rise 1.1 Pct to 1.02 Bln in April," Reuters, 21 May 12.

48 Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Internet Industry "12th Five-Year Development Plan" [Hulianwang hangye "shier wu" fazhan guihua], 18 October 11; "Chinese Internet Users To Hit 800m by 2015," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 5 May 12.

49 Ibid.

50 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012–2015)," 11 June 12, sec. I (6).

51 "China To Tighten Internet Control With New Rules," Agence France-Presse, 7 June 12.

52 Guobin Yang, "China’s Gradual Revolution," New York Times, 13 March 11; Keith B. Richburg, "In China, Microblogging Sites Become Free-Speech Platform," Washington Post, 27March 11; Li Yongchun, "Vacuum-Cleaning the Internet," Caixin, 13 July 12; Malcolm Moore, "China Cuts Off Internet Access in Bid To Exert Control," Telegraph, 12 April 12; Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, Citizen Lab, "Casting a Wider Net," 11 October 11; Michael Wines, "China’s Censors Misfire in Abuse-of-Power Case," New York Times, 17 November 10.

53 See, e.g., Sui-Lee Wee, "Writer Sentenced to 10 Years for Subversion," Reuters, reprinted in South China Morning Post, 19 January 12; Human Rights in China, "Dissident Zhu YufuSentenced to Seven Years for ‘Inciting Subversion,"’ 10 February 12; "Chinese Disabled Lawyer Ni Yulan Is Sentenced" [Zhongguo canjiren lushi ni yulan bei panxing], Voice of America, 10April 12.

54 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Dissident Zhu Yufu Sentenced to Seven Years for ‘Inciting Subversion’ as Heavy Punishments Continue," 10 February 12.

55 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Chinese Dissident Zhu Yufu Tried for ‘Inciting Subversion,’ No Verdict Announced," 31 January 12; Josh Rudolph, "Zhu Yufu Sentenced to Seven Years," China Digital Times, 10 February 12.

56 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Dissident Zhu Yufu Sentenced to Seven Years for ‘Inciting Subversion’ as Heavy Punishments Continue," 10 February 12.

57 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Chinese Democracy Activist Li Tie Jailed for Ten Years for ‘Subversion,"’ 18 January 12; Damian Grammaticas, "When Words Are Crimes in China,"BBC, 19 January 12.

58 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 293.

59 Josh Chin, "Housing Rights Defender Jailed for ‘Disturbance,"’ Wall Street Journal, 10 April 12; "Court Jails Activist Lawyer, Husband," Radio Free Asia, 10 April 12; "Chinese DisabledLawyer Ni Yulan Criminally Sentenced" [Zhongguo canji ren lushi ni yulan bei panxing], Voice of America, 9 April 12; Sui-Lee Wee, "China Rights Lawyer Jailed for 2 Years, 8 Months," Reuters, reprinted in New York Times, 10 April 12.

60 Josh Chin and Olivia Geng, "Housing Rights Defender Jailed for ‘Disturbance,"’ Wall StreetJournal, 10 April 12; "Court Jails Activist Lawyer, Husband," Radio Free Asia, 10 April 12; "Chinese Disabled Lawyer Ni Yulan Criminally Sentenced" [Zhongguo canji ren lushi ni yulanbei panxing], Voice of America, 9 April 12; Sui-Lee Wee, "China Rights Lawyer Jailed for 2 Years, 8 Months," Reuters, reprinted in New York Times, 10 April 12.

61 Damian Grammaticas, "When Words Are Crimes in China," BBC, 19 January 12; Jessica Colwell, "China Christmas Crackdown on Activists Going Strong," Shanghaiist, 29 December 11;"China Rights Situation Deteriorating, Say Activists," BBC, 9 March 12.

62 See, e.g., "Activist Released ‘Under Surveillance,"’ Radio Free Asia, 2 December 11; Sui-LeeWee, "China’s Ai Weiwei Threatened With Bigamy, Pornography Charges," Reuters, 21 June 12; "Chinese Dissident Receives Second Subversion Conviction in 3 Years," Associated Press, 28 March 12.

63 See, e.g., Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Communique on Behalf of Chen Xi, Citizenof the People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention, and Violations of Right to Freedom of Expression and the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association," 27 March 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Communique on Behalf of Xie Fulin, Citizen of the People’s Republic of China, Alleging Arbitrary Arrest or Detention, Torture, andViolation of Right to Freedom of Expression," 13 April 12; Zhou Yue, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Panyu Public Security Bureau Refuses Lawyers’ Visit to Xu Lin, Claiming Excuseof ‘Case Secrets"’ [Panyu gong’an ju yi xu lin "anjian she mi" wei you jujue lushi huijian], 29 May 12.

64 See, e.g., "Ai Weiwei: Foreign Travel Ban ‘Disappointing,"’ BBC, 22 June 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "News: Rights Defenders Gu Chuan, Li Xin’ai Intercepted at BeijingInternational Airport" [Kuaixun: weiquan renshi guchuan, li xin’ai zai beijing guoji jichang bei lanjie], 4 April 12; Human Rights in China, "Dissident Writer-in-Exile Yu Jie Details Tortureby Police," 18 January 12; "Chen Supporters Detained in Shandong," Radio Free Asia, 12 November 11.

65 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing March 13–19, 2012," 20 March 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Elections Expert Yao Lifa Faces Controls on Freedom for Over One Year, Has Blog Shut Down" [Xuanju zhuanjia yao lifa bei xianzhi ziyou yi nian zhi jiu, boke zao fengsha], 14 March 12.

66 Committee to Protect Journalists, "Under Pressure at Home, Chinese Writer Chooses Exile," 13 January 12; Human Rights in China, "Dissident Writer-in-Exile Yu Jie Details Torture by Police," 18 January 12; Verna Yu, "Writer Flees to the US With His Family," South China Morning Post, 13 January 12; Chris Buckley, "Chinese Christian Dissident Seeks U.S. Exile," Reuters, 13 January 12.

67 Human Rights in China, "Dissident Writer-in-Exile Yu Jie Details Torture by Police," 18 January 12.

68 Jerome A. Cohen, U.S.-Asia Law Institute, New York University, School of Law, "Incommunicado Detention in China," 18 April 12; "Artist Ai Weiwei: China Crushes Dissenting Voices," Associated Press, reprinted in Fox News, 11 June 12; Edward Wong, "First a Black Hood, Then 81 Captive Days for an Artist in China," New York Times, 26 March 12.

69 Edward Wong, "First a Black Hood, Then 81 Captive Days for an Artist in China," New York Times, 26 March 12.

70 Ibid.

71 "China Artist Ai Weiwei’s Tax Evasion Appeal Rejected," BBC, 20 July 12; Tania Branigan, "Artist Ai Weiwei Released on Bail, Chinese Police Say," Guardian, 22 June 11. For examplesof official criticism of Ai Weiwei, see "Ai Weiwei’s Tax Evasion Case Takes a New Twist," Global Times, 7 November 11; Alexis Lai, "Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Places Himself Under Home Surveillance," CNN, 5 April 12; "Artist Ai Weiwei: China Crushes Dissenting Voices," Associated Press, 11 June 12.

72 Ai Weiwei, "Ai Weiwei’s Message for Art & Cinema for Peace," Cinema for Peace Foundation, reposted on Youtube, 11 June 12; "Artist Ai Weiwei: China Crushes Dissenting Voices,"Associated Press, 11 June 12.

73 Steven L. Meyers and Mark Landler, "Behind Twists of Diplomacy in the Case of a ChineseDissident," New York Times, 9 May 12; "Chen Guangcheng Escapes House Arrest," Radio Free Asia, 27 April 12; Bo Gu, "Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng Escapes From House Arrest," NBC News, 27 April 12; Helier Cheung, "Activists Debate China Lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s Escape," BBC, 27 April 12.

74 Anne Henochowicz, "Sensitive Words: Chen Guangcheng," China Digital Times, 7 May 12; Steven Jiang, "Chinese Censors Block News on Blind Activist’s Escape," CNN, 30 April 12.

75 Steven Jiang, "Chinese Censors Block News on Blind Activist’s Escape," CNN, 30 April 12.

76 Joe McDonald and Didi Tang, "Chen Guangcheng, Escaped Blind Activist, Censored by Chinese Government," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 1 May 12.

77 David Bandurski, "Chen Guangcheng and the Riddle of the Mouse and Mole," China MediaProject, 28 April 12.

78 Helier Cheung, "Activists Debate China Lawyer Chen Guangcheng’s Escape," BBC, 27 April12; Kate Woodsome, "Chen Guangcheng Pop Art Goes Viral," Voice of America, 3 May 12.

79 UN Human Rights Council, "Tenth Anniversary Joint Declaration: Ten Key Challenges toFreedom of Expression in the Next Decade," Addendum to Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, 25 March10, A/HRC/14/23/Add. 2, art. 1(a).

80 Reporters Without Borders, "Press Freedom Index 2011/2012."

81 J. David Goodman, "Journalists Should Be Government Mouthpieces, Chinese Media Leader Says," New York Times, 5 December 11.

82 J. David Goodman, "Journalists Should Be Government Mouthpieces, Chinese Media Leader Says," New York Times, 5 December 11; "China Web Users Criticise New State TV Boss,"Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google News, 4 December 11; Malcolm Moore, "Chinese Journalists Must Be ‘Mouthpieces’ of the State," Telegraph, 5 December 11.

83 David Bandurski, "Goebbels in China?" China Media Project, 5 December 11.

84 See, e.g., Zhou Hua, "The Construction of Journalistic Ethics Must Strengthen Self-Discipline and Regulatory Mechanisms" [Xinwen zhiye daode jianshe yao qianghua zilu he jianguan jizhi], Guangming Daily, 21 November 11; Chang Shi, "Singing the Main Melody Is the SocialResponsibility of the Chinese Media" [Chang xiang zhuxuanlu shi zhongguo meiti de shehui zeren], Beijing Daily, 18 May 12.

85 Chang Shi, "Singing the Main Melody Is the Social Responsibility of the Chinese Media" [Chang xiang zhuxuanlu shi zhongguo meiti de shehui zeren], Beijing Daily, 18 May 12.

86 For an English translation of Chang Shi’s Beijing Daily editorial, see David Bandurski, "Who Is Beijing Daily Speaking for?" China Media Project, 18 May 12; Chang Shi, "Singing theMain Melody Is the Social Responsibility of the Chinese Media" [Chang xiang zhuxuanlu shi zhongguo meiti de shehui zeren], Beijing Daily, 18 May 12.

87 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, sec. I(7).

88 International Federation of Journalists, "Chinese Investigative Journalist Forced To Resign," 16 November 11.

89 Ibid.

90 Pi Ai’er, "Caijing Dismisses Reporter Yang Haipeng Due to Political Pressure" [Caijingzazhi yin zhengzhi yali jiepin jizhe yang haipeng], Deutsche Welle, 14 November 11; International Federation of Journalists, "Chinese Investigative Journalist Forced To Resign," 16 November 11.

91 Reporters Without Borders, "TV Presenter Suspended After Microblog Warning AboutTainted Gelatine," 25 April 12.

92 David Bandurski, "No Power for Media, No Power for Citizens," China Media Project, 3 July12; "China Fires Journalist, Blocks Agency," Radio Free Asia, 3 July 12; Reporters Without Borders, "Authorities Extend Censorship, Step Up Reprisals Against Dissidents," 3 July 12.

93 "China Editors Removed Ahead of Leadership Change," Agence France-Presse, 19 July 12; David Bandurski, "Top Editor Reshuffled at Guangzhou Paper," China Media Project, 17 July 12; "China Removes Top Editors," Radio Free Asia, 18 July 12.

94 He Qinglian, The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China (New York: Human Rights in China, 2008), 25.

95 Provisions on the Administration of Internet News Information Services [Hulianwang xinwen xinxi fuwu guanli guiding], issued and effective 25 September 05, arts. 7, 8, 11; Regulations on the Administration of Publishing [Chuban guanli tiaoli], issued 25 December 01, effective 1 February 02, art. 15; Measures for Administration of News Reporter Cards [Xinwen jizhe zheng guanli banfa], issued 24 August 09, effective 15 October 09, arts. 11, 12, 16.

96 Zhejiang Province Radio, Film and Television Bureau, "2010 Nationwide Radio and Television Editors and Reporters, Broadcasters, and Hosts Qualification Exam" [2010 nian quanguo guangbo dianshi bianji jizhe, boyin yuan zhuchi ren zige kaoshi dagang], 30 July 10, chap. 2, art. 6.

97 General Administration of Press and Publication, "Several Provisions To Prevent and Guard Against False Reporting" [Guanyu yanfang xujia xinwen baodao de ruogan guiding], 19 October 11, art. 1(4); Michael Wines, "China Rolls Out Tighter Rules on Reporting," New York Times, 11 November 11.

98 Ibid., art. 2(3); Michael Wines, "China Rolls Out Tighter Rules on Reporting," New York Times, 11 November 11.

99 Ibid., art. 3(3). For CECC analysis, see "Chinese Authorities Issue Regulations To Control Journalists and ‘Unverified Reports,"’ Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 8 May 12.

100 Priscilla Jiao, "Crackdown on Use of Online News Sources," South China Morning Post, 11 November 11.

101 Committee to Protect Journalists, "International Journalists Attacked While Covering Land Dispute," 17 February 12.

102 "Foreign Correspondents’ Club in China Warns Reporters," BBC, 20 February 12.

103 J. David Goodman, "Western Journalists Attacked in Chinese Village Amid Unrest," New York Times, 16 February 12; "Foreign Correspondents’ Club in China Warns Reporters," BBC, 20 February 12.

104 Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, "Foreign Correspondents’ Clubs in China Jointly Express Extreme Concern Over Abuse of Journalists," 21 August 12.

105 Ibid.

106 "Al Jazeera English Forced Out of China," Al Jazeera, 9 May 12.

107 Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, "Correspondent Expelled," 8 May 12.

108 Ibid.

109 Michael Wines, "China Expels Al Jazeera English-Language Channel," New York Times, 7 May 12.

 

WORKER RIGHTS

Introduction | Freedom of Association | Worker Actions | Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes | Migrant Workers | Social Insurance | Wages | Other Working Conditions | Child Labor

Introduction

Workers in China still are not guaranteed, either by law or in practice, full worker rights in accordance with international standards, including the right to organize into independent unions. Authorities continued to harass, abuse, and detain advocates for worker rights. The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), the official union under the direction of the Communist Party, is the only legal trade union organization in China. All lower level unions must be affiliated with the ACFTU.

During the 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government and Communist Party faced the challenge of accommodating an increasingly rights-conscious workforce during a domestic macroeconomic slowdown. Worker demonstrations continued in various locations and industries, in some instances in response to cost-cutting meas-ures taken by management that threatened workers’ wages or benefits.

Following international reports on working conditions at suppliers for Apple, Inc., Apple and Foxconn—a Taiwan-based multinational electronics manufacturer, major supplier for Apple, and reportedly the largest private employer in China—began implementing a program to improve conditions at Foxconn factories across China. Some observers have argued that this plan, if implemented as described, could create incentives for other employers in China to improve conditions for workers.

Freedom of Association

The Chinese government continued to prevent workers from exercising their constitutional right to freedom of association 1 this past year. Trade union activity can only be organized under the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU),2 an organization under the direction of the Communist Party.3 Leading union officials hold concurrent high-ranking positions in the Party.4 The ACFTU Constitution and the PRC Trade Union Law task the ACFTU with protecting the legal rights and interests of workers while supporting the leadership of the Party and the broader goals and interests of the government.5

Beginning in early 2012, authorities in Shenzhen municipality, Guangdong province, reportedly increased pressure on several worker services non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to stop their work. Between February and May, the landlords of four such NGOs terminated their leases early, reportedly under pressure from local authorities.6 The landlord of a fifth NGO ordered that organization to leave its rented office two years before the end of its lease, and officials from a local commerce bureau ordered a sixth NGO to stop work or move out because it had not registered with the government.7 In August 2012, local fire department officials inspected another such NGO in Shenzhen, a step that reportedly had preceded the lease terminations in at least two of the earlier cases.8 According to media sources, since the start of the crackdown, the total number of NGOs that have been forced to close had reached 10 by early September.9 In May 2012, authorities in Guangdong established a coalition of worker services NGOs under the leadership of the provincial trade union,10 and at least some of the NGOs that experienced harassment reportedly believed that, through the coalition, local officials intended to bring NGOs viewed as cooperative under their supervision while isolating more independent NGOs.11

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

Tasked with Party and government loyalty, local-level unions did not consistently or uniformly advance the rights of workers this past year. ACFTU branches reportedly continued to prioritize "harmony" and "stability" in labor relations,12 and in some cases union representatives sought to end disputes expediently without necessarily addressing workers’ grievances. For example, after a December 2011 strike over bonus reductions at an electronics factory in Nanjing municipality, Jiangsu province, high-level Nanjing Party and union officials reportedly instructed local union officials to resolve the dispute quickly and maintain "stability." 13 Local union representatives reportedly did not make demands on behalf of workers in negotiations and instead tried to persuade them to return to work.14 In other cases, workers lacked knowledge of union functions, preventing them from accessing union representation. For example, out of more than 35,000 Foxconn workers surveyed in a March 2012 Fair Labor Association report, 70 percent reported they did not know whether worker representatives participated in their factory’s decisionmaking processes.15

COLLECTIVE CONTRACTING

In May 2012, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security reportedly announced it had begun consulting with other authorities, including the ACFTU, to research options for legislation to further promote the use of collective contracts,16 but the Commission observed no further reports on this initiative. Collective contracts—contracts produced through consultations between workers and management that regulate issues such as compensation, work hours, breaks and vacations, safety and health, and insurance and benefits 17—have been part of Chinese labor relations since the 1990s,18 and the ACFTU has championed collective contracts and negotiations as important foundations for trade union work at the enterprise level.19

 

Direct Union Elections in Shenzhen Municipality

Authorities in Guangdong province took steps this past year to pro­mote direct elections of trade union representatives. On May 27, 2012, workers at the Omron electronics factory elected a union chair through direct, secret ballot elections for the first time, after several hundred employees demanded direct elections.20 Wang Tongxin, Vice Chairman of the Shenzhen Municipal Federation of Trade Unions, reportedly said most enterprises did not have a system of direct union elections but that local ACFTU branches in Shenzhen would "guide" 163 Shenzhen-based enterprises to change their leadership in 2012 through "democratic elec­tions." 21

Worker Actions

During the past reporting year, workers continued to stage protest demonstrations in various locations in China in response to systemic labor-related grievances, such as inadequate pay or bene-fits,22 excessive overtime demands,23 and abusive management practices.24 For example, from late fall 2011 through early 2012, workers held a series of demonstrations that some international media and worker rights advocates characterized as the most significant since the summer of 2010.25 The exact number of worker actions that occurred during this period is difficult to determine, but they involved multiple industries and occurred in at least 10 provincial-level areas.26 The demonstrations coincided with a reported slowdown in China’s manufacturing and export sectors,27 and, in some cases, workers demonstrated in response to cost-cutting measures that threatened workers’ wages or benefits.28 In some of those cases, workers said their motivations for demonstrating included management’s failure to consult with them in implementing cost-cutting measures.29

The government and Party continued to express concern over the effect of worker actions on "harmony" and "stability." For example, in a February 15, 2012, statement, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) described "harmonious labor relations" as an "urgent and important political duty that we must grasp." 30 In another example, in a July 2012 article in the People’s Daily—the official news media of the Communist Party— ACFTU Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqi said, "Currently, China’s overall labor relations are harmonious and stable, but at the same time, a situation is emerging in which labor disputes, in particular collective labor disputes, are happening more easily and in greater numbers." 31 Tasked with "maintaining stability," officials in some cases reportedly used force against or detained demonstrating workers. For example, in October 2011, public security officials in Shaodong county, Shaoyang municipality, Hunan province, reportedly ordered coal worker Zhao Zuying to serve 10 days of administrative detention after Zhao and 18 others gathered in a public square in Shaoshan city, Xiangtan municipality, Hunan, and expressed grievances over restructuring of the mines where they worked.32 Officials reportedly used force to stop worker demonstrations in locations including Dongguan city, Guangdong province;33 Shanghai municipality;34 Huzhou municipality, Zhejiang province;35 and Chengdu city, Sichuan province.36

 

Labor Rights Advocate Li Wangyang Dies Under Police Surveillance

On June 6, 2012, hospital authorities in Shaoyang city, Hunan prov­ince, notified the family of labor rights advocate and 1989 Tiananmen protester Li Wangyang that Li had committed suicide by hanging him­self in the hospital while under police surveillance.37 Li previously served 11 years in prison for trying to form an independent union and 10 years for going on a hunger strike to demand compensation for mal­treatment suffered in prison.38 Li’s family, Hong Kong officials, and Hong Kong and international supporters expressed doubts that Li’s death was a suicide,39 in part due to his positive demeanor before his death and disabilities that hindered his mobility.40 Authorities at the hospital reportedly prevented access to Li before and after his death. Authorities prohibited Li’s sister Li Wangling 41 and brother-in-law Zhao Baozhu from approaching the body or taking pic­tures.42 On June 3, officials took into custody two rights advocates who visited Li,43 and, on June 7, officials took Zhao and Li Wangling into custody.44 Officials claimed that an autopsy was conducted on June 8 that ruled the death a suicide, but family members denied ever signing off on such report.45 Hong Kong-based and international observers criti­cized the government’s handling of the case, prompting officials to an­nounce further investigations.46 Subsequent investigations by officials concluded Li killed himself, but Australian forensic experts who exam­ined the available information raised questions in an August 2012 re­port regarding the evidence for suicide and whether the investigations met international standards.47

Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes

On November 30, 2011, the MOHRSS issued the Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes (Provisions), effective January 1, 2012.48 The PRC Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law allows workers (or unions acting on behalf of workers) and management to appoint representatives to committees responsible for mediating disputes in the workplace,49 and the Provisions require all medium and large enterprises to establish such committees.50 The Provisions also stipulate some additional, limited protections for worker rights. For example, upon receiving a complaint from workers about the implementation of a contract, collective contract, labor statute, or internal enterprise regulation, mediation committees must either coordinate with the enterprise to rectify the problem or give workers an explanation.51 The Provisions also require these committees to publicize labor laws, regulations, and policies in the workplace,52 and the Provisions clarify consultations by stipulating that the parties can specify a length of time for consultations 53 and that agreements reached through consultations are binding.54

The Provisions, however, fail to address the fact that workers in China are not guaranteed the right to organize into independent unions, leaving the government, Party, and employers with greater bargaining power in dispute resolution. The Provisions require enterprises to "guide workers to protect their rights rationally" 55 and require local bureaus of the MOHRSS to "guide enterprises" to respect laws, regulations, and policies related to worker rights.56 The Provisions also stipulate that state-sanctioned unions "may take the initiative to participate in the handling of labor dispute consultations and protect workers’ lawful rights and interests." 57

Migrant Workers

Migrant workers—rural residents who have left their place of residence to seek non-agricultural jobs in cities 58—remained particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace, facing problems such as wage arrears, ineffective means of redress of grievances, and abuse from managers. Migrant workers typically lack urban residency status and have low levels of education, income, and perceived social status.59 In one 2012 case, prior to the spring festival—a period when many migrant workers return home to their families—managers at a construction company in Xiangtan municipality, Hunan province, reportedly withheld 1,666,000 yuan (US$264,000) in wages from 300 migrant workers.60 Local officials reportedly declined to investigate at first, in an effort to "maintain stability," but began investigating after the workers publicly expressed their grievances.61 In another case, in April 2010, the Qi County Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in Kaifeng municipality, Henan province, reportedly filed a case with a local court on behalf of migrant workers with unpaid wages, but the court had not accepted the case as of January 18, 2012.62 The court reportedly claimed the bureau never submitted paperwork for the case; the bureau reportedly claimed it submitted the paperwork, but did not pay the processing fee at the time.63 In another case, on January 16, 2012, a construction company manager in Xianyang municipality, Shaanxi province, cut a migrant worker’s fingers with a knife after the worker asked the manager to pay unpaid wages to another migrant worker.64

Faced with a growing migrant worker population (reportedly over 250 million in 2011),65 an increasing urbanization rate,66 and a new generation of young, more educated, rights-conscious migrant workers,67 some local governments took steps to accommodate migrant workers seeking to integrate into urban areas. For example, in October 2011, the Beijing Municipal People’s Government issued a notice that, for the first time, allowed non-Beijing residents to apply for public housing in Beijing.68 In June 2012, authorities in Guangdong province launched the 2012 Dream Project, part of an ongoing program to help young migrant workers receive a college education.69

Social Insurance

This past year, workers continued to face challenges to receiving social insurance, including employers who delayed registering employees for insurance and employers who did not pay insurance contributions ("social insurance" includes old-age insurance, medical insurance, occupational injury insurance, unemployment insurance, and maternity insurance).70 For example, the PRC Law on Social Insurance requires employers to register employees with insurance providers within 30 days of employment,71 but some factories of the Hong Kong-based electronics manufacturer VTech 72 in Dongguan municipality, Guangdong province, reportedly waited between 6 and 10 months,73 while a Dongguan cement factory reportedly required workers to work at least 1 year before they could purchase social insurance.74 Official Chinese media reported in March 2012 that a state-owned firm in Ling county, Shandong province, owed employees tens of thousands of yuan (10,000 yuan is US$1,850) in social insurance contributions.75 The report said the unpaid insurance contributions caused "a wicked incident of workers striking and causing trouble," which in turn "caused an evil influence on society." 76 Following a recommendation of the Fair Labor Association, Apple Inc.’s supplier Foxconn worked with the municipal government in Shenzhen during the reporting year to allow migrant workers to claim social insurance benefits locally. Shenzhen authorities issued a provision this year to allow all migrant workers in the city to claim unemployment insurance benefits either at their home province or in Shenzhen, effective January 1, 2013.77

Wages

WAGE ARREARS AND NON-PAYMENT OF WAGES

Wage arrears and non-payment of wages remained serious problems this past year, especially for migrant workers.78 [See Migrant Workers above for more information.] In a January 2012 report, Apple, Inc., documented problems with wages at its suppliers in China, such as wage arrears, the use of wage deductions as punishment, and overtime pay that did not meet statutory requirements.79 A March 2012 Fair Labor Association investigation further documented wage problems at Foxconn factories.80 For example, some workers did not receive pay for attending work-related meetings outside of work hours.81 In some cases, workers received pay based on 30-minute increments, so that workers who worked an extra 29 minutes would receive no additional pay.82

MINIMUM WAGE

As the Commission observed in 2011, the Chinese government reportedly has assembled a "basic framework" for a national wage regulation, in part to address official concern over wealth disparities across China.83 The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) began formulating the regulation in 2007, and officials reportedly started soliciting comments and suggestions for a completed draft in early 2009.84 Some domestic media reports in-dicated the regulation would be approved sometime in 2010, but one MOHRSS official later said that was never the case.85 In a July 2011 press conference, MOHRSS spokesperson Yin Chengji said the regulation was being "researched and discussed" and that there was "no definite release date." 86 The Commission has not observed any subsequent reports on the draft regulation’s status.

Local governments continued to increase minimum wages during this reporting year. This past year, the Commission observed reports from local governments and Chinese media organizations describing increases in statutory minimum wages in nine provincial-level areas 87 and the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.88

Other Working Conditions

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY

Workers, especially in the mining sector, continued to face significant occupational safety risks this past year,89 although officially reported deaths from mining accidents in early 2012 were fewer than those from the same period in 2011. Central government news agency Xinhua reported that 185 accidents and 289 deaths occurred in China’s mining sector in the first quarter of 2012.90 The reported death total was 16.5 percent lower than the first quarter of 2011.91 Chinese media organizations continued to report on cases in which mine managers and local officials con-cealed information about mine accidents.92 In May 2012, the State Administration of Work Safety and the Ministry of Finance issued the Measures on Rewards for Safe Production Reporting (Measures), which stipulate cash rewards for workers who report occupational safety hazards, such as unlicensed construction activity, the use of equipment that the government has banned for safety reasons, and coverups of workplace accidents.93 The Measures also stipulate protection under the law for whistleblowers who report such issues.94

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

Workers’ health continued to face a variety of risks, including inadequate government supervision of industry compliance with occupational health standards,95 illegal actions by employers,96 a lack of transparency in diagnosing and certifying diseases,97 and a lack of knowledge among workers about health in the workplace.98 Officially reported cases of occupational disease have grown at increasing rates in recent years, especially in the mining sector, although the Ministry of Health (MOH) noted in a 2009 report that "experts estimate that the actual number of occupational diseases in China every year is larger than the reported number." 99

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE DATA REPORTED BY THE PRC MINISTRY OF HEALTH, 2007–2010

 

Year

New Cases of Occupational Disease
(Percent Increase Over Previous Year)

Percent of Total Cases of Occupational Disease From the Coal Mining Sector

2010*100

27,240 ...................................................................................... (50.26) ......................................................................................

57.75

2009*101

18,128 ...................................................................................... (31.90) ......................................................................................

41.38

2008**102

13,744 .......................................................................................
(-3.86) .......................................................................................

39.81

2007*103

14,296 ......................................................................................
(CECC has not observed relevant data) ...............................

45.84

†The Commission has not observed relevant official data on cases of occupational disease beyond 2010.
*MOH data for this year does not include the Tibet Autonomous Region.
**MOH data for this year does not include the Tibet Autonomous Region or Beijing municipality.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Under the PRC Social Insurance Law, effective July 1, 2011, workers are entitled to compensation for occupational injury or dis-ease if they obtain certification that the injury or disease is work-related.104 Workers, however, reportedly continued to face obstacles in obtaining compensation, such as difficulty obtaining a diagnosis or proving a working relationship with their employer,105 steps re-quired for the certification process under the PRC Regulations on Occupational Injury Insurance (Regulations).106 In addition, officials in some cases have implemented the law in an uneven manner. For example, sanitation worker Zhang Zhijuan suffered a brain hemorrhage while working overtime in Harbin municipality, Heilongjiang province, but local officials refused to recognize her condition as an occupational injury because she did not die,107 citing a provision in the Regulations that says a worker’s condition shall be treated as an occupational injury if the worker contracts a disease and "dies suddenly or, after rescue is ineffective, dies within 48 hours." 108 In 2010, however, a case similar to Zhang’s reportedly occurred in Beijing, and authorities recognized a worker’s brain hemorrhage as an occupational injury under the Regulations.109

An amendment to the PRC Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases (Occupational Disease Law), effective December 31, 2011,110 contains provisions that could help workers obtain the certification they need in order to receive compensation for occupational diseases.111 It also requires the government and employers to take general measures to protect the health of workers, including dedicating sufficient funding to the prevention and control of occupational diseases.112

 

Working Conditions at Foxconn Factories

In a March 2012 report, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) documented poor working conditions at three factories owned by Foxconn (one in Chengdu municipality, Sichuan province, and two in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone),113 a Taiwan-based multinational electronics manufac­turer,114 major supplier for Apple,115 and reportedly the largest private employer in China.116 The report found workers exceeding the legal limit for overtime and working without the legally required one-day break per week, "numerous" health and safety issues, worker alienation from management-appointed health and safety committees, uncompen­sated overtime, and barriers to insurance access.117 Apple and Foxconn agreed to ensure "elections of worker representatives without manage­ment interference," reduce overtime to the legal limit by July 2013 while protecting workers’ pay, improve recordkeeping of accidents, pay work­ers fairly for overtime, and explore private options for providing unem­ployment insurance to migrant workers.118

Some observers have argued that these measures, if implemented, could create incentives for other employers in China to improve condi­tions for workers.119 A June 2012 China Labor Watch report docu­mented similar problems with working conditions in 10 China-based Apple supplier factories, including one Foxconn factory, based on inves­tigations from January to April 2012.120 The same report also found ex­tensive use of dispatched workers in some factories.121 According to the PRC Labor Contract Law, dispatched workers are normally to be used for "temporary, auxiliary, or substitute positions." 122 In May 2012, Hong Kong-based non-governmental organization Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) reported ongoing problems with working conditions at Foxconn factories.123 For example, SACOM reported that workers at two Foxconn factories said the factories re­duced overtime hours but increased production quotas, in some cases leading workers to work unpaid overtime to achieve quotas.124 Other problems that SACOM reported included public humiliation of work­ers,125 unsafe working environments,126 and harsh living conditions in factory dormitories.127 In August 2012, the FLA issued a followup report on conditions at the three Foxconn factories reviewed in the March 2012 report, based on investigations from June 25 to July 6, 2012.128 The Au­gust report noted some changes in policies and procedures that, if imple­mented, could address problems noted in the March report. For exam­ple, all three factories established procedures designed to improve work­er participation in factory policymaking,129 and Foxconn established a new requirement that factories conduct worker training during normal work hours and pay overtime for any training outside of normal work hours.130 The long-term effects of such policies and procedures on condi­tions for Foxconn workers in practice, however, remain unclear.

Child Labor

This past year, illegal child labor continued to be reported in China. In a September 2011 report, the U.S. Department of Labor reported it had "reason to believe" six categories of goods—electronics, textiles, bricks, cotton, fireworks, and toys—were being produced in China with child labor, in violation of international standards.131 Apple’s January 2012 supplier report noted cases of child labor in five of Apple’s supplier facilities,132 and in February 2012, Chinese authorities reportedly discovered over 10 child laborers at an electronics factory in Suzhou municipality, Jiangsu province.133

As a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO), China has ratified the two core conventions on the elimination of child labor.134 The PRC Labor Law and related legislation prohibit the employment of minors under 16 years old.135 Both national and local legal provisions prohibiting child labor stipulate punishments for employing children.136 The PRC Criminal Law stipulates a punishment of up to 10 years in prison for anyone who "forces any other person to work by violence, threat or restriction of personal freedom," although the eighth amendment to the PRC Criminal Law—which took effect on May 1, 2011—removed language that specifically mentioned the employment of minors under 16 years of age.137 In May 2012, the Dongguan Municipal People’s Government in Guangdong province offered incentives to whistleblowers when it issued municipal regulations authorizing cash awards to those who report cases of child labor.138 Monitoring the extent of child labor in practice, however, is difficult, in part because the Chinese government does not release data on child labor despite frequent requests by the U.S. Government, other foreign governments, and international organizations. In 2011, the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations expressed concern over this lack of transparency and urged the Chinese government to "take the necessary measures to ensure that sufficient up-to-date data on the situation of working children is made available. . . ." 139 A 2010 report by a global risks advisory firm rated China "amongst those with the most widespread abuses of child workers" and estimated there were "between 10 to 20 million underage workers." 140

The Chinese government, which has condemned the use of child labor and pledged to take stronger measures to combat it,141 continued to permit "work-study" programs and activities that in practical terms perpetuated the practice of child labor and were tantamount to official endorsement of it. National provisions prohibiting child labor provide that "education practice labor" and vocational skills training labor organized by schools and other educational and vocational institutions do not constitute use of child labor when such activities do not adversely affect the safety and health of the students.142 The PRC Education Law supports schools that establish work-study and other related programs, provided that the programs do not negatively affect normal studies.143 China has ratified the ILO’s Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention,144 but in a 2011 report on China’s compliance with this convention, the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Applications of Conventions and Recommendations noted "serious concern at the compulsory nature of the work performed . . . by schoolchildren under the age of 18 within the context of work-study programmes." 145 The Committee cited reports of students performing labor-intensive tasks in factories and fields for extended periods of time, including cotton picking in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).146 The Commission continued to note similar reports this past year.147 In September 2011, for example, a school in the XUAR reportedly postponed classes for 15 days so that students as young as third grade could pick cotton, leading some to suffer heat stroke and hand injuries.148

Notes to Section II—Worker Rights

1 PRC Constitution, issued 4 December 82, amended 12 April 88, 29 March 93, 15 March 99, 14 March 04, art. 35.

2 PRC Trade Union Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo gonghui fa], enacted and effective 3 April 92, amended 27 October 01, arts. 4, 11–13; Constitution of the Chinese Trade Unions[Zhongguo gonghui zhangcheng], adopted 26 September 03, amended 21 October 08, General Principles.

3 Constitution of the Chinese Trade Unions [Zhongguo gonghui zhangcheng], adopted 26 September 03, amended 21 October 08, General Principles.

4 For example, during the past year, ACFTU Chairman Wang Zhaoguo was concurrently a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee. See All-China Federation of Trade Unions, "Wang Zhaoguo, ACFTU Chairman" [Wang zhaoguo, quanguo zong gonghui zhuxi], last visited 14 June 12.

5 PRC Trade Union Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo gonghui fa], enacted and effective 3 April 92, amended 27 October 01, art. 4; Constitution of the Chinese Trade Unions [Zhongguo gonghui zhangcheng], adopted 26 September 03, amended 21 October 08, General Principles.

6 Jiang Zijian and Xu Kun, "Over Ten Shenzhen Labor NGOs Experience ‘Unusual Time’ " [Shenzhen shi yu jia laogong NGO zaoyu "teshu shiqi"], New Business Weekly, reprinted in QQ, 21 August 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing June 12–19, 2012," 20 June 12; Zhang Zhiru, "Guangdong Labor NGOs Face Big Purge, Government Equally Incorporates With One Hand and Suppresses With the Other" [Guangdong laogong NGO mianlin dazhengsu, zhengfu shoubian he daya liang shou bingzhong], China Worker Rights Net, 8 June 12. For more information, see Fiona Tam, "Guangdong Shuts Down at Least Seven Labour NGOs," South China Morning Post, 27 July 12.

7 Zhang Zhiru, "Guangdong Labor NGOs Face Big Purge, Government Equally Incorporates With One Hand and Suppresses With the Other" [Guangdong laogong NGO mianlin dazhengsu, zhengfu shoubian he daya liang shou bingzhong], China Worker Rights Net, 8 June 12.

8 Jiang Zijian and Xu Kun, "Over Ten Shenzhen Labor NGOs Experience ‘Unusual Time’ " [Shenzhen shi yu jia laogong NGO zaoyu "teshu shiqi"], New Business Weekly, reprinted in QQ, 21 August 12.

9 Deng Jingyin, "Forced To Close, NGOs Win Sympathy," Global Times, 10 September 12; "Many Shenzhen Labor Rights NGOs Are Forced To Move Following Inspections" [Shenzhen duojia laogong weiquan jigou zao jiancha hou bei qiangzhi yaoqiu banqian], Radio Free Asia, 10 September 12.

10 "Provincial Union Leads Construction of First Worker Service Hub Social Organization" [Sheng zong gonghui qiantou goujian shou ge zhigong fuwu lei shuniu xing shehui zuzhi], Southern Daily, 17 May 12.

11 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing June 12–19, 2012," 20 June 12.

12 See, e.g., Zhang Lu, "Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions Formulates the Construction of a Harmonious Labor Relations ‘Progress Schedule’ " [Shanghai gonghui zhiding goujian hexie laodong guanxi "jindu biao"], Workers’ Daily, 6 June 12; Zhao Xiaozhan, "Face to Face, Heart to Heart, Honest Services for Workers at the Grassroots Level: Xinjiang Federation of Trade Unions Large-Scale Investigations, Large-Scale Visits To Solve Conflicts in Labor Relations" [Mianduimian, xintiexin, shidashi fuwu zhigong zai jiceng: xinjiang gonghui da paicha da zoufang huajie laodong guanxi maodun], Workers’ Daily, 5 June 12; Wu Zhiqiang, "Relevant State Ministries and Committees Investigate the Situation of Baiyin City Creating Events To Construct Harmonious Labor Relations in the Taxi Industry" [Guojia xiangguan buwei diaoyan wo shi chuzuche hangye goujian hexie laodong guanxi chuangjian huodong qingkuang], Baiyin Daily, reprinted in Baiyin Municipal People’s Government, 25 May 12; Xiao Yubao, "Zhang Guangmin, Vice Head of the Fujian Provincial People’s Congress Standing Committee and Chairman of the Provincial Federation of Trade Unions, Proposes That Union Cadres Must Be Deep Feeling, Thorough, and Deep Going" [Fujian sheng renda changweihui fu zhuren, sheng zong gonghui zhuxi zhang guangmin tichu gonghui ganbu yao shenqing shenru shengeng], Worker’s Daily, 21 May 12.

13 Collective Bargaining Forum, "LGD (Nanjing) Strike Incident Investigative Report" [LGD (Nanjing) bagong shijian diaoyan baogao], 3 May 12.

14 Ibid.

15 Fair Labor Association, "Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn," March 2012, 10.

16 "Launching Special Research Into Collective Contracting Legislation," Legal Daily, 28 May 12.

17 See, e.g., PRC Labor Contract Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong hetong fa], issued 29 June 07, effective 1 January 08, art. 51.

18 Simon Clarke et al., "Collective Consultation and Industrial Relations in China," British Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 42, No. 2 (2004), 238–40.

19 Ibid.

20 "Shenzhen To Initiate Direct Union Elections at 163 Enterprises, ACFTU Says Will Become the Norm" [Shenzhen jiang qidong 163 jia qiye gonghui zhixuan, zong gonghui cheng jiang changtaihua], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 28 May 12; China Labour Bulletin, "Shenzhen Trade Union Promises More Direct Elections," 28 May 12; China Labour Bulletin, "Stirrings of Democracy at a Shenzhen Factory," 5 June 12.

21 "Shenzhen To Initiate Direct Union Elections at 163 Enterprises, ACFTU Says Will Become the Norm" [Shenzhen jiang qidong 163 jia qiye gonghui zhixuan, zong gonghui cheng jiang changtaihua], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 28 May 12.

22 See, e.g., Jennifer Cheung, China Labour Bulletin, "Pay Disputes and Factory Relocations the Focus of Strike Action in April," 3 May 12; Collective Bargaining Forum, "LGD (Nanjing) Strike Incident Investigative Report" [LGD (Nanjing) bagong shijian diaoyan baogao], 3 May 12; China Labor Watch, "1,000 Workers Strike at Factory That Makes Keyboards for Apple and IBM," 23 November 11; Tania Branigan, "Striking Chinese Workers Blockade Tesco Store," Guardian, 30 November 11.

23 See, e.g., China Labor Watch, "1,000 Workers Strike at Factory That Makes Keyboards for Apple and IBM," 23 November 11.

24 Ibid.; "Clashes Over Migrant Worker’s Death," Radio Free Asia, 29 May 12; "Female Manager Telling Worker To Jump Off Building and Die Causes Over 400 People To Collectively Stop Work" [Nu zhuguan jiao yuangong tiaolou qusi yin 400 duo ren jiti tinggong], Xinhua, 22 November 11; China Labor Watch, "Workers at Shenzhen Top Form Underwear Co., Limited Go on Strike," 22 November 11.

25 Austin Ramzy, "Amid Slowdown, Increasing Labor Strife in China’s Manufacturing Belt," Time, 25 November 11; Marianne Barriaux, "China Hit by Labour Unrest as Global Slowdown Bites," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 26 November 11.

26 China Labor Watch, "Workers on Strike at Auto Parts Factory in Guangzhou Over Bonus Reduction," 28 December 11; "Several Hundred Workers in Fuzhou Strike and Block Road To Demand Wage Arrears" [Fuzhou shubai gongren bagong dulu tao qianxin], Radio Free Asia, 3 January 12; Zhong Ang and Zhang Xiaohui, "Strikes at PepsiCo Bottling Plants in China," Economic Observer, 14 November 11; "Master Kang and PepsiCo Integrate To Form Alliance, Encounter Collective Opposition From Factory Workers" [Kang shifu baishi yinliao zhenghe jiemeng, zaoyu gongchang yuangong jiti dizhi], Beijing Business Today, reprinted in Xinhua, 15 November 11; China Labour Bulletin, "Workers at Pepsi Bottling Plants in China Protest Takeover," 15 November 11; Jennifer Cheung, China Labour Bulletin, "Around 7,000 Workers in Dongguan Stage Mass Protest Over Wage Cuts and Dismissals," 17 November 11; China Labor Watch, "Workers Strike in Dongguan: New Balance, Yucheng Shoe Factory Should Take Responsibility," 18 November 11; "Workers Dissatisfied With New Factory Rules in Dongguan Shoe Factory Stop Work and Gather at Town Government" [Dongguan xie chang gongren bu man xin chang gui tinggong juji zhen zhengfu], Southern Daily, reprinted in Xinhua, 19 November 11; "Four Hundred People Collectively Stop Work After Female Manager in Shenzhen Tells Employee To Jump Off Building" [Shenzhen yi nu zhuguan jiao yuangong qu tiaolou yinfa 400 ren jiti tinggong], Yangcheng Evening News, 22 November 11; China Labor Watch, "Workers at Shenzhen Top Form Underwear Co., Limited Go on Strike," 22 November 11; China Labor Watch, "1,000 Workers Strike at Factory That Makes Keyboards for Apple and IBM," 23 November 11; "Further Investigation Into the Incident of One Hundred Taxis Stopping Operations in Liaocheng" [Liaocheng bai liang chuzuche tingyun shijian zai diaocha], People’s Daily, 12 December 11; Tania Branigan, "Striking Chinese Workers Blockade Tesco Store," Guardian, 30 November 11; Elaine Kurtenbach, "China Labor Unrest Grows," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 2 December 11; Royston Chan, "Hundreds Strike at Singapore-Owned Plant in China," Reuters, 2 December 11; James Pomfret and Royston Chan, "China Unrest Spreads to Bamboo Furniture Factory," Reuters, 8 December 11; "Road Workers Lay Siege to Office Over Unpaid Wages," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in China Internet Information Center, 21 January 12.

27 "China’s Nov. PMI Falls to 49 Pct, Indicating Contraction," Xinhua, 1 December 11;, "China’s Export Drops 0.5 Pct Y–O–Y in Jan.," Xinhua, 10 February 12.

28 See, e.g., Marianne Barriaux, "China Hit by Labour Unrest as Global Slowdown Bites," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 26 November 11; Rahul Jacob, "China Labour Unrest Flares as Orders Fall," Financial Times, 23 November 11; China Labor Watch, "Workers on Strike at Auto Parts Factory in Guangzhou Over Bonus Reduction," 28 December 11; "Hundreds of Protesters in Fuzhou Block Streets Demanding Back Pay" [Fuzhou shubai gongren bagong dulu tao qianxin], Radio Free Asia, 3 January 12.

29 China Labor Watch, "Workers Strike in Dongguan: New Balance, Yucheng Shoe Factory Should Take Responsibility," 18 November 11; China Labour Bulletin, "Workers at Pepsi Bottling Plants in China Protest Takeover," 15 November 11; Zhong Ang and Zhang Xiaohui, "Strikes at PepsiCo Bottling Plants in China," Economic Observer, 14 November 11.

30 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, "During ‘12th Five-Year Plan,’ County Level and Above Nationwide Will Universally Establish Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Organizations" ["Shier wu" qijian quanguo xian yishang pubian sheli laodong renshi zhengyi zhongcai jigou], 15 February 12.

31 Zhang Mingqi, "Boosting the Construction of a Harmonious Society Through Harmonious Labor Relations" [Yi hexie laodong guanxi zhu tui hexie shehui jianshe], People’s Daily, 9 July 12.

32 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing October 13–20, 2011," 21 October 11.

33 Rahul Jacob, "Chinese Workers Protest Against Wage Cuts," Financial Times, 18 November 11; Jaime FlorCruz, "Labor Woes Send Shudder Through Beijing," CNN, 25 November 11.

34 Elaine Kurtenbach, "China Labor Unrest Grows," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 2 December 11; Royston Chan, "Hundreds Strike at Singapore-Owned Plant in China," Reuters, 2 December 11.

35 James Pomfret and Royston Chan, "China Unrest Spreads to Bamboo Furniture Factory," Reuters, 8 December 11.

36 China Labor Watch, "Chengdu Steel Factory Workers Strike for More Pay," 4 January 12; Fully Lin, "10,000 Chengdu Steel Workers Go on Strike for Salary Increases," Want China Times, 6 January 12.

37 Human Rights in China, "Relatives Question Hunan Activist’s ‘Suicide’; Demand Autopsy," 6 June 12.

38 Human Rights in China, "Prisoner Profile: Li Wangyang," last visited 15 June 12; Human Rights in China, "Activist Free After Ten-Year Term; Three Writers To Be Released This Month," 5 May 11. See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database for more information on Li Wangyang.

39 Human Rights in China, "Relatives Question Hunan Activist’s ‘Suicide’; Demand Autopsy," 6 June 12; Union of Catholic Asian News, "Activists Question ‘Suicide’ of Dissident," 7 June 12; "China Morning Round-Up: HK Chief Discusses Li Wangyang," BBC, 15 June 12; "Li Wangyang: Hong Kong Official Questions ‘Suicide,’ " BBC, 12 June 12; Elizabeth Yuan, "Calls Grow To Investigate Chinese Dissident’s Death," CNN, 14 June 12; Te-Ping Chen and Brian Spegele, "Protests Erupt Over Death of Tiananmen Dissident," Wall Street Journal, 12 June 12; Simon Lee and Crystal Chui, "Hong Kong Questions China Claims That Dissident Hanged Himself," Businessweek, 14 June 12.

40 "Chinese Dissidents Launch Petition To Find the Truth About Li Wangyang’s ‘Suicide,’ " AsiaNews, 8 June 12; "China, One of the Tiananmen Square Leaders Hanged Under Surveillance," AsiaNews, 7 June 12; Human Rights in China, "Relatives Question Hunan Activist’s ‘Suicide’; Demand Autopsy," 6 June 12; Elizabeth Yuan, "Report: Chinese Dissident’s Death Under Investigation," CNN, 15 June 12.

41 See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database for more information on Li Wangling.

42 Human Rights in China, "Relatives Question Hunan Activist’s ‘Suicide’; Demand Autopsy," 6 June 12.

43 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing May 29–June 4, 2012," 6 June 12.

44 Human Rights in China, "Relatives of Li Wangyang Being Held by Authorities," 7 June 12.

45 Michael Au, "Pathologist Puzzled by Li Wangyang Case," South China Morning Post, 24 August 12; "Li Wangyang Family Members Clarify in Interview, Overturn Officials’ Repeated Rhetoric" [Li wangyang jiaren shou fang, chengqing tuifan guanfang lianhuan shuoci], Radio Free Asia, 12 September 12.

46 "Liaison Office: Has Reported Li Wangyang Case to Central Authorities" [Zhonglianban: xiang zhongyang fanying li wangyang an], Ta Kung Pao, 15 June 12; Elizabeth Yuan, "Report: Chinese Dissident’s Death Under Investigation," CNN, 15 June 12; "Hunan Public Security Bureau Accepts Interview With Hong Kong China News Agency About Li Wangyang’s Death" [Hunan gong’an ting jiu li wangyang siwang shijian jieshou zhongtongshe caifang], Hong Kong China News Agency, 14 June 12.

47 Stephen Cordner and Sameera Gunawardena, Monash University Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, "Report and Opinion in the Case of Li Wangyang (Deceased)," August 2012, 5, 21–27.

48 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes [Qiye laodong zhengyi xieshang tiaojie guiding], issued 30 November 11, effective 1 January 12. See also "Enterprise Labor Dispute Provisions Emphasize ‘Harmony’ and ‘Stability,’ Do Not Address Fundamental Worker Rights Issues," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 28 February 12.

49 PRC Labor Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong zhengyi tiaojie zhongcai fa], enacted 29 December 07, effective 1 May 08, art. 10.

50 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Provisions on Consultation and Mediation for Enterprise Labor Disputes [Qiye laodong zhengyi xieshang tiaojie guiding], issued 30 November 11, effective 1 January 12, art. 13.

51 Ibid., art. 4.

52 Ibid., art. 16(1).

53 Ibid., art. 10.

54 Ibid., art. 11.

55 Ibid., art. 5.

56 Ibid., art. 7(1).

57 Ibid., art. 9.

58 See, e.g., Ministry of Finance, Temporary Measures on the Implementation of Central Financial Awards for Compulsory Education for the Children of Migrant Workers Who Enter Cities To Work [Jin cheng wugong nongmingong suiqian zinu jieshou yiwu jiaoyu zhongyang caizheng jiangli shishi zanxing banfa], issued 10 December 08, art. 2; Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, Management Measures on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of and Services for Migrant Workers Who Enter Chongqing Municipality To Work [Chongqingshi jin cheng wugong nongmin quanyi baohu he fuwu guanli banfa], issued and effective 13 September 05, art. 2; Nankai District Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, Health Insurance for Migrant Workers in Tianjin Municipality [Tianjinshi nongmingong yiliao baoxian], last visited 15 June 12.

59 See, e.g., "Still No Obvious Change in Opinion on the Situation of China’s Migrant Workers" [Zhongguo nongmingong zhuangkuang bing wei mingxian gaiguan], Voice of America, 23 April 12; Wu Bo, "No Further Mention of ‘Urban Hukou’ in Solving Migrant Worker Problems" [Jiejue nongmingong wenti mei zai ti "chengshi hukou"], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 15 December 11; "Survey Claims New Generation Migrant Workers Face Low Income and Other Difficulties in Integrating Into Cities" [Diaocha cheng xinshengdai nongmingong rongru chengshi cunzai shouru di deng kunjing], China Youth Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 16 October 11; "Gaokao in Beijing Still Closed to Migrants," China Daily, 18 November 11; Shi Wei et al., "Special Two Sessions Report: Delegates Talk About the New Generation of Migrant Workers Assimilating Into the Cities" [Lianghui tebie baodao: daibiao weiyuan tan xinshengdai nongmingong rongru chengshi], Farmers’ Daily, 15 March 12. For background information on residency status issues for migrant workers, see Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Topic Paper: China’s Household Registration System: Sustained Reform Needed To Protect China’s Rural Migrants, 7 October 05.

60 "Youth Recruited in Shaodong, Hunan, Instructed To Deal With Petitioners, 300 Rural Residents in Xiangxiang Demand Return of Their Wages" [Hunan shaodong zhaomu qingnian bei zhi duifu shangfangzhe, xiangxiang 300 nongmin yaoqiu guihuan gongzi], Radio Free Asia, 16 January 12.

61 Ibid.

62 Zhao Sanjun, "Over One Hundred Migrant Workers in Qi County Demand Their Salariesin the Cold Wind, Courts Still Had Not Filed the Case in Over a Year" [Qi xian baiyu nongmingong hanfeng zhong tao xin, fayuan yi nian duo wei li’an zhixing], Legal Daily, 18 January 12.

63 Ibid.

64 Yu Zhonghu and Xue Hailong, "After Seeking To Recover Wages, Migrant Worker Has Veins and Nerves in Two Fingers Severed by Project Manager With Knife" [Nongmingong taoxinliang shouzhi xueguan he shenjing bei xiangmu zhuguan yong dao qieduan], Xi’an Evening News, 19 January 12.

65 "China’s Total Number of Migrant Workers Surpasses 250 Million People" [Zhongguo nongmingong zongliang chaoguo 2.5 yi ren], Xinhua, 28 April 12.

66 "China Expects Urbanization Rate To Be at 51.5 Percent by 2015," Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily, 5 March 11.

67 "Survey Claims New Generation Migrant Workers Face Low Income and Other Difficulties in Integrating Into Cities" [Diaocha cheng xinshengdai nongmingong rongru chengshi cunzaishouru di deng kunjing], China Youth Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 16 October 11; All-China Federation of Trade Unions, "The Conditions of New Generation Migrant Workers in Enterprises: A 2010 Study and Policy Recommendations" [2010 nian qiye xinshengdai nongmingong zhuangkuang diaocha ji duice jianyi], 21 February 11, secs. 1(1), 2(8).

68 Beijing Municipality People’s Government, Circular Regarding Improving the Construction and Management of Beijing Public Housing [Guanyu jiaqiang ben shi gonggong zulin zhufangjianshe he guanli de tongzhi], 18 October 11, art. 3(1)(3); "Beijing Tears Down the Wall of Residency Status on Public Housing" [Beijing gong zufang chai le huji de qiang], China Youth Daily,reprinted in Xinhua, 21 October 11.

69 Lei Yu, "One Hundred Fifty Young Workers Invited To Study at Peking University" [150qing gong huoyao youxue beida], Southern Daily, 20 May 12.

70 PRC Social Insurance Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo shehui baoxian fa], issued 28 October 10, effective 1 July 11, arts. 10–56.

71 Ibid., art. 58.

72 VTech, "Corporate Information," last visited 10 July 12.

73 Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, "VTech Sweatshop in China: AT&T, Motorola, Wal-Mart and Others Endorse the China Model," June 2012.

74 China Labor Watch, "Mattel’s Supplier Factory Investigation," 16 November 11.

75 Jia Fubin et al., "Luyuan Chemical Engineering of Shandong Owes Employees Several Tens of Thousands in Social Insurance Contributions, Procuratorate Supervises and Urges Payment"[Shandong luyuan huagong tuoqian zhigong shehui baoxian fei shu bai wan, jiancha yuan ducu zhengjiao], Procuratorial Daily, 6 March 12.

76 Ibid.

77 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.

78 Huang Haoyuan, "Multiple Measures in Guangdong Ensure That Migrant Workers’ Wage Arrear Disputes Can Be Cleared Up Before the Holidays" [Guangdong duo cuoshi baozhangnongmingong qianxin jiufen jie qian qing’an], Xinhua, 2 December 11; Elaine Kurtenbach, "China Labor Unrest Grows," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 2 December 11;"Youth Recruited in Shaodong, Hunan, Instructed To Deal With Petitioners, 300 Rural Residents in Xiangxiang Demand Return of Their Wages" [Hunan shaodong zhaomu qingnian beizhi duifu shangfangzhe, xiangxiang 300 nongmin yaoqiu guihuan gongzi], Radio Free Asia, 16 January 12; Zhao Sanjun, "Over One Hundred Migrant Workers in Qi County Demand TheirSalaries in the Cold Wind, Courts Still Had Not Filed the Case in Over a Year" [Qi xian baiyu nongmingong hanfeng zhong tao xin, fayuan yi nian duo wei li’an zhixing], Legal Daily, 18 January 12; Yu Zhonghu and Xue Hailong, "After Seeking To Recover Wages, Migrant Worker Has Veins and Nerves in Two Fingers Severed by Project Manager With Knife" [Nongmingong taoxinliang shouzhi xueguan he shenjing bei xiangmu zhuguan yong dao qieduan], Xi’an Evening News, 19 January 12; "Clashes Over Migrant Worker’s Death," Radio Free Asia, 29 May 12.

79 Apple Inc., "Apple Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report," January 2012, 8.

80 Fair Labor Association, "Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn," March2012.

81 Ibid., 9.

82 Ibid.

83 Suo Hanxue, " ‘Wage Regulations’ Framework Basically Solidified, but Difficult To Roll Out by Year’s End" ["Gongzi tiaoli" kuangjia chu ding niannei nan chutai], China Business Net, 19 November 10.

84 "Draft of Wage Regulation Faces Pressure From Ministry Committees; Accused of Interfering With Internal Management of Monopolized Industries" [Gongzi tiaoli caoan zaoyu buwei yali bei zhi ganshe longduan qiye neibu guanli], First Financial Daily, reprinted in Jiangxi News, 1 September 10.

85 Ibid.

86 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, "Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security Second Quarter of 2011 Press Conference" [Renli ziyuan shehui baozhang bu 2011 nian di er jidu xinwen fabu hui], 25 July 11.

87 Beijing Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Circular Regarding the Adjustment of 2012 Beijing Minimum Wage Standards [Guanyu tiaozheng beijing shi 2012 nian zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 29 December 11; Shanghai Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Circular Regarding the Adjustment of Shanghai Minimum Wage Standards [Guanyu tiaozheng ben shi zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 14 March 12; Tianjin Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, "The Adjustment of Minimum Wage Standards and Relevant Policy Questions and Answers" [Zui di gongzi biaozhun tiaozheng ji youguan zhengce wenda], 6 March 12; Shandong Province Human Resources and Social SecurityBureau, "Shandong Province’s 10th Adjustment to Minimum Wage Standards" [Wo sheng di shi ci tiaozheng zui di gongzi biaozhun], 6 March 12; Shaanxi Province Human Resources and SocialSecurity Bureau, Circular of the Provincial Human Resources and Social Security Bureau Regarding Adjustments to Shaanxi Province Minimum Wage Standards [Sheng renshe ting guanyutiaozheng shaanxi sheng zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 21 December 11; Shaanxi Province Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Circular of the Provincial Human Resources andSocial Security Bureau Regarding Adjustments to Shaanxi Province Minimum Wage Standards [Sheng renshe ting guanyu tiaozheng shaanxi sheng zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 1 January 11; Sichuan Province People’s Government, Circular of the Sichuan Province People’s Government Regarding Adjustments to Provincial Minimum Wage Standards [Sichuan shengrenmin zhengfu guanyu tiaozheng quan sheng zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 28 March 12; Sichuan Province People’s Government, Circular of the Sichuan Province People’s GovernmentRegarding Adjustments to Provincial Minimum Wage Standards [Sichuan sheng renmin zhengfu guanyu tiaozheng quan sheng zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 26 July 10; "Jiangxi To Increase Minimum Wage Standards Beginning in 2012, Average Increase Across Five Types of Areas To Reach 21.5 Percent" [Jiangxi 2012 nian qi shangtiao zui di gongzi biaozhun, wu leiquyu pingjun zengfu da 21.5%], Jxnews, 23 December 11; "Liaoning Minimum Wage Standard To Rise by Over 13 Percent Next Year" [Liaoning zui di gongzi biaozhun mingnian zhangyu13%], Shenyang Daily, 9 December 11; Daqiong, "Region Increases Minimum Wage," China Daily, 15 March 12.

88 Shenzhen Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Circular of the Shenzhen Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau Regarding Adjustmentsto Shenzhen Municipality’s Minimum Wage Standards [Shenzhen shi renli ziyuan he shehui baozhang ju guanyu tiaozheng wo shi zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 30 December 11;Shenzhen Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, Circular of the Shenzhen Municipality Human Resources and Social Security Bureau Regarding Adjustments to ShenzhenMunicipality’s Minimum Wage Standards [Shenzhen shi renli ziyuan he shehui baozhang ju guanyu tiaozheng wo shi zui di gongzi biaozhun de tongzhi], 7 March 11.

89 For examples outside of the mining sector, see "Toxic Gases Suffocate Four at China Paper Mill," Xinhua, 15 May 12; "Two Killed, Three Injured as Equipment Collapses at Railway Construction Site in S China," Xinhua, 2 December 11; "Nine Dead in Gas Explosion at Restaurant in NW China," Associated Press, reprinted in Yahoo!, 14 November 11; Yang Yijun, "MotherCommits Suicide ‘Over Compensation Fears,’ " China Daily, 15 May 12.

90 "289 Killed in Colliery Accidents in Q1," Xinhua, 20 April 12.

91 Ibid.

92 "Dazhong Mining Prospectus Hides Cave-in Incident, Sponsor Representative’s Derelectionof Duty" [Dazhong kuangye zhaogushu yinman taxian shigu, baojian daibiao ren she shizhi], Economic Information, reprinted in Sohu, 25 May 12; Zhi Yun, "Police Detain 21 in Alleged CoalMine Coverup," China Daily, 16 April 12; "Four Officials Jailed Over Deadly Colliery Flood in Central China," Xinhua, 25 February 12.

93 State Administration of Work Safety and Ministry of Finance, Measures on Rewards for Safe Production Reporting [Anquan shengchan jubao jiangli banfa], issued and effective 2 May 12.

94 Ibid.

95 See, e.g., "Six People Arrested in Guangzhou Glue Poisoning Death Incident" [Guangzhou jiaoshui zhongdu zhisi shijian liu ren bei bu], BBC, 15 February 12; "Glue Poisoning: Chaos Inside the Glue Industry Exposed, Experts on Glue Poisoning Call on Factories To Use Non-Toxic Water-Based Glue" [Jiaoshui zhongdu: jiaoshui ye nei luanxiang da jiemi, jiaoshui zhongduzhuanjia huyu gongchang yong wudu shuixing jiao], Stock City, 21 February 12.

96 See, e.g., Wang Jing, "Zhang Haichao From Chest Surgery to the Courtroom: The Path forWorkers Seeking Legal Redress" [Zhang haichao cong kaixiong dao kaiting: laogong tanxun falu jiuji zhi lu], Caixin, reprinted in QQ, 5 March 12; Wang Jing, "Wielding the Law To DefendBlack Lung Victims," Caixin, 13 March 12.

97 See, e.g., Wang Jing, "Zhang Haichao From Chest Surgery to the Courtroom: The Path forWorkers Seeking Legal Redress" [Zhang haichao cong kaixiong dao kaiting: laogong tanxun falu jiuji zhi lu], Caixin, reprinted in QQ, 5 March 12.

98 See, e.g., Zheng Li, "Many Migrant Workers Completely Ignorant About Pneumoconiosis" [Xuduo nongmingong dui chenfeibing yi wu suo zhi], Shaanxi Worker’s Daily, reprinted in Worker’s Daily, 13 February 12.

99 State Council General Office, Circular of the State Council General Office Regarding the Release of the National Occupational Illness Prevention and Control Plan (2009–2015) [Guowuyuan bangongting guanyu yinfa guojia zhiye bing fangzhi guihua (2009–2015 nian) de tongzhi], 24 May 09.

100 Ministry of Health, "Ministry of Health Bulletin on 2010 Occupational Illness Prevention and Control Work Situation and 2011 Work Points" [Weisheng bu tongbao 2010 nian zhiye bing fangzhi gongzuo qingkuang he 2011 nian zhongdian gongzuo], 18 April 11.

101 Ministry of Health, "Ministry of Health Bulletin on the Situation of Occupational Illness Prevention and Control Work in 2009" [Weisheng bu 2009 nian zhiye bing fangzhi gongzuo qingkuang tongbao], 28 April 10.

102 Ministry of Health, "Ministry of Health Bulletin on the Situation of National Occupational Health Supervision and Management Work in 2008" [Weisheng bu tongbao 2008 nian quanguo zhiye weisheng jiandu guanli gongzuo qingkuang], 9 June 09.

103 Ministry of Health, "Bulletin of the Ministry of Health General Office Regarding the Situation of National Occupational Health and Radioactive Health Supervision and Management Work in 2007" [Weisheng bu bangongting guanyu 2007 nian quanguo zhiye weisheng he fangshe weisheng jiandu guanli gongzuo qingkuang de tongbao], 3 June 08.

104 PRC Social Insurance Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo shehui baoxian fa], issued 28 October 10, effective 1 July 11, art. 36.

105 Deng Jianhua, "Part-Time Working Girl Fights for Occupational Injury Compensation for Six Years, Is Actually Sued While Seeking Redress" [Dagong mei 6 nian kangzheng taoyaogongshang buchang, tao shuofa fancheng bei gao], Yunnan Net, 18 May 12; Ye Zhuyi, "Applying for [Recognition of] Occupational Injury for Heat Stroke Cannot Stop at Reminding" [Zhongshushenqing gongshang bu neng zhi yu tixing], Sohu, 21 May 12; China Labour Bulletin, "Searching for the Missing Link: Miner Struggles To Prove Labour Relationship With Former Boss,"28 January 12; Zhang Huanping, "750,000 Cumulative Cases of Occupational Illness Reported Nationwide, Pneumoconiosis Makes Up 90 Percent" [Quanguo leiji baogao zhiye bing 75 wanli, chenfei bing zhan 9 cheng], Caixin, 30 June 11.

106 PRC Regulations on Occupational Injury Insurance [Zhonghua renmin gongheguogongshang baoxian tiaoli], issued 27 April 03, amended 20 December 10, effective 1 January 11, art. 18.

107 Zhang Shiguang, "Model Worker Zhang Zhijuan Falls Into the Trap of Not Having Her Disease Recognized" [Laomo zhang zhijuan xianru kanbuqi bing de kunjing], Worker’s Daily, 17May 12; Zhang Shiguang, " ‘Model Worker Zhang Zhijuan Falls Into the Trap of Not Having Her Disease Recognized’ Follow-up Report: Can We Change This Provision?" ["Laomo zhangzhijuan xianru kanbuqi bing de kunjing" houxu baodao: zhe ge tiaokuan neng fou xiugai yi xia], Worker’s Daily, 23 May 12; China Labour Bulletin, "Officials Refuse To Sanction Work-RelatedInjury Case Because Victim Did Not Die," 23 May 12.

108 PRC Regulations on Occupational Injury Insurance [Zhonghua renmin gongheguogongshang baoxian tiaoli], issued 27 April 03, amended 20 December 10, effective 1 January 11, art. 15(1); Zhang Shiguang, " ‘Model Worker Zhang Zhijuan Falls Into the Trap of Not Having Her Disease Recognized’ Followup Report: Can We Change This Provision? " ["Laomo zhang zhijuan xianru kanbuqi bing de kunjing" houxu baodao: zhe ge tiaokuan neng fou xiugai yi xia],Worker’s Daily, 23 May 12.

109 Zhang Shiguang, " ‘Model Worker Zhang Zhijuan Falls Into the Trap of Not Having Her Disease Recognized’ Followup Report: Can We Change This Provision? " ["Laomo zhang zhijuan xianru kanbuqi bing de kunjing" houxu baodao: zhe ge tiaokuan neng fou xiugai yi xia], Worker’s Daily, 23 May 12.

110 PRC Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases [Zhonghua renmingongheguo zhiyebing fangzhi fa], enacted 27 October 01, effective 1 May 02, amended 31 December 11.

111 See, e.g., PRC Law on Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo zhiyebing fangzhi fa], enacted 27 October 01, effective 1 May 02, amended 31 December 11, arts. 44, 48, 62.

112 Ibid., arts. 22, 51, 78.

113 Fair Labor Association, "Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn," March 2012, 1.

114 "Profile: Foxconn Technology Co Ltd (2354.TW)," Reuters, last visited 24 June 12.

115 Stanley James and Adam Satariano, "Apple Opens Suppliers’ Doors to Labor Group AfterFoxconn Worker Suicides," Bloomberg, 13 January 12.

116 Fair Labor Association, "Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn," March2012, 1.

117 Ibid., 2–3. Under the PRC Labor Law, an employer shall ensure every worker has at leastone day’s rest per week and that overtime shall not exceed 3 hours a day and 36 hours per month. PRC Labor Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong fa], issued 5 July 94, effective1 January 95, amended 10 October 01, arts. 38, 41.

118 Fair Labor Association, "Independent Investigation of Apple Supplier, Foxconn," March2012, 2–3.

119 See, e.g., Loretta Chao et al., "Apple Pact To Ripple Across China," Wall Street Journal,5 April 12; Poornima Gupta and Edwin Chan, "Apple, Foxconn Set New Standard for Chinese Workers," Reuters, 30 May 12.

120 See, e.g., China Labor Watch, "Beyond Foxconn: Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain," 27 June 12, 33–46, 52–59.

121 China Labor Watch, "Beyond Foxconn: Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain," 27 June 12, 12.

122 See, e.g., PRC Labor Contract Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong hetong fa], issued 29 June 07, effective 1 January 08, art. 66.

123 See, e.g., Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, "Sweatshops Are Good for Apple and Foxconn, but Not for Workers," 31 May 12, 5–10.

124 Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, "Sweatshops Are Good for Apple and Foxconn, but Not for Workers," 31 May 12, 2, 6–7.

125 Ibid., 9.

126 Ibid., 10.

127 Ibid.

128 Fair Labor Association, "Foxconn Verification Status Report," 21 August 12.

129 Ibid., appendices 2–4.

130 Ibid.

131 Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor, "U.S. Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor," 3 October 11, 1, 9.

132 Apple Inc., "Apple Supplier Responsibility 2012 Progress Report," January 2012, 9.

133 Zhou Wenting, "Factory Caught Using Child Labor," China Daily, 14 February 12.

134 ILO Convention (No. 138) Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, 26 June 73, 1015 U.N.T.S. 297; ILO Convention (No. 182) Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 17 June 99, 2133 U.N.T.S. 161. For information on China’s ratification of these two conventions, see International Labour Organization, "List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions: China," last visited 15 July 12.

135 PRC Labor Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong fa], issued 5 July 94, effective 1 January 95, amended 10 October 01, art. 15; PRC Law on the Protection of Minors [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo weichengnianren baohu fa], issued 4 September 91, effective 1 January 92, art. 28; State Council, Provisions on Prohibiting the Use of Child Labor [Jinzhi shiyong tonggong guiding], issued 1 October 02, effective 1 December 02, art. 2.

136 See, e.g., State Council, Provisions on Prohibiting the Use of Child Labor [Jinzhi shiyong tonggong guiding], issued 1 October 02, effective 1 December 02, art. 6; "Legal Announcement— Zhejiang Defines Four Criteria of the Use of Child Labor" [Fazhi bobao—zhejiang jieding shiyong tonggong si zhong qingxing], Women of China News, 26 July 08.

137 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xing fa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 244.

138 Dongguan Municipal People’s Government, Dongguan Municipal Provisions on Rewards for Reporting the Illegal Actions of Referring or Using Child Labor [Dongguan shi jubao jieshao, shiyong tonggong weifa xingwei jiangli banfa], issued 16 May 12, effective 1 July 12, art. 5; Chen Chen, "Maximum Reward of 2,000 Yuan for Reporting Illegal Use of Child Labor" [Jubao feifa yong tonggong zuigao jiang 2000 yuan], Dongguan Daily, 23 May 12.

139 International Labour Office, "Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations," International Labour Conference, 100th Session, 2011, 296–97.

140 Maplecroft, "Child Labour Most Widespread in the Key Emerging Economies—Maplecroft Study," 12 January 10.

141 Zhuang Pinghui, "Crackdown on Slave Labour Nationwide—State Council Vows To End Enslavement," South China Morning Post, 21 June 07.

142 State Council, Provisions on Prohibiting the Use of Child Labor [Jinzhi shiyong tonggong guiding], issued 1 October 02, effective 1 December 02, art. 13.

143 PRC Education Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo jiaoyu fa], issued 18 March 95, effective 1 September 95, amended 27 August 09, art. 58.

144 ILO Convention (No. 182) Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 17 June 99, 2133 U.N.T.S. 161, art. 3(a); International Labour Organization, "List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions: China," last visited 15 July 12.

145 International Labour Office, "Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations," International Labour Conference, 100th Session, 2011, 298.

146 Ibid.

147 See, e.g., Jia Shengli, "Jia Shengli: Outstanding People in the ‘Third Month of Autumn’ " [Jia shengli: "san qiu" shijie de fengliu renwu], Bingtuan News Net, 24 September 11; Maopu, "My Dad Is Not a Group Leader, You Made Me Stop Going to School!" [Wo ba bu shi tuanzhang, nimen rang wo tingke!], 22 September 11.

148 Maopu, "My Dad Is Not a Group Leader, You Made Me Stop Going to School!" [Wo ba bu shi tuanzhang, nimen rang wo tingke!], 22 September 11.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Introduction | Abuse of Police Power | Arbitrary Detention | Barriers to Adequate Defense and a Fair Trial | Torture and Abuse in Custody | Sentencing, Punishment, and Execution

Introduction

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government’s intention to "maintain social stability" (weihu shehui wending, or wei wen) and the Communist Party’s determination to maintain its monopoly on power guided developments in criminal law and justice. At a conference held in November 2011, Zhang Jun, Vice President of the Supreme People’s Court, reminded officials, legal practitioners, and scholars that criminal punishment plays a critical role in managing society and resolving social conflict.1 The transformation of criminal punishment into a social management tool has helped pave the way for continued growth of the domestic security establishment, which has in turn facilitated ongoing abuses of police power in the name of "stability."

While numerous repressive policies remained in place during the past year, some statements from high-ranking officials were crafted to acknowledge the priorities and expectations set forth under international law. Leaders promised to strike a balance between crime control and the protection of individual rights,2 releasing a new National Human Rights Action Plan for the period from 2012 to 2015,3 and the revised PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) that will take effect on January 1, 2013.4 The CPL revision was heralded by officials as a sort of "mini-Constitution" that would serve to constrain the power of the state 5 by providing greater protections for the mentally ill,6 better guarantees for access to legal defense,7 exclusion of evidence obtained through torture,8 and more rigorous review of death penalty convictions,9 among other things.

Recent criminal justice reforms remain at risk of being undermined in practice by the authorities responsible for their implementation. This is particularly apparent in actions taken against some of China’s citizen activists. At multiple stages throughout the criminal process, authorities appeared to take advantage of recent reforms to establish a dual track for criminal punishment: one that applied by default to the vast majority of suspects and defendants and one that applied to writers, artists, Internet bloggers, lawyers, reform advocates, and other citizens who engage in advocacy on issues that authorities deem politically sensitive.

Abuse of Police Power

Chinese government domestic security entities, including public security, state security, and People’s Armed Police (PAP) forces, have grown in stature and influence since the 17th Communist Party Congress in October 2007. The rise of Zhou Yongkang from Minister of Public Security and Politburo member to Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee Political and Legal Affairs Commission (zhengfawei, or PLAC) and member of the Politburo Standing Committee helped to strengthen the Party’s long-standing emphasis on "maintaining social stability." 10 Under Zhou’s guidance and with the PLAC responsible for the oversight of China’s public security, procuratorate, and court systems, law enforcement agencies’ budgets, staff, and exercise of authority have grown substantially since 2008.11

Much of this expansion has taken place at the local level.12 This past year, citizens who lodged complaints or sought to defend their rights or the rights of others found themselves at risk of harassment, assault, kidnapping, and illegal detention by or at the behest of local authorities. The use of arbitrary detention and torture by local authorities against rights activists spiked in 2011, with Chinese Human Rights Defenders documenting a total of 3,833 incidences of individuals arbitrarily detained for their rights activism 13 and 159 incidences of torture during such detentions.14 Of the 3,833 cases that were documented, 3,289 cases reportedly had no basis in Chinese law.15

Authorities use vague provisions to crack down on those they view as a potential threat to their authority. For example, in February 2012, a Chinese court sentenced democracy advocate Zhu Yufu to seven years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power." 16 Zhu’s conviction came in the wake of online calls for "Jasmine" protest rallies and was based, in part, on a poem he had posted online. Democracy advocate Chen Wei was convicted in December 2011 and sentenced to nine years in prison for authoring essays discussing democracy, equality, and human rights that were posted on overseas Web sites.17 Western analysts who monitor criminal justice developments in China maintain that charges such as "subversion" and "inciting subversion of state power," along with "splittism" and "leaking state secrets," are characterized as "endangering state security" 18 and are used to silence citizen activists.19 A March 2012 article published in the Chinese press asserts that "the accusation of endangering state security is really a way of saying [an individual is] endangering the regime’s security." 20 Since 2008, state security-related indictments have been at a historic high.21

At a May 2012 symposium on the newly revised PRC Criminal Procedure Law, Zhou Yongkang called on law enforcement agencies to place equal emphasis on the dual goals of punishing crime and safeguarding human rights.22 With Zhou expected to retire after the 18th Party Congress this fall,23 domestic commentators have grown increasingly vocal in criticizing the high level of power that law enforcement agencies amassed under his leadership. In an open letter dated May 4, 2012, 16 retired Party officials condemned the allegedly lawless campaign against organized crime that was instituted in Chongqing municipality by Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing Party Secretary and former member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee. Calling the campaign a "guise" for the torture and persecution of critics and rights defenders,24 the letter claimed that Zhou not only took part in, but also helped to advocate for, some of the allegedly heavy-handed tactics used.25 A number of officials have called for an inquiry into related complaints, including accusations that Bo’s crackdown involved abuses such as torture.26

Arbitrary Detention

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention defines the deprivation of personal liberty to be "arbitrary" if it meets one of the following criteria: (1) There is clearly no basis in law for such deprivation; (2) an individual is deprived of his or her liberty for having exercised rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); or (3) there is grave noncompliance with fair trial standards set forth in the UDHR and other international human rights instruments.27 The ICCPR sets forth the additional requirement that an individual must be promptly informed of the reasons for his or her detention and the charges against him or her in order for such deprivation of liberty to be considered permissible.28

Arbitrary detention takes several different forms in China, including:

  • "Soft detention" (ruanjin), a range of extralegal controls under which an individual may be subjected to home confinement, surveillance, restricted movement, and limitations on contact with others;
  • "Enforced disappearances";
  • Detention in secret "black jails" (hei jianyu);
  • Reeducation through labor (laojiao), an administrative, rather than criminal, punishment of up to three years with the possibility of a one-year extension for alleged minor offenses;
  • Forced commitment to a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane (ankang); and
  • Shuanggui ("double regulation" or "double designation"), a disciplinary measure used by the Party to investigate its own members, most often in cases of suspected corruption.

Many forms of arbitrary detention violate China’s own laws.29

SOFT DETENTION AND ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES

Prior to the March 2012 revision of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL), Article 60 established "residential surveillance" as a compulsory measure (qiangzhi cuoshi) 30 to be used principally for specific categories of individuals, such as those who are gravely ill, pregnant, or breastfeeding.31 In recent years, however, authorities have used residential surveillance to place high-profile rights activists such as Chen Guangcheng under close watch. Chen, a self-trained legal advocate who helped bring international news media attention to local population planning abuses in Linyi city, Shandong province, completed his four-year-and-three-month prison sentence for allegedly disturbing public order and destroying public property on September 10, 2010.32 Upon his release, local authorities immediately confined Chen and his family to detention at their home in Dongshigu village.33 Chen escaped one year and seven months later, on April 22, 2012, and was granted permission to travel along with his wife and their children to the United States.34 Despite his initial confidence in the central government’s agreement to investigate local authorities for the abuses perpetrated against him,35 Chen has since expressed frustration with the government’s failure to act, and concern regarding the continued harsh treatment of family members and supporters who remain in Shandong.36 Chen, his family, and his supporters expressed concern that Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui—who faces charges of intentional homicide for allegedly wounding several government-appointed personnel—may have been subjected to torture,37 and that authorities had forced Chen Kegui to accept government-appointed lawyers.38 An August 2012 Radio Free Asia report noted that the case against Chen Kegui was marred with procedural irregularities and violations.39

Authorities have continued to resort to "soft detention" to keep writers, artists, Internet bloggers, lawyers, and reform advocates out of the public eye.40 During the 2012 reporting year, as in the previous reporting year,41 the Commission observed numerous instances of Chinese citizens who had gone "missing" or "disappeared" into official custody, with little or no information available about their whereabouts or the potential charges against them. According to an international media report, more than 10,000 Chinese citizens were secretly held in government custody during the first three months of 2012.42 In one case, Chinese officials held prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng incommunicado on numerous occasions after he was sentenced in December 2006 to three years in prison, suspended for five years, for "inciting subversion of state power." 43 Less than one week before Gao’s period of suspension was set to expire, Chinese state media reported that he had violated applicable probation rules and would serve his original three-year sentence effective as of December 2011.44 In January 2012, relatives received notice that Gao was undergoing a three-month "education period" and that he would be denied visitors for at least that length of time.45

The Chinese government has given the extralegal practices outlined above the imprimatur of law under the revised CPL. Article 73 authorizes the secret detention of an individual suspected of endangering state security, terrorism, or major instances of bribery at a fixed place of residence other than his or her own home. The only limitations on this authority are that it may be exercised only with approval from an upper level law enforcement agency and only in cases in which authorities maintain that keeping the individual at his or her home would likely "hinder the investigation." 46 Investigators do not need to notify the individual’s family if they assert that notification is impossible.47 Notification to family members need not disclose the reason or location of the individual’s detention, details that Articles 83 (relating to detention) and 91 (relating to arrest) were also revised to leave out.48 While a citizen under residential surveillance is allowed to appoint and speak with a defense lawyer while under investigation, those suspected of endangering state security, terrorism, or bribery must first seek and obtain approval from the investigating authority.49

When the draft of CPL Article 73 was released for public comment in August 2011, it drew widespread attention and criticism in China.50 The earlier version of the clause was eventually abandoned, but the version that remains continues to raise concern among legal analysts and rights activists both inside and outside of China. On the eve of the final vote to approve the revised CPL, Chinese lawyers argued that granting investigators broader exercise of power in cases alleged to involve endangering state security, terrorism, and bribery would help pave the way for the arbitrary detention of activists 51 and serve the interests of national security and anti-corruption enforcement agencies more than the public.52 Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong cautioned that the decision to allow otherwise illegal official use of power under Article 73 signaled China’s shift toward becoming more of a police state, under which the leadership’s intention to "maintain social stability" is paramount.53 After the National People’s Congress passed the revision, an article on the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) Web site acknowledged that vague, undefined phrases such as "hinder the investigation" and "impossible to notify" provide so much discretion as to lend themselves to abuse by authorities.54 The SPP is in the process of revising its Criminal Procedure Rules of the People’s Procuratorates in order to clarify the specific scenarios that might constitute "hindering the investigation." 55 These rules would guide procuratorates in their investigation of major cases of bribery, but they would not apply to public security bureaus, which possess investigative jurisdiction over state security and terrorism cases.56

"BLACK JAILS"

"Black jails" operate outside of China’s official criminal justice system.57 The Chinese government has repeatedly denied their existence,58 but anecdotal accounts indicate that private security firms run numerous such sites as "ad-hoc prisons" 59 to detain and punish petitioners seeking redress for their grievances against the government.60 In August 2011, public security officials shut down a "black jail" in Changping district, Beijing municipality, which reportedly held petitioners who had been intercepted en route to Beijing from five other provinces and municipalities.61 Beijing’s public security bureau launched a six-month crackdown effective December 2011, which targeted firms that illegally operated "black jails" at the behest of local officials in other parts of China.62 In addition to imposing fines of 20,000 to 100,000 yuan, public security authorities threatened violating individuals and firms with criminal investigation.63

Professor Yu Jianrong of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences praised Beijing’s crackdown but also pointed out that the cases of illegal detention that were exposed were "merely the tip of the iceberg." 64 At least one critic has questioned whether, despite the threat of criminal investigation, local authorities who use illegal means to suppress petitioners actually receive their due punishment.65 In one case reported by state media in September 2011, a tourist named Zhao Zhifei traveled from Luoyang city, Henan province, to Beijing and was mistakenly beaten because he shared a guestroom with several petitioners while there.66 The Luoyang government later investigated six individuals for allegedly authorizing the beating and imposed punishments that ranged from an order to apologize to the dismissal of the head of the local petitioning office.67

REEDUCATION THROUGH LABOR

Human rights advocates and legal experts in China have long debated the merits of reeducation through labor (RTL, also known as laojiao), which empowers public security authorities to hold individuals in custody without judicial review.68 The case of Tang Hui, the mother of a young victim of rape and forced prostitution whose efforts to petition the government about her daughter’s case resulted in her confinement to an RTL center in August 2012, helped bring this debate back into the spotlight.69 On August 14, 2012, a group of 10 Chinese lawyers sent an open letter to the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice, calling for greater transparency and legal protections in the RTL decisionmaking process.70 State media have since criticized the RTL system as a tool that has been abused by local authorities to retaliate against petitioners.71 Previous attempts to reform the RTL system stalled in 2005 and 2010, and media sources attribute the ongoing impasse to disagreements between public security and judicial agencies over who should hold decisionmaking power.72

FORCED PSYCHIATRIC COMMITMENT

The PRC Criminal Law authorizes compulsory medical treatment for those who commit crimes but suffer from mental illness.73 The Ministry of Public Security directly administers 22 psychiatric hospitals for such purposes (also known as ankang facilities), but regulations governing who may or may not be committed lack clarity.74 Without a clearly delineated diagnostic and determination process, officials have broad discretion to classify a person as in need of psychiatric treatment.75 In an August 2012 report on the abuse of involuntary psychiatric commitment in China, Chinese Human Rights Defenders asserted that "[t]hose who have the means— power and money—to either compel or pay psychiatric hospitals to detain individuals out of a desire to punish and silence them have been able to do so with impunity." 76 Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, a Chinese monitoring group, maintains a database of over 900 cases in which an individual was misdiagnosed as mentally ill (bei jingshenbing) and forced into psychiatric care—a number that the group claims is a mere "drop in the bucket of total cases." 77

According to a U.S. Department of State report, petitioners and rights defenders are sometimes reportedly confined along with the mentally ill.78 In 2010, a native of Shiyan city, Hubei province, was forcibly committed to a psychiatric hospital for taking photos of petitioners who had gathered on the street, according to a March 2012 report.79 His case and subsequent lawsuits against the relevant public security bureau and hospital attracted national attention and renewed discussion of the draft Mental Health Law.80 Currently under review by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the draft law seeks to constrain official abuse by limiting the power to diagnose and forcibly commit individuals to psychiatric care.81 Critics remain concerned about the draft’s failure to make independent reviews of an initial diagnosis mandatory, the lack of provision for the appointment of legal counsel, and the absence of time limits on involuntary commitment.82 [For more information on the progress of the draft Mental Health Law, see Section II—Public Health.]

Barriers to Adequate Defense and a Fair Trial

Most defendants in China face significant bias 83 in the criminal justice system and do without adequate legal assistance. According to Yu Ning, former president of the All China Lawyers Association, the participation rate of lawyers in criminal cases is reportedly no more than 30 percent.84 Even when a lawyer is involved, mounting a defense can prove challenging.85 The abuse of Article 306 of the Criminal Law (the so-called "lawyer perjury" clause) has worsened in recent years,86 and experts estimate that hundreds of defense lawyers may have been prosecuted under it.87 In March 2012, criminal defense lawyer Li Zhuang submitted a petition to have his case retried by the Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court after new evidence emerged to indicate that police in Chongqing municipality may have prevented a witness from testifying on his behalf at trial.88 A Chongqing court convicted Li under Article 306 of the Criminal Law 89 and sentenced him to one year and six months in prison after a client claimed that Li had encouraged him to lie in court.90 Some legal scholars and practitioners assert that the same law enforcement authorities who prosecute a case should not also have the authority to investigate the lawyer defending that case.91 The newly revised Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) contains a provision remedying this problem,92 but critics argue that it still falls short of what is needed to guard against potential conflicts of interest.93

The revised CPL includes a number of provisions that could help strengthen criminal defense, if faithfully implemented. One recent study found that approximately 95 percent of the criminal cases surveyed relied on defendant confessions,94 and that the vast majority of defense efforts failed to challenge confessions.95 Article 50 of the CPL now guards against self-incrimination, as well as the use of torture or threats to gather evidence.96 Article 53 prohibits conviction based on a confession alone, without additional corroboration.97 Illegally obtained evidence must be excluded from trial under Article 54,98 and investigators are authorized to record the interrogation process (and must do so as a matter of course in more serious cases) under Article 121.99 Tian Wenchang, Chair of the Criminal Affairs Committee of the All China Lawyers Association, has questioned how effective these new provisions will prove in practice.100 Tian argues that stronger protections, such as the right to remain silent, remain necessary to eliminate reliance on an individual’s confession as the primary basis for conviction.101

Torture and Abuse in Custody

Chinese law prohibits the torture and abuse of individuals in custody.102 Despite the central government’s efforts to address this longstanding problem,103 abusive practices remain widespread.104 Li Wangyang, a labor rights advocate and 1989 Tiananmen protester, reported that successive beatings during his imprisonment left him nearly deaf and blind.105 In June 2012, Li’s body was found hanging in the hospital room where he had been receiving medical treatment since his release from prison in 2011.106 Officials authorized an autopsy, which was conducted in the absence of his family members by the same coroner who ruled the December 2011 death of a man in police custody during anticorruption and land and election rights protests in Wukan village, Lufeng city, Guangdong province, to be of natural causes.107 The suspicious circumstances surrounding Li’s death, much like those in the Wukan death, prompted domestic calls for an investigation.108 Hong Kong legislator Lee Cheuk-yan called Li’s death a "political murder" and cautioned that "[i]f the case is not properly investigated, it shows that China now is more oppressive—that [officials] can even take away the life of a person without responsibility, without justice." 109

On July 30, 2012, the Supreme People’s Court circulated for feedback a judicial interpretation that seeks to further identify acts prohibited as torture and require the recording of interrogations taking place outside a detention center.110 The Chinese government has also issued two new regulations to govern the conduct of those responsible for prison and detention oversight.111 The State Council stepped in for the first time to release a Detention Center Regulation, which took effect on April 1, 2012.112 The new regulation prohibits the humiliation, corporal punishment, or abuse of those in administrative detention or detained by a court.113 Because it applies only to persons in custody for minor offenses, its scope is limited.114 Moreover, earlier provisions, specifying the pun-ishment of detention guards who violate the regulation and requiring notification of family members within 12 hours of detention, are absent from the final version, according to a media report.115 By contrast, regulations jointly issued by the Ministry of Supervision, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and Ministry of Justice, which went into effect on July 1, 2012, include specific punishments for the illegal behavior of guards in prisons and reeducation through labor centers. If faithfully implemented, these regulations would subject those directly responsible, as well as their supervisors, to criminal liability and disciplinary action (including demerits, demotion, and dismissal) for the extended confinement, beating, corporal punishment, and abuse of prisoners.116

Sentencing, Punishment, and Execution

According to a February 2011 report by the Dui Hua Foundation (Dui Hua), in "recent years" more than 25 percent of Chinese prisoners have been granted sentence reductions, parole, or medical parole.117 Chinese courts granted sentence reductions for over 1 million prison inmates and released another 68,000 on parole in 2009 and 2010.118 According to the same report, these privileges appear to no longer extend to political prisoners.119 In a video released in February 2011, self-taught legal advocate Chen Guangcheng alleged that despite his accumulation of enough good behavior "points" to qualify for a sentence reduction, authorities failed to take action on his application for early release.120 Dui Hua noted that local regulations applicable in Chen’s case prohibit the granting of parole to prisoners found guilty of "endangering state security" and name such prisoners among groups to be "strictly handled" for sentence reductions.121 New regulations issued by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in November 2011 and effective on July 1, 2012, help to clarify the type of behavior that qualifies a prisoner for early release,122 but leave it to the discretion of the court to determine whether there is adequate risk that a prisoner might commit another crime to warrant denial of parole, regardless of other circumstances in his or her favor.123

The SPC has taken steps toward increasing transparency and improving standards of review in death penalty cases. Since taking back the power of review over the death penalty in 2007,124 it has overturned 10 percent of all death sentences 125 and has pushed for the adoption of more stringent guidelines for the examination and judgment of evidence in death penalty trials.126 The newly revised Criminal Procedure Law now provides for expanded access to legal defense,127 recorded interrogations,128 longer trial deliberations,129 mandatory appellate hearings,130 and more rigorous judicial review.131

The Chinese government still maintains its policy of not releasing information about the thousands of prisoners reportedly executed each year and continues to keep data on such executions a state secret.132 Experts estimate that 4,000 people were likely executed in China in 2011, more than the number of executions in the rest of the world combined.133 Vice Minister of Health Huang Jiefu confirmed in 2012 that the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners provides up to two-thirds of China’s limited supply of livers, kidneys, hearts, lungs, and corneas for transplantation.134 Huang has promised new regulations to impose greater supervision over the transplant process and to "strike hard" against illegal trade in human organs.135 [For more information on organ transplants, see box titled Organ Transplants in China: Developments and Controversies in Section II—Public Health.]

Notes to Section II—Criminal Justice

1 Jiang Anjie and Hu Xinqiao, "Give Full Play to Criminal Punishment’s Function in the Service of Social Management" [Chongfen fahui xingfa gongneng genghao fuwu shehui guangli],Legal Daily, 30 November 11.

2 "Scholar: Criminal Procedure Law Is ‘Touchstone’ of Rights Protection" [Xuezhe: xingsufa shirenquan baozhang "shijinshi"], Xinhua, 1 March 12; "Law Amendment To Balance Human Rights Protection, Penalty in Criminal Procedure: NPC Spokesman," Xinhua, 4 March 12;"Human Rights Underlined in China’s Long-Anticipated Criminal Procedure Law Revision," Xinhua, 14 March 12; "Ministry of Public Security: Making the Transition From ‘Apprehendinga Suspect To Crack a Case’ to ‘Evidence To Determine a Case’ " [Gonganbu: shixian you "zhuaren poan" xiang "zhengju dingan" zhuanbian], Xinhua, 4 May 12.

3 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, sec. II(1)–(3).

4 The revised CPL was passed on March 14, 2012, by a vote of 2,639 in favor, 160 opposed, and 57 abstaining. "Draft Decision To Amend the PRC Criminal Procedure Law Passed at the Closing Session of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National People’s Congress" [Shiyi jie quanguo renda wuci huiyi bimuhui biaojue tongguo guanyu xiugai zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa de jueding caoan], People’s Daily, 14 March 12.

5 Ye Doudou, "Criminal Procedure Law Revision Should Do as Much as Possible To Reduce Room for Abuse of Power" [Xingsufa xiugai ying jinliang suojian quanli lanyong kongjian], Caixin, 28 December 11; "Scholar: Criminal Procedure Law Is ‘Touchstone’ of Rights Protection" [Xuezhe: xingsufa shi renquan baozhang "shijinshi"], Xinhua, 1 March 12.

6 PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, part 5, ch. 4.

7 Ibid., arts. 33, 37.

8 Ibid., arts. 54–58.

9 Ibid., arts. 239–240.

10 Zhou oversaw the quelling of riots in Tibet in 2008 and Xinjiang in 2009, and has allegedly been at the helm of law enforcement’s crackdown on rights activists during recent years. Robert Saiget, "Communist Veterans Call for China Police Czar’s Ouster," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 15 May 12.

11 Wei wen expenditures available to agencies under the PLAC increased from 514.0 billion yuan in 2010 to 701.7 billion yuan in 2012 and now exceed even the public budget of the People’s Liberation Army. Willy Lam, "Chen Guangcheng Fiasco Shows Dim Prospects for Political-Legal Reform," China Brief, Vol. XII, No. 10, 11 May 12, 3.

12 According to the blind legal advocate and rights defender Chen Guangcheng, wei wen expenditures for his village in Shandong province doubled from 30 million yuan in 2008 to 60 million yuan in 2011. Ibid.

13 According to the report, 45 percent of the activists surveyed said that they had been held at some point, and, for the majority of them, it was either in soft detention or a "black jail." Chinese Human Rights Defenders, " ‘We Can Dig a Pit and Bury You Alive’: Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in China," March 2012, 3.

14 Ibid.

15 Ibid., 6.

16 A copy of the 11-page judgment was obtained and made available online by the human rights organization ChinaAid. ChinaAid, "Dissident Zhu Yufu Sentenced to Seven Years on Subversion Charge for Online Poem, Score," 10 February 12.

17 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Full Text of Judgment Against Chen Wei for the Crime of ‘Inciting Subversion of State Power’ " [Chen wei "shandong dianfu guojia zhengquan zui" panjueshu quanwen], 12 January 12.

18 Subversion and inciting subversion of state power are crimes punishable under Article 105 of the PRC Criminal Law. Splittism and inciting splittism are punishable under Article 103, while leaking state secrets is punishable under Articles 111 and 398. PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 103, 105, 111, 398.

19 Nicholas Bequelin, "Legalizing the Tools of Repression," New York Times, 29 February 12.

20 Chen Jieren, "Draft Revision of the Criminal Procedure Law Should Provide for the Carrying Out of Judicial Conduct Under the Light of the Sun" [Xingsufa xiuzheng’an ying rang sifa xingwei zai yangguang xia jinxing], Economic Observer, 9 March 12. For an English version, see "Secret Arrests in China: Protecting the Regime, Not the People," Worldcrunch, 12 March 12.

21 According to the Dui Hua Foundation, Chinese courts tried 698 cases involving "endangering state security" charges in trials of first instance in 2009 and 670 in 2010. Dui Hua Foundation, "State Security Indictments Remain at Historic Highs," Human Rights Journal, 3 October 11.

22 "Zhou Yongkang: Conscientiously Study and Implement the Criminal Procedure Law, Better the Punishment of Crime and Protection of People’s Interests in Accordance With Law" [Zhou yongkang: renzhen xuexi guanche xingsufa genghao de yifa chengfa fanzui weihu renmin quanyi], Xinhua, 26 May 12.

23 New reports indicate that the fall handover may simply be a formality and that Zhou has already ceded operational control to Meng Jianzhu, the incumbent Minister of Public Security. Jamil Anderlini, "Bo Ally Gives Up China Security Roles," Financial Times, 13 May 12.

24 Yu Yongqing et al., "Sixteen Senior Party Officials Put Into Writing Demand for Zhou Yongkang, Liu Yunshan To Be Dismissed From Their Posts" [Shiliu ming zhonggong lao dangyuan shangshu yaoqiu mianqu zhou yongkang, liu yunshan zhiwu], China Free Press, 9 May 12.

25 Robert Saiget, "Communist Veterans Call for China Police Czar’s Ouster," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 15 May 12.

26 Benjamin Kang Lim and Chris Buckley, "Exclusive: China Leadership Rules Bo Case Isolated, Limits Purge: Sources," Reuters, 25 May 12.

27 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Fact Sheet No. 26, May 2000, sec. IV(B); International Covenant on Civil and PoliticalRights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, arts. 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 27; Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 48, arts. 7, 10, 13, 14, 18, 19, 21. Examples of the first category include individuals who arekept in detention after the completion of their prison sentences or despite an amnesty law applicable to them, or in violation of domestic law or relevant international instruments. The rightsand freedoms protected under the second category include those in Articles 7, 10, 13, 14, 18, 19, and 21 of the UDHR and in Articles 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, and 27 of the ICCPR.

28 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 9(2). Chinabecame a signatory to the ICCPR on October 5, 1998, but has yet to ratify it. As a signatory, China is obligated as a matter of international law to refrain from taking actions that wouldundermine the purpose of the treaty.

29 See, e.g., PRC Constitution, enacted and effective 4 December 82, amended 12 April 88, 29March 93, 15 March 99, 14 March 04, arts. 35, 37, 41; PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12,effective 1 January 13, art. 3; PRC Public Security Administration Punishment Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo zhian guanli chufa fa], enacted 28 August 05, effective 1 March 06, arts. 3,9, 10, 16; PRC Legislation Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo lifa fa], enacted 15 March 00, effective 1 July 00, art. 8(v).

30 Part I, Chapter 6, of the PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) provides law enforcement officers with five different "compulsory measure" options for the pretrial handling of criminal suspects. Of the five, two ("criminal detention" and "arrest") involve a deprivation of liberty, while a third ("residential surveillance") is a non-custodial measure meant to restrict an individual,but not to deprive him of his liberty. Joshua Rosenzweig et al., "The 2012 Revision of the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law: (Mostly) Old Wine in New Bottles," CRJ Occasional Paper, 17May 12. The CPL establishes different time limits for each of the five compulsory measures, and a longer time limit of six months is allowed in exchange for the more lenient conditionsavailable to an individual under residential surveillance. PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 77. (Contrast this with the 37-day time limit that is imposed when a suspect is held in detention. Ibid., art. 89.)

31 The 2012 PRC Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) now includes a new Article 72, which adds that residential surveillance is also available where it is "more appropriate due to the specialcircumstances of the case or requirements of the investigation."

32 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 89.

33 Ibid.

34 On May 4, 2012, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement indicating thatChen would be allowed to study abroad if desired. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin’s Remarks on Chen Guangcheng’s Wish To Study Abroad," 4 May 12.This reportedly helped pave the way for Chen to relocate to the United States to study under a fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Edward-Isaac Dovere and Jennifer Epstein, "U.S. Reaches Agreement on Chen," Politico, 3 May 12. See also Recent Developments and History of the Chen Guangcheng Case, Hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission onChina, 3 May 12.

35 Gillian Wong, "Blind Activist: China Says It’ll Investigate Abuse," Associated Press, reprinted in Yahoo!, 8 May 12.

36 Erik Eckholm, "Even in New York, China Casts a Shadow," New York Times, 18 June 12.

37 "Fears for Chen Family, Supporters," Radio Free Asia, 8 May 12; Human Rights in China, "Family of Chen Kegui Rejects Officially Appointed Lawyers," 25 July 12.

38 Human Rights in China, "Family of Chen Kegui Rejects Officially Appointed Lawyers," 25 July 12.

39 "Guards Return to Chen’s Village," Radio Free Asia, 24 August 12.

40 A large number of individuals who were outspoken critics of the government, includingsome who attempted to share information about the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and the subsequent calls for pro-democracy rallies across China, reportedly "disappeared" into official custody beginning in mid-February 2011. CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 56.

41 In an April 8, 2011, press release, the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances expressed "serious concern at the recent wave of enforced disappearances that allegedly took place in China over the last few months," adding that it had received "multiple reports of a number of persons having [been] subject to enforced disappearance . . . ." CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 87 (citing UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "China: UN Expert Body Concerned About Recent Wave of Enforced Disappearances," 8 April 11).

42 "Chinese Criminal Procedure Law’s Secret Detention Clause Ignites Backlash" [Zhongguo xingsu mimi jubu tiaokuan yinbao fantan], Radio France Internationale, 19 March 12.

43 Gao disappeared and was allegedly held by authorities for more than 50 days beginning in September 2007, over one year beginning in February 2009, and indefinitely as of April 2010. The Case and Treatment of Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 14 February 12, Testimony of Geng He, Wife of Gao Zhisheng. For more information on Gao’s earlier disappearances, see CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 97–98.

44 "Beijing Court Withdraws Probation on Ex-lawyer Convicted of Overthrowing State," Xinhua, 16 December 11.

45 Alexa Olesen, "Chinese Rights Lawyer in Remote Jail Denied Visits," Associated Press, reprinted in Yahoo!, 10 January 12.

46 PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 73, para. 1.

47 Ibid., art. 73, para. 2.

48 Ibid., art. 83, para. 2, and art. 93, para. 2. One major difference between Article 73, on theone hand, and Articles 83 and 91, on the other, is that the latter two provisions apply to cases of endangering state security and terrorism only, but not to major instances of bribery.

49 Ibid., arts. 33 and 37, paras. 1, 3, 5.

50 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 88.

51 "Fears Over Secret Detentions," Radio Free Asia, 8 March 12.

52 "Article 73 Sparks Controversy on Secret Detentions," Caixin, 12 March 12.

53 Wu Yu, "Will ‘Secret Detentions’ Make the ‘State Secure? ’ " ["Mimi jubu" hui shi "guojia anquan"?], Deutsche Welle, 12 March 12.

54 Wang Minyuan, "Notification of Family Members After Custody Is a Basic Requirement of the Principles of Human Rights Protection" [Jiya hou tongzhi jiashu shi renquan baozhangyuanze jiben yaoqiu], Procuratorial Daily, reprinted in Supreme People’s Procuratorate, 22 March 12. See also Ye Doudou and Wang Heyan, "Overhaul of the Criminal Procedure Law:Changes to the ‘Secret Detention’ Clause" [Xingsufa daxiu: "mimi jubu" tiaokuan bianqian], Caixin, 12 March 12; Ye Doudou, "Criminal Procedure Law Revision Should Do as Much as Possible To Reduce Room for Abuse of Power" [Xingsufa xiugai ying jinliang suojian quanli lanyong kongjian], Caixin, 28 December 11.

55 Chen Baocheng, "Supreme People’s Procuratorate Criminal Procedure Law Interpretation: ‘Procuratorate Rules’ Expected To Detail Five Scenarios That ‘Hinder the Investigation’ " [Gaojian xingsu shifa "jiancha guize" youwang xihua "youai zhencha" wu zhong qingxing], Caixin, 15 August 12.

56 Ibid.

57 J. David Goodman, "China’s New Law on Detentions Puts Spotlight on ‘Black Jails,’ " New York Times, 13 March 12; "China’s ‘Black Jails’ Uncovered," Al Jazeera, 27 April 09; "Inside China’s Secret ‘Black Jails,’ " Al Jazeera, 13 March 12; Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch, "Beijing’s Black Jails," 15 March 12. For more detailed coverage of "black jails," see CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 95–96.

58 Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch, "Beijing’s Black Jails," 15 March 12; "China’s ‘Black Jails’ Uncovered," Al Jazeera, 27 April 09. Al Jazeera correspondent Melissa Chan noted thather report was "the first time that we got a government official to respond to a question about the existence of black jails." Rosanna Xia, "Journalist Can’t Explain Expulsion From China," LosAngeles Times, 14 May 12. In March 2012, Chan brought cameras into an alleged "black jail" in Beijing to do a followup report. "Inside China’s Secret ‘Black Jails,’ " Al Jazeera, 13 March 12. In May 2012, Al Jazeera decided to close its Beijing bureau after the Chinese government refused to renew Chan’s press credentials and visa. "Al Jazeera English Forced Out of China,"Al Jazeera, 9 May 12. Chan speculated that her coverage of "black jails" may have been a contributing factor. Rosanna Xia, "Journalist Can’t Explain Expulsion From China," Los AngelesTimes, 14 May 12.

59 Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch, "Beijing’s Black Jails," 15 March 12; Melissa Chan,"Seeking Answers Inside China’s ‘Black Jails,’ " Al Jazeera, 13 March 12.

60 See, e.g., "Inside China’s Secret ‘Black Jails,’ " Al Jazeera, 13 March 12; Melissa Chan, "Seeking Answers Inside China’s ‘Black Jails,’ " Al Jazeera, 13 March 12. For more information about China’s petitioning, or xinfang (letters and visits) system, see Section III—Access to Justice.

61 Hao Tao, "Beijing Notifies Changping Black Jail: Terminate Security Contract With FiveProvinces and Municipalities To Intercept Petitioners" [Beijing tongbao changping hei jianyu: cizhi bao’an yu 5 sheng shi qian xieyi lanjie fangmin], Beijing Morning Post, reprinted inXinhua, 1 December 11.

62 Deng Qifan, "Beijing Cracks Down on ‘Black Jails’ To Achieve Zero Violations by SecurityServices Companies" [Beijing daji "hei jianyu" jiang shixian bao’an fuwu gongsi ling weigui], Worker’s Daily, reprinted in Xinhua, 3 December 11.

63 Yuan Guoli, "Beijing Strictly Prohibits Security Company Participation in the Interception of Petitioners, Multiple ‘Black Jails’ Closed Down" [Beijing yanjin bao’an gongsi canyu jiefangduochu ‘hei jianyu’ zao chafeng], Beijing News, reprinted in Xinhua, 1 December 11.

64 Deng Jingyin, "Beijing Police Crack Down on Black Jails," Global Times, 2 December 11.

65 Yiyi Lu, "Black Jails: Time To Start Blaming Beijing," Wall Street Journal, 16 December 11. The crime of "illegal detention" is set forth under Article 238 of the PRC Criminal Law and provides for 3 to 10 years in prison where there is serious injury to the victim. PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 238.

66 Pang Zili, "People’s Daily People’s Commentary: Only ‘Through’ Petitioning Can Society Feel Less ‘Pain’ " [Renmin ribao renmin shiping: xinfang "tong," shehui cai neng shao xie "tong"], People’s Daily, 26 September 11.

67 Ibid.

68 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 89–90.

69 Tang was taken into custody on August 2, 2012, and ordered to serve one year and six months at a reeducation through labor center in Yongzhou city, Hunan province. Zhao Yinan, "Lawyers Calling for Reform of Laojiao System," China Daily, 16 August 12. She filed an appeal on August 7, and authorities released her on August 10. "Mother of Underage Rape Victim Released From Chinese Labor Camp," Xinhua, 10 August 12. Some have attributed the decision to release Tang so soon after she was taken into custody to the outcry among Chinese citizens, especially on the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo. Lin Xue, "Time To Finally Abolish Unconstitutional System," Global Times, 22 August 12; Lilian Lin, "Time for Re-education? Critics Take on China Labor Camp System," Wall Street Journal, 16 August 12; Anne Henochowicz, "NetizenVoices: Abolish Labor Re-education," China Digital Times, 7 August 12.

70 Zhao Yinan, "Lawyers Calling for Reform of Laojiao System," China Daily, 16 August 12.

71 Ayi Nuer and Liu Liangheng, "Expecting the Best Response to the ‘Tang Hui Question’ " [Qidai dui "tang hui zhi wen" zui hao de huida], Xinhua, reprinted in Zhongguo Wangshi, 11August 12; Song Zhijing, "Legislative Process To Replace Reeducation Through Labor System Blocked" [Qudai laojiao zhidu lifa jincheng shou zu], Beijing News, 16 August 12.

72 Song Zhijing, "Legislative Process To Replace Reeducation Through Labor System Blocked" [Qudai laojiao zhidu lifa jincheng shou zu], Beijing News, 16 August 12.

73 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01,28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 18, para. 1.

74 Wang Jing et al., "Non-Standardization of Referrals for Treatment Causes Psychiatric Hospitals To Suffer Criticism" [Song zhi bu guifan shide jingshenbing yuan baoshou goubing], ChinaNewsweek, 26 September 11.

75 Wang Yongjie, "Conflict and Coordination of New Laws: Taking the Draft Mental HealthLaw and Criminal Procedure Law as an Example" [Xin fa de chongtu yu xietiao—yi "jingshen weisheng fa" (caoan) yu xin "xingshi susong fa" wei li], Journal of the China National Schoolof Administration [Guojia xingzheng xueyuan xuebao], Vol. 2 (2012), 14 June 12.

76 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, " ‘The Darkest Corners’: Abuses of Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment in China," 6 August 12, 3.

77 Barbara Demick, "China Poised To Limit Use of Mental Hospitals To Curb Dissent," LosAngeles Times, 16 March 12.

78 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "Country Report on Human Rights Practices—2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 24 May 12.

79 Wang Yongjie, "Conflict and Coordination of New Laws: Taking the Draft Mental Health Law and Criminal Procedure Law as an Example" [Xin fa de chongtu yu xietiao—yi "jingshenweisheng fa" (caoan) yu xin "xingshi susong fa" wei li], Journal of the China National School of Administration [Guojia xingzheng xueyuan xuebao], Vol. 2 (2012), 14 June 12; Wang Heyan,"Suit Against Psychiatric Institution by Individual ‘Misidentified as Mentally Ill’ Heard on Appeal" ["Bei jingshenbing" zhe su jingshenbing yuan er shen kaiting], Caixin, 21 March 12.

80 Ibid.

81 PRC Mental Health Law (Draft) [Jingshen weisheng fa (caoan)], published 10 June 11, revised 29 October 11, arts. 24–27, 32. See also Barbara Demick, "China Poised To Limit Use of Mental Hospitals To Curb Dissent," Los Angeles Times, 16 March 12.

82 Elizabeth M. Lynch, "Analysis of China’s Draft Mental Health Law—An Interview," China Law & Policy, 24 October 11.

83 In China, the criminal justice system is designed to place significant emphasis on conviction. Internal public security regulations reduce an investigator’s performance scores if his caseis returned by the procuratorate for additional investigation. Mike McConville et al., Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry (Cheltenham, U.K.; Northampton, Mass.: Edward ElgarPublishing, 2011), 142. In turn, a prosecutor’s rating is lowered if his cases are not concluded with judgments of guilt. Stanley Lubman, "Criminal Law Reform: Some Steps Forward, HowMany Back? " Wall Street Journal, 6 March 12. Moreover, judges allegedly operate on the understanding that they are simply one component of a system leading to the conviction and punishment of those who have been apprehended. Stanley Lubman, "China’s Criminal Justice Value System Makes Reform Moot," Wall Street Journal, 7 February 12 (citing Mike McConville etal., Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry (Cheltenham, U.K.; Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011)).

84 "Let More Lawyers Defend Criminal Cases: Political Advisor," Xinhua, 11 March 12.

85 Defense lawyers commonly complain about the "three difficulties" (san nan) that they facein defending a case: Gaining access to the client in custody, gaining access to the procuratorate’s case files, and collecting their own evidence. " ‘Big Stick 306’ and China’s Contempt for the Law," New York Times, 5 May 11; CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 83.

86 Article 306 provides for the detention, arrest, and prosecution of any defender accused offabricating evidence or inducing a witness to change his testimony. PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 306.

87 " ‘Big Stick 306’ and China’s Contempt for the Law," New York Times, 5 May 11.

88 Xu Hao, "Hopeful About New Evidence, Li Zhuang Again Files Complaint" [Jiwang xin zhengju li zhuang zai shensu], China Business Net, 24 March 12.

89 Ibid.; PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 306.

90 For a detailed account of Li’s case, see Shiyan Huang, "Li Zhuang: Chinese Defense Lawyer Who Was Found Guilty of Suborning Perjury," Wrongful Convictions Blog, 31 March 12. Li’s client was an organized crime boss who had been swept up in Bo Xilai’s "strike hard" campaign in Chongqing. Ibid. As the case entered the trial phase, Li applied for the recusal of three prosecutors, three adjudicators, and two court secretaries. Qin Xudong, "Second Deliberation of the Criminal Procedure Law Revision: Lawyer Perjury Cases To Be Under a Different Jurisdiction" [Xingsufa xiuding ershen: lushi weizheng an ni yidi guanxia], Caixin, 26 December 11. Authorities continued to investigate Li for additional crimes even while he was still serving his sentence, as well as following his release. Shiyan Huang, "Li Zhuang: Chinese Defense Lawyer Who Was Found Guilty of Suborning Perjury," Wrongful Convictions Blog, 31 March 12. See also"Lawyer Perjury Crime Is a Draconian Law" [Lushi weizheng zui shi yi tiao e’fa], Ming Pao, reprinted in Sina, 17 October 11; Ye Doudou, "Criminal Procedure Law Revision Should Do asMuch as Possible To Reduce Room for Abuse of Power" [Xingsufa xiugai ying jinliang suojian quanli lanyong kongjian], Caixin, 28 December 11.

91 Ye Doudou and Wang Heyan, "Overhaul of the Criminal Procedure Law: Public Authority Advances and Retreats" [Xingsufa da xiu: gong quanli jintui], Caixin, 12 March 12; Qin Xudong,"Second Deliberation of the Criminal Procedure Law Revision: Lawyer Perjury Cases To Be Under a Different Jurisdiction" [Xingsufa xiuding ershen: lushi weizheng an ni yidi guanxia],Caixin, 26 December 11. Li’s lawyer applied to have the case reviewed outside of Chongqing. Ibid.

92 PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 42.

93 Ye Doudou and Wang Heyan, "Overhaul of the Criminal Procedure Law: Public Authority Advances and Retreats" [Xingsufa da xiu: gong quanli jintui], Caixin, 12 March 12.

94 Mike McConville et al., Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry (Cheltenham, U.K.; Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011), 72.

95 Mike McConville et al., Criminal Justice in China: An Empirical Inquiry (Cheltenham, U.K.; Northampton, Mass.: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011), 259.

96 PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 50.

97 Ibid., art. 53.

98 Ibid., art. 54.

99 Ibid., art. 121.

100 Lin Yan, "Lawyer Says Establishing a Criminal Procedure Law Right To Remain SilentDifficult, Fears Torture To Extort a Confession Hard To Contain" [Lushi cheng xingsufa she chenmo quan you nandu xingxun bigong kong nan ezhi], Legal Daily, reprinted in People’sDaily, 19 October 11.

101 Ibid.

102 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01,28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 247, 248; PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 50.

103 In February 2009, three fellow detainees were accused by authorities of beating to death24-year-old Li Qiaoming. The case reportedly helped prompt a five-month campaign by the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to improve the management ofdetention centers. Li Xinran, "New Rules To Cut Abuse at Detention Centers," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 2 March 12. Since March 2011, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate,the Ministry of Public Security, and the Center for Litigation System and Judicial Reform at Renmin University have jointly operated anti-torture pilot projects in a number of cities nationwide. Wang Dianxue and Yang Zhanghuai, "Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security Launch Anti-Torture Project in Multiple Locations" [Zuigao jianchayuan gonganbu zaiduo di shidian fan kuxing], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 13 August 12. The pilot projects involve, among other things, training police officers in non-violent interrogation tactics and encouraging detainees to speak out through the use of anonymous complaint. Ibid.

104 UN Committee against Torture, 41st Session, Consideration of Reports Submitted by StateParties Under Article 19 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture—China, CAT/C/CHN/CO/4, 12 December 08, paras. 11–12. Although official statisticsregarding the use of torture are not publicly available, a report by the Chinese Society of Juvenile Delinquency Research indicates that an average of 400 cases are filed each year againstauthorities who allegedly used force during interrogations. Yan Shuang, "Deaths in Custody," Global Times, 20 August 12.

105 Andrew Jacobs, "Chinese Activist’s Death Called Suicide, but Supporters Are Suspicious," New York Times, 8 June 12; Elizabeth Yuan, "Report: Chinese Dissident’s Death Under Investigation," CNN, 15 June 12. Li was originally sentenced to 13 years in prison for mobilizing local workers during democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989. He was released after havingserved 11 of those 13 years, only to be sentenced in 2011 to an additional 10 years in prison for the crime of inciting subversion of state power.

106 Andrew Jacobs, "Chinese Activist’s Death Called Suicide, but Supporters Are Suspicious," New York Times, 8 June 12; Elizabeth Yuan, "Report: Chinese Dissident’s Death Under Investigation," CNN, 15 June 12.

107 "Hong Kong Activists Demand Probe Into Dissident’s Death," Voice of America, 13 June 12. Xue allegedly fell ill on his third day in detention after participating in protests that began in September 2011 and lasted until December 2011 in Wukan village, Guangdong province. His death while in custody drew criticism from those who accused the local government of using heavy-handed tactics in response to the protests. James Pomfret and Chris Buckley, "Villager Dies in Custody as China Cracks Down on Riots," Reuters, 12 December 11. For more information about the Wukan protests, see Section III—Institutions of Democratic Governance.

108 Li’s death became a cause ce´le`bre in Hong Kong, where 1,500 people took to the streets to hold a vigil, and Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen commented in public about the "suspicious" nature of the circumstances. Andrew Jacobs, "China To Investigate Death of Labor Activist," New York Times, 15 June 12; Phila Siu and Roy Chan, "Task Force Set Up To Probe Activist Death," Standard, 15 June 12; Phila Siu, "Tsang Adds Voice to Li Justice Call," Standard, 14 June 12.

109 "Hong Kong Activists Demand Probe Into Dissident’s Death," Voice of America, 13 June 12.

110 Dui Hua Foundation, "(En)countering Torture in China [Part 1 of 2]," Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, 30 August 12.

111 Wang Huazhong, "New Rules on Prisoner Treatment," China Daily, 31 May 12.

112 Fu Long, "Detention Center Regulation Officially in Effect as of Today, Provides That Detainees Are Not To Be Humiliated, Subjected to Corporal Punishment, Abused" ["Juliusuo tiaoli" jin qi zhengshi shishi guiding bu de wuru, tifa, nuedai bei juliu ren], People’s Daily, 1 April 12.

113 State Council, Detention Center Regulation [Juliusuo tiaoli], issued 15 February 12, effective 1 April 12, arts. 2, 3.

114 "Administrative detention" of up to 20 days is authorized by law as an alternative to criminal punishment for "minor offenses" such as public order disturbances or inciting illegal assembly. PRC Administrative Punishment Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingzheng chufa fa],enacted 17 March 96, effective 1 October 96, art. 8(6); PRC Public Security Administration Punishment Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo zhian guanli chufa fa], enacted 28 August 05, effective 1 March 06, arts. 2, 16. "Judicial detention" of up to 15 days is available to courts mostly in handling misconduct during trial, including forgery or destruction of evidence or inciting others to give false testimony. PRC Administrative Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingzheng susong fa], enacted 4 April 89, effective 1 October 90, art. 49.

115 "Detention Center Regulation: Are Police Exempt From Liability? " [Juliusuo tiaoli: jingcha mian ze?], Deutsche Welle, 2 March 12.

116 Regulations Punishing the Violation of Law and Disciplinary Rules by Prison and Reeducation Through Labor People’s Police [Jianyu he laodong jiaoyang jiguan renmin jingcha weifaweiji xingwei chufen guiding], passed 16 December 11, issued and effective 1 July 12, arts. 3, 5, 7, 9(2).

117 Dui Hua Foundation, "Chinese Government Appears To Halt Sentence Reductions for Political Prisoners," Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, 22 February 11.

118 "China Exercises Prudent Application of Death Penalty: Report," Xinhua, 14 July 11. The Dui Hua Foundation reported in February 2011 that China’s prison population stands at justunder two million and that, in 2009 alone, courts handled more than 500,000 applications for sentence reduction and parole. Dui Hua Foundation, "Chinese Government Appears To HaltSentence Reductions for Political Prisoners," Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, 22 February 11.

119 Dui Hua Foundation, "Chinese Government Appears To Halt Sentence Reductions for Political Prisoners," Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, 22 February 11.

120 Ibid. Dui Hua notes that recommendations for a sentence reduction are typically made tothe court by prison wardens, and that courts, until recently, have almost always granted such applications.

121 Ibid.

122 Supreme People’s Court Regulations on Several Questions Regarding the Specific Laws Applicable When Handling Reduced Sentence and Parole Cases [Guanyu banli jianxing, jiashi anjian juti yingyong falu ruogan wenti de guiding], issued 21 November 11, effective 1 July 12,arts. 2, 3, 4.

123 Ibid., art. 15.

124 For more information on the SPC’s decision to reclaim this power, see CECC, 2007 Annual Report, 10 October 07, 52–56.

125 Dui Hua Foundation, "Dui Hua Estimates 4,000 Executions in China, Welcomes Open Dialogue," 12 December 11. Part of this decrease is attributed to the 2011 amendment to the PRCCriminal Law, which reduced the list of crimes punishable by death by about 20 percent (from 68 to 55). "China Improves Criminal Justice System To Promote Human Rights Protection, Ruleof Law: White Paper," Xinhua, 27 October 11; "China Adheres to Limiting Use of Death Penalty," Xinhua, 8 March 12.

126 "China Exercises Prudent Application of Death Penalty: Report," Xinhua, 14 July 11. These include regulations that were jointly issued with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of State Security, and the Ministry of Justice in 2010, which seek to decrease the historical over-reliance on confessions and exclude illegally obtainedevidence from trial. Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, and Ministry of Justice, Circular Regarding the Issue of"Provisions Concerning Questions About Examining and Judging Evidence in Death Penalty Cases" and "Provisions Concerning Questions About Exclusion of Illegal Evidence in HandlingCriminal Cases" [Zuigao renmin fayuan zuigao renmin jiancha yuan gongan bu guojia anquan bu sifa bu yinfa "guanyu banli sixing anjian shencha panduan zhengju ruogan wenti de guiding"he "guanyu banli xingshi anjian paichu feifa zhengju ruogan wenti de guiding" de tongzhi], issued 13 June 10; Provisions Concerning Questions About Exclusion of Illegal Evidence in Handling Criminal Cases [Guanyu banli xingshi anjian paichu feifa zhengju ruogan wenti de guiding], effective 1 July 10; Provisions Concerning Questions About Examining and Judging Evidence in Death Penalty Cases [Guanyu banli sixing anjian shencha panduan zhengju ruogan wenti de guiding], effective 1 July 10. See also Wang Heyan, "Supreme People’s Court Vice-President Discloses: Quality of Death Penalty Cases Is Worrisome" [Zuigao fayuan fuyuanzhang toulu: sixing anjian zhiliang kanyou], Caixin, 9 January 12; CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 84.

127 PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 34, para. 3.

128 Ibid., art. 121.

129 Ibid., art. 202, para. 1, art. 232, para. 1.

130 Ibid., art. 223(2).

131 In reviewing a death sentence, the SPC now has the power to approve the order, remand the case for a new trial, or reverse the order. PRC Criminal Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 17 March 96, 14 March 12, effective 1 January 13, art. 239. The newly revised CPL also sets forth the expectation that the SPC will interview defendants who have been sentenced to death and accept opinions from their defense lawyers, if so requested. Ibid., art. 240.

132 Amnesty International has challenged Chinese officials to publish data on those executed and sentenced to death, in order to confirm claims that reforms have led to a significant reduction in the use of the death penalty over the past four years. Amnesty International, "Death Penalty 2011: Alarming Levels of Executions in the Few Countries That Kill," 26 March 12.

133 Dui Hua Foundation, "Dui Hua Estimates 4,000 Executions in China, Welcomes Open Dialogue," 12 December 11; "China Halves Executions to About 4,000 a Year: NGO," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 12 December 11; Amnesty International, "Death Penalty 2011: Alarming Levels of Executions in the Few Countries That Kill," 26 March 12. In 2010, the number of executions in China was placed at 6,000, a stark contrast to the 252 reported in the country with the next-highest rate of executions (Iran). Keith B. Richburg, "In China, Some Are Rethinking the Death Penalty," Washington Post, 25 June 11.

134 Calum MacLeod, "Organ Harvesting Changes in China Will Be Tough To Realize," USA Today, 15 May 12; Wang Yongsheng, "Revision of Organ Transplant Regulation To Be Completed by Year’s End" [Qiguan yizhi tiaoli nian nei wancheng xiugai], Legal Evening News, 7 March 12. According to reports, as many as 1.5 million patients await organ transplants, and approximately 10,000 operations are performed each year. If accurate, this number would mean either that organs are harvested from the overwhelming majority of executed prisoners or that the number of executions has been grossly underestimated.

135 Wang Yongsheng, "Revision of Organ Transplant Regulation To Be Completed by Year’s End" [Qiguan yizhi tiaoli nian nei wancheng xiugai], Legal Evening News, 7 March 12. In February 2012, 16 individuals (including medical professionals) were reportedly charged with crimes relating to the removal of over 50 kidneys in 2010, which allegedly earned them US$1.6 million. Calum MacLeod, "Organ Harvesting Changes in China Will Be Tough To Realize," USA Today, 15 May 12. In August 2012, state media reported that authorities had successfully dismantled a major organ trafficking ring and arrested an additional 137 individuals. "China Nabs 137 for Organizing Organ Sale," Xinhua, 4 August 12; "Health Authorities Pledge Greater Crackdown on Illegal Organ Transplants," Xinhua, 13 August 12.

 

FREEDOM OF RELIGION

The Chinese Government, Communist Party, and Five Associations | Buddhism (Non-Tibetan) | Catholicism | Falun Gong | Islam | Protestantism | Taoism | Other Religious Communities

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government and Communist Party continued to restrict Chinese citizens’ freedom of religion. China’s Constitution provides for "freedom of religious belief," but protects only "normal religious activities." 1 In its 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, the government reiterated protection only for what it deems to be "normal religious activities." 2 The narrow protections for religious activity in China contravene international human rights standards. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes not only the right to "freedom of thought, conscience, and religion" but also the right to manifest religion or belief through "worship, observance, practice and teaching." 3 The government continued to legally recognize only five religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism, and Taoism.4 Groups wishing to practice these religions must register with the government and are subject to ongoing state controls.5 Some unregistered religious groups had limited space to practice their religions,6 but such tolerance did not constitute official recognition of these groups’ rights. Authorities maintained bans on other religious or spiritual communities, including Falun Gong.7 Members of both unregistered groups and registered groups deemed to run afoul of state-set parameters for religion continued to face risk of harassment, detention, and other abuses.8

The Chinese Government, Communist Party, and Five Associations

The Chinese government and Communist Party continued to view religion as an instrument for state policy and to emphasize state control over it. The government imposes control over religion through the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) under the State Council.9 SARA’s aim is to "guide religions to fit into socialist society," including "[t]hrough intensive ideological and political work." 10 SARA’s guiding principles for 2012 include "thorough implementation" of regulations, "positive guidance" of religious affairs, and advancement of "harmony and stability." 11 SARA Director Wang Zuo’an continued to note what officials describe as the "positive" role religion can play in aiding government and Party policy objectives.12 In a December 2011 People’s Daily article, Wang wrote, "We cannot snuff out religious culture, but instead must guide it." 13 Government control of the five state-recognized religions is exercised through five "patriotic" associations: The Buddhist Association of China (BAC), the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA), the Islamic Association of China (IAC), the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China (TSPM), and the Chinese Taoist Association (CTA).14 According to a Chinese legal academic, "The agencies for religious administration provide supervision and guidance on the political orientation, personnel matters, finance, religious activities, training of clergymen, foreign affairs, conversion of believers and other aspects of the religious organizations." 15

The United Front Work Department (UFWD), directly subordinate to the Communist Party Central Committee, is the key organization through which the Party implements control of religion.16 In September 2011, Jia Qinglin, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee and Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, speaking to the IAC, reiterated the Party’s policy that religious leaders should "unswervingly support the Communist Party’s leadership." 17 In April 2012, then UFWD Head Du Qinglin wrote: "We must dig deeply into the essence of religious culture and remove the chaff," "guide people in the religious world and the masses of the faithful," and "better adapt religion to socialist society." 18 The Party also uses its control over the media to restrict the freedom of religion. A May 2012 article by a Norwegian human rights organization found "a link between the state media’s encour-agement of popular indifference or hostility towards religious matters and the state’s repression of religious freedom." 19 Two Chinese scholars noted in February 2012 that "publicity concerning important events involving ethnicities and religion . . . must be cautious and follow the reporting guidelines of the Communist Party Central Committee." 20

The government continued to use law, regulation, and policy to control religious practice in China. This past year, SARA issued or amended numerous legal and policy measures 21 to implement the 2005 Regulation on Religious Affairs.22 While potentially providing greater uniformity and some safeguards, the recent regulatory measures appeared to codify and enhance already tight state controls of religious activities.23 For example, in February 2012, SARA and five other government agencies issued an opinion on public interest charitable activities by religious groups. While appearing to encourage greater participation in charitable activities by religious organizations, language in the opinion continued to emphasize "standardization" (guifan), "supervision" (jiandu), and "management" (guanli) of organizations and activities, as well as "guiding religion and socialist society to mutually adapt" (yindao zongjiao yu shehuizhuyi xiang shiying) and promoting "unity of thinking" (tongyi sixiang) among officials.24 According to the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, it is difficult for religious groups in China to obtain government approval to establish a charity, and they are "often much more closely monitored" than some other groups.25 SARA’s 2011 work report and 2012 work plan outlined strengthened management in such areas as administration, finances, information and statistics, media relations, personnel, religious sites, religious bases for patriotic education, and doctrine.26 One Chinese scholar characterized China’s regulation of religion as "rule by law" rather than the "rule of law." 27

Buddhism (Non-Tibetan)

During this reporting year, the Chinese government and Communist Party continued to ensure that Buddhist doctrines and practices conformed to Party and government objectives. For example, at meetings convened by local branches of SARA and the Buddhist Association of China (BAC), government officials urged the local BAC to "study and implement" the "spirit" of the recent national and local Party Congresses.28 In January 2012, the People’s Daily reported that SARA had "performed activities to interpret and exchange Buddhist . . . scriptures." 29 SARA’s 2012 work plan included Buddhist exchange activities, speaking tours, and definition of themes.30 The SARA-approved Henan Buddhist Institute officially opened in April 2012.31 At the World Fellowship of Buddhists conference in South Korea in June, China’s Buddhist representatives expressed displeasure at the presence of Tibetan Buddhists, echoing Chinese government authorities’ policy toward Tibetan Buddhists. The delegation of 17 Chinese "monks and officials" reportedly walked out of the conference after the organizers failed to disinvite three attendees from the Tibetan government-in-exile.32 [For information on Tibetan Buddhists, see Section V— Tibet.]

Catholicism

The Chinese government and Communist Party continued to repress the freedom of religion for Catholics in China. Tension between the Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA) and "underground" Catholics continued, and some Catholic bishops and priests continued to serve reeducation through labor or imprisonment.33

INTERFERENCE WITH RELIGIOUS PERSONNEL AND ACTIVITIES

The government and Party do not recognize the authority of the Holy See to name or approve bishops in China, but in recent years tolerated discreet papal involvement in the selection of some bishops. According to a Catholic news agency, however, in 2011 the Chinese government "broke an unspoken arrangement with Rome by ordering the ordination of several bishops without papal approval." 34 This past year authorities reportedly pressured Holy See-recognized bishops to join CPA public ceremonies to provide what they deemed to be a sense of unity and legitimacy.35 On July 6, 2012, the CPA ordained a bishop it selected for Harbin, located in Heilongjiang province, without Holy See concurrence.36 Ahead of the ceremony, authorities took into custody the Holy See-recognized apostolic administrator of Harbin and another priest who opposed the consecration.37 Though officials released them after the ceremony, the two were reportedly "forced to stay away from their church." 38 When the Holy See issued a statement that it had not approved the ordination and had excommunicated the new bishop, the State Administration for Religious Affairs called the response "unreasonable," "shocking," and "rude." 39 In the case of the July 2012 ordination of Ma Daqin, the Holy See and the CPA had both approved Ma’s ordination as a bishop in Shanghai municipality, but at the ordination ceremony Ma reportedly refused to allow the participation of a CPA bishop.40 Ma publicly resigned from the CPA as the ceremony concluded; officials immediately sequestered him at a Catholic seminary while the CPA investigated whether he had violated its regulations.41

HARASSMENT AND DETENTION

Pressures on Catholic clergy to affiliate with the CPA and recognize its leaders continued during the Commission’s 2012 reporting period. The Commission observed reports of priests, seminarians, and lay Catholics being forced to attend political indoctrination sessions.42 In January 2012, for example, authorities in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region reportedly took six Catholic priests into custody. Four were released within several days, but the whereabouts of the two other priests were reportedly not known. The released priests said they were forced to attend indoctrination classes and to celebrate a mass with government-approved bishops and priests.43 As of May 2012, authorities continued to restrict access to Donglu village, Qingyuan county, Baoding municipality, Hebei province, the site of a Marian shrine. Officials checked vehicles entering the area, set up tents in locations likely to be gathering places, put up banners with slogans such as "independently self-managed church" and "resist foreign infiltration, fight crimes," and monitored the homes of leading worshippers.44

Falun Gong

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government and Communist Party continued to carry out a campaign—initiated in 1999—of extensive, systematic, and in some cases violent efforts to pressure Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief in and practice of Falun Gong.45 The government and Party refer to this process as "transformation through reeducation," or simply "transformation." The three-year campaign to "transform" Falun Gong practitioners that the Commission reported on last year 46 entered its third year, and local reports indicate "transformation" work will continue into subsequent years.47 In its 2012 report on China, Amnesty International described the campaign as "a process through which individuals were pressured, often through mental and physical torture, to renounce their belief." 48 In January 2012, New Tang Dynasty Television reported that "rights groups documented dozens of deaths" of practitioners from torture and mistreatment.49 A Web site "dedicated to reporting on the Falun Gong community worldwide" counted 3,553 deaths since the persecution of the movement began in 1999 through June 2012.50 The Falun Dafa Information Center reported more than 55 deaths in 2011.51

Concurrent with the three-year campaign, the Commission observed this past year official Web sites providing education and training materials for local officials.52 Words such as "battle," "struggle," and "attack" 53 indicate the nature of the campaign and the priority that government and Party continue to place on the suppression of Falun Gong. Authorities labeled practitioners as "obsessives" (chimi) 54 affected by "superstition" (mixin),55 in "ideological shackles" (sixiang zhigu).56 An article on anti-cult work in Xinzhou district, Wuhan municipality, Henan province, said that, "for stubborn, obsessed persons and those who have committed criminal activities, the public security organs will force them into classes to learn." 57 A public security Web site article about a reeducation through labor (RTL) center in Ge’ermu (Golmud or Kermo) city, Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province, lauded its work with "inmates, drug addicts, and Falun Gong cult personnel." 58

HARASSMENT, DETENTION, AND "TRANSFORMATION"

This past year, government authorities and the 6–10 Office—an extralegal, Party-run security apparatus created in June 1999 to eliminate the Falun Gong movement—continued to take measures to "transform" Falun Gong practitioners 59 in prisons, RTL centers, and "transformation through reeducation centers." 60 Authorities committed some practitioners to psychiatric hospitals (ankang).61 Reports continued to document the involuntary administration of drugs, use of electric shock, beatings, and cruel treatment in these hospitals.62 Local authorities conducted "anti-cult" campaigns, which can include public "cult awareness" meetings and the signing of "anti-cult" pledge cards.63 Web pages and SMS (text) messages were also used.64

On June 18, 2012, Bruce Chung, a Falun Gong practitioner from Taiwan who visited relatives in Jiangxi province, was detained for 54 days and interrogated regarding his earlier efforts to introduce Falun Gong materials to the mainland, circumventing the Chinese government’s Internet and broadcast controls. He reported that security personnel monitored him in his cell around the clock, subjected him to long hours of questioning without access to counsel, and conditioned his release on a signed and videotaped confession "not of my own volition." 65 In addition to detaining Falun Gong practitioners,66 the government and Party continued to harass and detain persons who attempted to assist them, including lawyers such as Wei Liangyue and Wang Yonghang.67 In December 2011, less than a week before missing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s five-year suspended sentence was set to expire, Chinese officials claimed he had violated the conditions of his parole and ordered him to begin serving his original three-year criminal sentence. Gao had drawn the attention of authorities for his defense of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and Christians.68

Islam

Officials continued to repress religious freedom for Muslims in China. In a September 2011 speech, Jia Qinglin, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee and Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, described the Islamic Association of China (IAC) as "an important bridge linking the [P]arty and the government" to Muslims in China.69 The president of the IAC called on Muslims in China to promote "harmony, stability, unity and development." 70 In a May 2012 article on "Ethnic Solidarity," the Party Secretary and the Chairman of the People’s Government of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR) stated that the Party and the government manage religious matters; protect "orderly conduct" of "normal religious activities"; resist "foreign use of religion to conduct infiltration activities"; and "strike down pursuant to law the use of religion to conduct illegal criminal activities." 71

Government authorities continued to regulate the confirmation of religious leaders and overseas pilgrimages to accord with Chinese government and Communist Party objectives. The Chinese government controlled the education of imams through certification and supervision of the curriculum at 10 state-run Muslim universities.72 The first requirement for government recognition of imams is that they "love the motherland, support the socialist system and the leadership of the Communist Party of China, comply with national laws, [and] safeguard national unity, ethnic unity, and social stability." 73 The government conducts regular training courses for clerics and mosque managers 74 and provides support for "harmonious mosques." 75 The IAC organizes the authorized Hajj pilgrimages to Mecca; many included "patriotic education." 76 In its 2012 annual work plan, SARA said it would formulate and strengthen measures on the "management of pilgrimage work." 77

Authorities also continued to control the content of sermons and the ability of Muslims to share their religion with others. According to an article on its work in the People’s Daily, SARA has interpreted Islamic scripture.78 Through its China Islamic Affairs Steering Committee, SARA aims to adapt Islam to "socialist society," to "safeguard the principle of national unity," and to combat what authorities deem to be "extremism." The IAC deliberated the "selection and compilation of state-prescribed teachings of Islam," 79 and it reportedly distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of a lecture series providing scriptural interpretations to Islamic groups throughout China.80 Some local governments issued bans against dawa (missionary) preaching. According to a report from Changde municipality in Hunan province, authorities "promptly stopped the multiple occurrences of people with a ‘dawa preaching group’ background coming to our city and carrying out illegal proselytizing activities." 81 Public security officers in Menyuan Hui Autonomous County, Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai province, described educating religious believers to "vigorously resist the infiltration activities of dawa preaching." 82

Government control of religious venues continued to limit Muslims’ freedom to practice their faith. In late December, for example, villagers in the NHAR clashed with police after authorities reportedly declared a mosque "illegal" and demolished it.83 The Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) "expresse[d] its concern at the destruction of a place of worship and the loss of life" and stated it expects "the authorities in China to fully accord the rights of Muslims to construct and maintain their places of worship and to also observe their basic rights of conducting congregational rituals freely." 84 After local courts sentenced 14 individuals to prison terms for opposing the demolition, a Beijing-based Chinese lawyer told Radio Free Asia, "[L]ocal lawyers don’t dare to offer their services" to file an appeal.85 [See Section IV—Xinjiang for information on conditions in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.]

Protestantism

The Chinese government and Communist Party continued to restrict the freedom of religion for Protestants in China. The Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches in China (TSPM) and the China Christian Council (CCC) are the Protestant associations recognized and controlled by the government. Tension between these "official" organizations and house churches continued.

The Chinese government used positive and negative incentives to pressure house churches to submit to government control by joining the TSPM in order to register and obtain legal status.86 Without legal status, congregations face difficulty in obtaining fixed sites for worship, attracting pastors with formal theological education, and establishing charities.87 The Shandong province January 2012 implementing regulations for the national Regulation on Religious Affairs, for example, recognize religious believers’ right to worship in their own homes and in designated places of worship, but make no reference to group gatherings that are characteristic of house churches.88

Cases since late 2010 suggest that authorities’ sensitivities intensified toward members of unregistered Protestant congregations.89 In April 2012, ChinaAid reported that, in 2011, SARA and the Ministries of Public Security and Civil Affairs issued a planning document on handling house churches in three phases over 10 years, which ChinaAid characterized as an investigation phase to develop comprehensive files, a "cleaning up" phase, and eventually "wip[ing] out" house churches in a third phase.90 According to ChinaAid, a senior SARA official, Jiang Jianyong, told the January 2012 National Work Conference on Religious Affairs that SARA is "certifying and creating files on clergy." 91 An article that described work to develop files on religious personnel in Yuhuan county, Taizhou municipality, Zhejiang province, noted it will "ensure that the sites for religious activities are in accordance with the law and conduct orderly religious activities." 92 A Chinese scholar recently reviewed province and city plans to "manage privately set-up Christian meeting sites according to law." 93 The plans emphasize dealing individually with unregistered congregations after study of their circumstances, registering those willing to register, combining some with registered congregations, asking clergy of registered churches to guide unregistered groups toward registration, and, if these measures fail, "forcefully" banning those congregations that are "subordinate to unlawful organizations," or "influenced or controlled by overseas infiltrating organizations" or by "cult organizations." The author noted that government management campaigns have "required enormous manpower, material resources, and energy." 94

HARASSMENT, DETENTION, AND INTERFERENCE WITH PLACES OF WORSHIP

The Chinese government continued to harass, detain, and imprison Protestants who worship outside of state-approved parameters, and interfered with their religious activities.95 Protestants arrested in previous crackdowns continued to serve sentences in prisons or reeducation through labor centers, though some were re-leased early.96 According to reports, even when individuals were detained for only a few hours or a few days for questioning about house church activities, authorities often did not return Bibles, hymnals, books, computers, audiovisual equipment, or money.97

  • Conflict between the authorities and Shouwang Church in Beijing continued during this reporting year. Dozens of church members were detained for questioning. The congregation met outdoors because of government pressure against any building owner who would provide a worship space.98
  • In Xilinhot city, Xilingol league, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, local authorities demanded that the New Canaan Church affiliate with the TSPM. In January 2012, public security officials raided the house church, confiscated Bibles and hymnals, installed new locks, pressured the landlord to terminate the lease, and interrogated the pastor and two members of the congregation for several hours before releasing them.99
  • In April 2012, a church in Feixi county, Hefei municipality, Anhui province, which had agreed to move to new premises to make way for a development, was still discussing details with local authorities when a demolition crew bulldozed the church building.100
  • In May 2012, services at house churches in Shijiazhuang city, Hebei province, and Langzhong city, Nanchong municipality, Sichuan province, were interrupted by police who told parishioners to worship only at a TSPM church.101

GOVERNMENT AND PARTY SEEK TO CONTROL PROTESTANT DOCTRINE AND PRACTICES

In 2011, SARA reported that it "continued to develop the theological trends of Christianity," and in its 2012 work plan it aimed to "guide the Christian community," "deepen the construction of theological thought, use theological thought propaganda teams," "establish Chinese church ministry showrooms," "and show the new achievements of the healthy development of the Chinese church." 102 The publication of religious materials remained subject to national printing regulations that restrict publication and distribution of materials with religious content.103 Sale of Bibles was limited to TSPM and CCC book outlets in churches and seminaries. Individuals could not order Bibles directly from publishers, and the government-run Xinhua bookshops throughout China do not sell Bibles.104 Chinese law criminalizes "evil cults," judicially defined in 1999 as "those illegal organizations that have been established under the guise of religion, Qigong or other forms, deifying their leading members, enchanting and deceiving others by concocting and spreading superstitious fallacies, recruiting and controlling their members and endangering the society." 105 A 2012 academic study included a partial list of 16 banned "Christian-related" groups and "cults." 106 The Commission has not observed any public criteria for determining, or procedures for challenging, such a designation. A crackdown on Christian "cults" reportedly began in the run-up to the 18th Party Congress.107

Taoism

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government’s control over Taoism and Taoist activities paralleled restrictions on other religious communities, including on doctrine, clergy, religious activity, and sites of worship. As in the past, the Chinese Taoist Association (CTA) maintains organizational measures to achieve objectives including "upholding the leadership of the Communist Party and the socialist system"; "active participation in socialist material, political, spiritual, and ecological civilization"; and "making a contribution to the protection of religious harmony, national unity, social harmony, unity of the motherland, and world peace." 108 In addition to interpreting Taoist doctrine and urging Taoists to accept government and Party goals, the CTA provides "educational guidance" to organizations and temples and "organizes and guides . . . educational activities." 109 According to its report on work completed during the "11th Five-Year Program" period, SARA "performed activities to interpret . . . Taoist scriptures." 110 A former vice chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee said that "discussion, selection and elimination" of concepts in Taoist scriptures are necessary to develop a Taoist philosophy for the 21st century.111

In October 2011, Xinhua paraphrased remarks by the president of the CTA that "China has mapped out a strategy this month to reform and develop its culture, and Taoism should be seen as a kind of soft power of the country." 112 An article in the New York Review of Books by a non-Chinese journalist who attended an international Taoist studies conference in China in June 2011, however, noted that the Chinese authorities "not only shunned it but put up roadblocks. It was almost canceled at the last moment and was eventually curtailed from five to three days, with many panels cut or abbreviated." 113 With regard to plans for a 2012 international conference in Germany, the journalist reported, "One [Chinese] official later said to me that it should be up to the Chinese government, not a non-government organization of scholars, to determine when an important Daoist conference should be held." 114 The journalist noted, "Despite the rebuilding of temples, religious life is still tightly limited." 115

Other Religious Communities

The Chinese government’s recognition of only five religions excludes, for example, Judaism, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Baha’i faith, the Unification Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and folk religions among others. A January 2011 report from SARA’s Religious Research Center said that other religions were "vying" for religious believers in China and "assaulting" China’s "traditional religious structures." 116 The 2012 SARA work plan includes research on religions other than the officially acknowledged five.117 Foreign expatriate members and a small number of Chinese citizen members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in China continue to be permitted to assemble for weekly worship services.118 Orthodox Christian congregations exist in a few areas of China—including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, and Guangdong provinces. When Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations, visited China in June 2012, he met with a CPA-approved Catholic bishop, Ma Yinglin, whose ordination was not approved by the Holy See. AsiaNews reported that, although "for years, the Russian Orthodox have tried to have their small community recognized, . . . there has been no movement in the issue so far." 119

Notes to Section II—Freedom of Religion

1 PRC Constitution, issued 4 December 82, amended 12 April 88, 29 March 93, 15 March 99, 14 March 04, art. 36.

2 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, sec. II(4).

3 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 18. China did not ratify the Covenant during the reporting period; see United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, last visited 27 August 12.For more background, see Katie Lee, "China and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Prospects and Challenges," Chinese Journal of International Law, Vol. 6, No. 2 (2007), 447.

4 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 92.

5 Amnesty International, "Amnesty International Report 2012, the State of the World’s Human Rights," 2012, 108–9. The report stated, "The authorities pursued their goal of bringing all religious practice under state control, including state oversight over religious doctrine, appointment of religious leaders, the registration of religious groups and construction of sites of worship. People practising religions banned by the state, or without state sanction, risked harassment, detention, imprisonment, and in some cases, violent persecution. Banned religions included underground Protestant house churches and Catholics who accept the authority of the Holy See. Around 40 Catholic bishops remained unaccounted for, and were presumed to be held by the authorities."

6 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, "Annual Report 2012," March 2012, 137. According to this report, "Despite restrictions, harassment, arrests, and government oversight, the number of religious adherents continues to grow in China and the government continues to tolerate regular and public worship activities of both legally-approved and some unregistered religious groups. Tolerance for unregistered religious activity often varies, depending on province or locality."

7 Amnesty International, "Amnesty International Report 2012, the State of the World’s Human Rights," 2012, 108–9.

8 Ibid.; Freedom House, "Worst of the Worst 2012: The World’s Most Repressive Societies," 14 June 12, 12. According to the Freedom House report, "Religious freedom is sharply curtailed, and religious minorities remain a key target of repression. All religious groups must register with the government, which regulates their activities and guides their theology. Some faith groups are forbidden, and their members face harassment, imprisonment, and torture." See also Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke, The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 121. In their transnational study, published at the end of 2010, they said China is a country where "religion is viewed as a political threat to the state and freedoms are denied." See also Brent Fulton, "Reason for Optimism in Policy Toward Chinese Christians," Gospel Coalition, 25 March 12. Focusing on Christianity, Fulton noted that a variety of factors influenced whether local officials tolerated unofficial Christian activities, including the "triggers" of foreign involvement, perceived political motives, the scale of activities, the level of greed or corruption among local officials, and "political winds that blow frequently across China."

9 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York, Oxford University Press, 2012), 78–84. The senior officials of SARA are listed in the following source: China Directory 2012, ed. Radiopress (Tokyo: JPM Corporation, Ltd., December 2011), 115.

10 "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12). See also Wang Zuo’an, "Bringing Into Play the Positive Role of Religious Circles in Cultural Building," People’s Daily, 28 December 11 (Open Source Center, 28 December 11). Wang, Director of SARA, reiterated that "Religious circles should accept the leadership" of the Communist Party and "establish a system of religious thinking that . . . meets the requirements of China’s social development . . . ."

11 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012 Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12. The "harmony and stability" theme was reiterated by the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Congress; see Zhang Zongtang, "Jia Qinglin Holds a Spring Festival Forum With Responsible Persons of Nationwide Religious Organizations" [Jia qinglin yu quanguoxing zongjiao tuanti fuzeren juxing yingchun zuotan], Xinhua, 16 January 12.

12 See, e.g., Wang Zuo’an, "Bringing Into Play the Positive Role of Religious Circles in Cultural Building," People’s Daily, 28 December 11 (Open Source Center, 28 December 11). Wang said, "[R]eligious citizens have positively plunged into the cause of socialist modernization," "religious circles have actively fit into socialist society," and "religions in China have continued to expand their positive profile and function."

13 Wang Zuo’an, "Bringing Into Play the Positive Role of Religious Circles in Cultural Building," People’s Daily, 28 December 11 (Open Source Center, 28 December 11).

14 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 81. "In practice, the SARA [State Administration for Religious Affairs] and lower-level RABs [Religious Affairs Bureaus] usually rule through the so-called patriotic religious associations. The associations of the five official religions are nongovernmental organizations in name, but they function as an extension and delegation of the RAB," Yang said.

15 Zheng Leguo, "A General Interpretation of Religious Policy and Tactics in China—Defense of Rights Through Legal Means Against Religious Persecution," China Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 1 (January–June 2011), 22–23; Liu Peng, "House Churches: Issues and Solutions," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July–December 11), 66–67. According to Liu, "[R]eligious organizations under the management of government" became obedient "sub-ordinates of the government," "politicized, bureaucratized and institutionalized." The relationship between the associations and the government is also discussed in Zhang Qianfan and ZhuYingjing, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "Religious Freedom and Legal Restrictions: Theory and Practice in China," 16 February 12, part IV, sec. 7.

16 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York, Oxford University Press, 2012), 78–79. The senior officials of the UFWD are listed in thefollowing source: China Directory 2012, ed. Radiopress (Tokyo: JPM Corporation, Ltd., December 2011), 17.

17 Gu Ruizhen, "Jia Qinglin Meets With the Delegates of the Ninth China Islamic National Conference," Xinhua, 16 September 11 (Open Source Center, 16 September 11).

18 Du Qinglin, "Vigourously Strengthening United Front Cultural Construction," Qiushi, 1 April 12 (Open Source Center, 2 April 12). The article ended with Du’s admonition that "[w]e must . . . defend against international enemy forces using culture to conduct infiltration and project harmful cultural influences."

19 Magda Hornemann, "China: The Media, Popular Opinion, and Religious Freedom," Forum 18, 21 May 12.

20 Zhang Qianfan and Zhu Yingjing, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "Religious Freedom and Legal Restrictions: Theory and Practice in China," 16 February 12.

21 New measures announced on the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) Web site during the reporting period were SARA, "Circular on the Printing and Distribution ofRecords of Catholic Bishops (Trial)" [Guanyu yinfa "zhongguo tianzhujiao zhujiao bei’an banfa (shixing)" de tongzhi], 5 June 12; SARA, Party Central Committee United Front Work Department, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and State Administration of Taxation, "Opinion on Encouraging and Standardizing Involvement by Religious Organizations in Public Interest Charitable Activities" [Guanyu guli he guifan zongjiao jie congshi gongyi cishan huodong de yijian], 16 February 12; SARA, Ministryof Human Resources and Social Security, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Civil Affairs, and Ministry of Health, "Circular on Going a Step Farther To Solve the Social Benefits of ReligiousPersonnel" [Guanyu jinyibu jiejue zongjiao jiao zhi renyuan shehui baozhang wenti de tongzhi], 27 December 11. For provincial-level regulations, see, e.g., Shandong Province Regulation on Religious Affairs [Shandong sheng zongjiao shiwu tiaoli], issued 29 September 11, effective 1 January 12; Gansu Province Regulation on Religious Affairs [Gansu sheng zongjiao shiwu tiaoli],issued 29 September 11, effective 1 December 12. For CECC analysis, see "Gansu and Shandong Provinces Issue New Regulations on Religion," Congressional-Executive Commission on China,18 January 12.

22 State Administration for Religious Affairs, Regulation on Religious Affairs [Zongjiao shiwutiaoli], issued 30 November 04, effective 1 March 05. SARA’s 2005 Regulation on Religious Affairs is discussed in Zhang Qianfan and Zhu Yingping, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "Religious Freedom and Legal Restrictions: Theory and Practice in China," 16 February 12, part III.

23 Jillian Kay Melchoir, "China’s Catholics Go to Camp," Wall Street Journal, 9 August 12. According to this report, "The [2005 regulations] do not explicitly guarantee religious freedomfor minors, nor do they codify the rights of parents to offer religious instruction to their children. But they do forbid organizations or individuals from using religion ‘to obstruct the state education system,’ which is often interpreted as a ban on religious private schools and religious instruction in public classrooms."

24 State Administration for Religious Affairs, Party Central Committee United Front Work Department, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry ofFinance, and State Administration of Taxation, "Opinion on Encouraging and Standardizing Involvement by Religious Organizations in Public Interest Charitable Activities" [Guanyu guli heguifan zongjiaojie congshi gongyi cishan huodong de yijian], 16 February 12.

25 Shawn Shieh, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, "NGO Law Monitor: China," last visited 30 August 12; "Charities Open to Religious Groups," China Daily, 28 June 12. According to the China Daily article, the approved types of activity are limited to disaster and povertyrelief; care of the disabled, seniors, and children; providing education opportunities and medical care; environmental protection; and public facility construction. See also ChinaAid, "Six Agencies of CCP Central Government Promulgated ‘Opinions’ on Religious Charity Activities Aiming To Restrict and Utilize the Social Influence of Christianity," 5 March 12; "New Beijing Limitson Religious NGOs ‘Complicate an Already Difficult Life,’ " AsiaNews, 2 March 12.

26 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "2011 Work Situation Report of the State Administration for Religious Affairs" [Guojia zongjiao shiwu ju 2011 nian gongzuo qingkuang baogao], 16 January 12; State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012 Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12. For an example from one province, see "The Experiences and Revelations of the Shandong Province Harmonious Religious Activity Center" [Shandong sheng hexie zongjiao huodong changsuo chuangjian huodong de jingyan yu qishi], China Religion, 31 December 11.

27 Gao Guanxi, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "The Dual System in the Rule of Law in the Regulation of Religious Affairs and the Problems of the System in Present China," 16 February 12, part II.

28 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "Shanxi Provincial Buddhist Association Holds 8th Permanent Member Conference in Taiyuan" [Shanxi sheng fojiao xiehui ba jie erci changwu lishi huiyi zai taiyuan zhaokai], 15 December 11. See also "Ningbo City Buddhist Association Studies Religious Policy Regulations" [Ningbo shi fojiao xiehui zhuanti xuexi zongjiao zhengce fagui fabu shijian], Ningbo Nationalities Religion Net, 11 June 12.

29 "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12).

30 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012 Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12.

31 "First Modern Buddhist College Opens," China Daily, 9 April 12; "Henan’s First Buddhist Colleges and Universities Completed Shi Dean," Inside China, 8 April 12.

32 "Chinese Leave Buddhist Fellowship Meeting Because of Tibetan Presence," AsiaNews, 13 June 12; "S. Korean Buddhists Regret China’s Boycott of World Conference," Yonhap NewsAgency, 14 June 12; "Editorial: PRC’s Religious Freedom Not for All," Taipei Times, 16 June 12.

33 Thirteen Chinese Catholics were listed as prisoners as of July 23, 2012, on the list maintained by Open Doors USA. "Chinese Prisoners," Open Doors USA, last visited 17 July 12. ACatholic newspaper in Hong Kong highlighted nine individuals: Bishop Su Zhimin, Bishop Shi Enxiang, Father Lu Genjun, Father Zhang Jianlin, Father Cui Tai, Father Liu Honggen, FatherMa Wuyong, Father Wang Chengli, and Bishop Wu Qinjing. "Bishops and Priests Currently Being Held in China," Sunday Examiner, last visited 21 July 12.

34 Francis X. Rocca, "Calm and Collected: Amid Crisis, Vatican Diplomacy Shows ‘Maturity,’ " Catholic News Service, 6 January 12. Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun provided additional detailsand perspective in "What Is the True Good of the Church in China," AsiaNews, 8 February 12. See also "UK Daily Criticizes China’s ‘Short-Sighted’ Curbs on Religious Practice," LondonTimes, 10 July 12 (Open Source Center, 11 July 12). The article noted, "[S]ince the Olympics in 2008, attitudes in Beijing have clearly hardened. Numerous bishops have been appointedwithout Vatican approval, reportedly in ceremonies overseen by clergy who had been kidnapped."

35 Bernardo Cervellera, "Msgr. Savio Hon: Episcopal Ordinations With No Papal Mandate Reveal Party’s Lack of Ideals and Internal Fighting," AsiaNews, 15 June 12; Bernardo Cervellera,"The New Maoism That Suffocates the Church and China," AsiaNews, 25 April 12; Frank Ching, "EJ Insight: Impasse in Sino-Vatican Ties Unlikely To End Anytime Soon," Hsin Pao (HongKong Economic Journal), 19 July 12 (Open Source Center, 19 July 12); Wang Zhicheng, "Harbin Catholics Oppose Ordination Wanted by Party, but Not the Pope," AsiaNews, 4 July 12.

36 "Vatican Blasts ‘Illicit’ Ordination in China," Al Jazeera, 10 July 12.

37 "China Ordains Bishop, Defies Vatican," Agence France-Presse, 6 July 12; "Apostolic Administrator of Harbin ‘Missing’ on Eve of Illicit Ordination," AsiaNews, 4 July 12; Jian Mei, "Harbin’s Illicit Ordination Strengthens ‘Excommunicated.’ Apostolic Administrator Released,"AsiaNews, 6 July 12.

38 Eugenia Zhang, "Card Zen and Hong Kong Catholics Pray for Mgr Daqin and the SufferingChurch in China," AsiaNews, 17 July 12; Jian Mei, "Harbin’s Illicit Ordination Strengthens ‘Excommunicated.’ Apostolic Administrator Released," AsiaNews, 6 July 12.

39 "State Religious Affairs Administration Spokesman Rebukes Vatican on Ordination," Xinhua, 4 July 12 (Open Source Center, 4 July 12). An editorial in the Global Times, whichoperates under the People’s Daily, criticized "the obsession with power which has appeared repeatedly in the history of the Holy See." "Vatican Needs To Adapt to Local Systems," GlobalTimes, 15 July 12 (Open Source Center, 16 July 12). See also "Vatican Note on Harbin Episcopal Ordination," AsiaNews, 4 July 12; Bernardo Cervellera, "Beijing’s Sermon: Vatican ‘Barbarousand Irrational’ Over Harbin Ordination," AsiaNews, 5 July 12.

40 Bernardo Cervellera, "A Blow to Patriotic Association: The Bishop of Shanghai a Prophetand Hero," AsiaNews, 10 July 12.

41 "Chinese Bishop Held in Isolation After Quitting Government Posts in Challenge to Beijing," Associated Press, 10 July 12; "Catholic Bishop Ma Daqin Loses Freedom of Movement After Withdrawing From CPA" [Ma daqin shenfu tuichu aiguohui hou shiqu xingdong ziyou],Voice of America, 9 July 12; Eugenia Zhang, "Card Zen and Hong Kong Catholics Pray for Mgr Daqin and the Suffering Church in China," AsiaNews, 17 July 12; Jian Mei, "Mgr Ma Daqin,Auxiliary Bishop of Shanghai, Restarts His Blog," AsiaNews, 16 July 12; "China ‘Investigating’ Bishop Over Split From State-Sanctioned Catholic Group," Agence France-Presse, 12 July 12(Open Source Center, 12 July 12); Frank Ching, "EJ Insight: Impasse in Sino-Vatican Ties Unlikely To End Anytime Soon," Hsin Pao (Hong Kong Economic Journal), 19 July 12 (OpenSource Center, 19 July 12).

42 Wang Zhicheng, "Police Pressure on Underground Community, Easter in the Church of Silence," AsiaNews, 7 April 12; "Underground Bishop Undergoes ‘Study,’ " UCANews, 11 January 12; "Two Underground Bishops Released, but Many Priests Are Arrested," AsiaNews, 17 April 12. See also the comment of Patrick Poon, "[P]olice tend to confine [underground clergy] in detention centers, guesthouses or force them to take the so-called learning class for a prolongedperiod of time without giving any reason," in "New Law Leaves Catholics Vulnerable," UCANews, 22 March 12.

43 Wang Zhicheng, "Inner Mongolia: Campaign of Persecution Against Underground Church," AsiaNews, 24 February 12; "Detained Suiyuan Priests Released," UCANews, 8 February 12.

44 "Month Long Chinese Crackdown on Donglu Marian Shrine," AsiaNews, 24 May 12. The authorities also maintained tight security at the Sheshan shrine. See, e.g., Jian Mei, "Thousands of Pilgrims Reach Sheshan on Pope’s Day of Prayer," AsiaNews, 24 May 12.

45 For a review, see "A Systematic Suppression of 100 Million People," Falun Dafa Information Center, 4 July 12.

46 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 99–100.

47 Guizhou Province Rural Economic Information Center, "Banzhu Village 2012–2014 Tackling Program Implementation for Education and Transformation" [Banzhu xiang 2012 nian-2014 nian jiaoyu zhuanhua gongjian shishi fang’an], 21 April 12. See also Shangcheng District Government, "Shangcheng District, Units Directly Under the Leading Groups, 2012–2016 Term Goals," 10 May 12. The 2012–2016 goals statement for Shangcheng district, Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province, emphasized expanded numbers of cult-free city blocks.

48 Amnesty International, "Amnesty International Report 2012, the State of the World’s Human Rights," 2012, 109.

49 "Chinese Regime’s Persecution of Falun Gong: 2011 Death Toll," New Tang Dynasty Television, 26 January 12.

50 "Gruesome Death Toll—3533 Confirmed Dead—Tens of Thousands More To Be Confirmed," Clear Wisdom, 5 June 12.

51 "Chinese Regime’s Persecution of Falun Gong: 2011 Death Toll," New Tang Dynasty Television, 26 January 12. The Falun Dafa Information Center provides monthly online reports of actions taken by Chinese authorities against practitioners. For another update, see "After 13 Years of Brutal Suppression, a Turning of the Tide? " Falun Dafa Information Center, 18 July 12.

52 China Anti-Cult Association, "Xinzhou, Wuhan Wholeheartedly Prepares Education Transformation To Strengthen Overall Fight" [Wuhanshi xinzhouqu quanli dahao jiaoyu zhuanhua gonggu zhengti zhang], 20 June 12; "National Anti-Cult Association Education Transformation, Strengthening, and Consolidation Exchange Conference Opens in Chongqing" [Quanguo fan xiejiao xiehui jiaoyu zhuanhua gong jian yu gonggu jingyan jiaoliu hui zai chongqing zhaokai], Bayu Feng, 21 June 12; Pukou Township People’s Government, "Pukou Township Implementation Program To Transform ‘Falun Gong’ Personnel" [Pukou xiang zhuanhua "falun gong" renyuan shishi fang’an], reprinted in Government Information Opening Platform of Gaoyang County, 24 February 12; Ding Yixin, "Exert the Association’s Function, Innovate in Social Management" [Fahui xiehui gongneng, chuangxin shehui guanli], China Anti-Cult Net, 5 May 12.

53 Pukou Township People’s Government, "Pukou Township Implementation Program To Transform ‘Falun Gong’ Personnel" [Pukou xiang zhuanhua "falun gong" renyuan shishi fang’an], reprinted in Government Information Opening Platform of Gaoyang County, 24 February 12; Ding Yixin, "Exert the Association’s Function, Innovate in Social Management" [Fahui xiehui gongneng, chuangxin shehui guanli], China Anti-Cult Net, 5 May 12. See also Xin’gan County Open Government Information Platform, "Jinchuan Town’s 2012 Work Report on Preventing and Dealing With Cults" [Guanyu yinfa "jinchuan zhen 2012 nian fangfan he chuli xiajiao gongzuo yaodian"], 22 April 12; Jiangxi Xinfeng Second High School, "Xinfeng Second High School Anti-Cult Warning Educational Propaganda Materials (2)" [Xinfeng erzhong fan xiejiao jingshi jiaoyu xuanchuan ziliao (2)], 3 August 12.

54 See, e.g., Yuhang Science and Technology Museum, "An Investigation of Psychological Intervention Strategy for ‘Falun Gong’ Obsessives Based on Motivation Change Theory" [Jiyu dongji gaibian lilun de "falun gong" chimizhe xinli ganyu celue tantao], 11 July 12. The article added that "Some researchers conducted personality analysis of Falun Gong obsessives, and they found that these persons more commonly have paranoid, suspicious, narrow, selfish, and introverted personality characteristics."

55 Li Xiangyong, Hunan Province Anti-Cult Association, "How To Do a Good Job in Educating and Transforming Falun Gong Practitioners" [Qian yi ruhe zuo hao falun gong lianxizhe de jiaoyu zhuanhua gongzuo], 23 August 12.

56 Liu Jun, "Xinzhou, Wuhan Wholeheartedly Prepares Education Transformation To Strengthen Overall Fight" [Wuhanshi xinzhouqu quanli dahao jiaoyu zhuanhua gonggu zhengti zhang], China Anti-Cult Net, 20 June 12.

57 Ibid.

58 Ge’ermu Reeducation Through Labor and Drug Rehabilitation Center, "Reform and Development Require Strides, Innumerable Great Achievements Create Brilliance—Meritorious Deeds of the Reeducation Through Labor and Drug Rehabilitation Center Political Legal System in Golmud, Qinghai" [Gaige fazhan qiu kuayue shuoguo leilei chuang huihuang—qinghai sheng ge’ermu laojiao (qiangjie) suo zhengfa xitong xianjin shiji cailiao], reprinted in Qinghai Reeducation Through Labor Administration and Qinghai Drug Rehabilitation Administration Web site, 31 May 12.

59 Sarah Cook and Leeshai Lemish, Jamestown Foundation, "The 610 Office: Policing the Chinese Spirit," China Brief, Vol. 11, No. 17 (16 September 11); World Organization To Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, "Investigative Report on the ‘610 Office,’ " 8 September 03, updated 1 February 11; Guangxi Art Institute, "What Is the 610 Office? " 1 March 10. In a recent article on local government measures to bring house churches into the government’s management system, Yang Kaile mentions that 610 offices identify unlawful religious groups. See Yang Kaile, "Basic Principles for Managing Privately Set-Up Christian Meeting Sites," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 8, No. 1 (January–June 2012), 77–81, 83; Tongzhou City Government, "Ordinary Job Creating Great Success—District Committee’s 610 Office Secretariat Chief Wang Xiaomei" [Pingfan gangwei chuang jiaji—jiqu wei 610 bangongshi mishu ke kezhang wang xiaomei], 15 June 12. This article on the director of the 610 Office in Tongzhou city, Jiangsu province, hailed his mastery of the network activity patterns of foreign cults.

60 For a personal testimony on "reeducation" classes, see Investigating the Chinese Threat, Part Two: Human Rights Abuses, Torture and Disappearances, Hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, 25 July 12, Testimony of Li Hai. For further analysis on the reasoning behind "transformation," see Ruo Shui, "Analysis of Several Different Modes of Rescue" [Dui jizhong butong wanjiu moshi de fenxi], Kaifeng Net, reprinted in Qianjiangchao Net, 10 February 11.

61 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 30 July 12, 8.

62 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices—2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 24 May 12, 4–5. See also "Call for End to ‘Psychiatric’ Detention," Radio Free Asia, 27 October 11; "Chinese Regime’s Persecution of Falun Gong: 2011 Death Toll," New Tang Dynasty Television, 26 January 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "The Darkest Corners: Abuses of Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment in China," 6 August 12; Human Rights Watch, "Chinese Addiction Study and Human Rights," 2 August 12.

63 Pi Chengda, China Anti-Cult Association, "Ezhou, Hubei Launches ‘Families Rejecting Evil Cults’ Campaign" [Hubei ezhoushi kaizhan "jiating jujue xiejiao" huodong], 15 December 11. Foran example of anti-cult "warning" work, see Ji’an People’s Government, "Circular on Doing Anti-Cult Education Warning Work Well in Xinjiang Village in 2012" [Xinjiang xiang guanyu zuohao2012 nian fanxie jiaoyu jingshi jiaoyu gongzuo de tongzhi], 17 May 12.

64 Zhao Hongzheng, China Anti-Cult Association, "Jiangsu, Xinyi Anti-Cult Association Appeals to All Members To Use Dragon Boat Festival Text Messages To Launch Anti-Cult Propaganda" [Jiangsu sheng xinyi shi fan xiejiao xiehui haozhao quanti huiyuan yong duanwu jieduanxin kaizhan fang xie xuanchuan], 24 June 12; China Anti-Cult Association, "Tangshan City, Hebei Province Anti-Cult Association Creates Anti-Cult QQ Online Information-SharingPlatform" [Hebei sheng tangshan shi fan xiejiao xiehui jianli fan xiejiao QQ qun goujian fan xiejiao wangluo jiaoliu xinxi pingtai], 22 June 12.

65 "Interview: Bruce Chung Tells of Detention Hell," Taipei Times, 26 August 12 (Open Source Center, 26 August 12).

66 See, e.g., "Three Falun Gong Scholars in Chengdu Put in Criminal Detention for Transporting Propaganda Material" [Chengdu san falun gong xueyuan yun xuanchuan pin bei xingju],Radio Free Asia, 20 July 12; "Having Endured Repeated Detention in the Past, Ms. Wang Yanjun Is Illegally Arrested Again," Clear Wisdom, 30 October 11; "Sichuan Judge Sends SevenFalun Gong Practitioners to Prison After Mockery of a Trial," Falun Dafa Information Center, 13 October 11.

67 See, e.g., Gu Qing’er, "Chinese Lawyers Who Defended Falun Gong: Wei Liangyue," Epoch Times, 16 June 12; "Inside China: Imprisoned Human Rights Lawyer Who Defended FalunGong in Danger," Falun Dafa Information Center, 16 June 12; Gu Qing’er, "Chinese Lawyers Who Defended Falun Gong: Wang Yonghang," Epoch Times, 16 June 12.

68 "Beijing Court Withdraws Probation on Ex-Lawyer Convicted of Overthrowing State," Xinhua, 16 December 11; Andrew Jacobs, "Family Visits Rights Lawyer Held in China," NewYork Times, 28 March 12; ChinaAid, "ChinaAid News Flash: Gao Zhisheng Alive! Family Visits Him in Prison," 28 March 12. See the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database record 2005– 00291 for more information on Gao Zhisheng’s case.

69 Gu Ruizhen, "Jia Qinglin Addresses Delegates to Ninth China Islamic Conference," Xinhua,16 September 11 (Open Source Center, 16 September 11).

70 "Chen Guangyuan Reelected President of Islamic Association of China," Xinhua, 15 September 11 (Open Source Center, 19 September 11).

71 "Solidly and Effectively Promoting the Undertaking of Progress in Ethnic Solidarity inNingxia," Beijing Qiushi (Open Source Center, 1 May 12). See also "Ningxia Holds Ethnic and Religious Affairs Directors Meeting," "Ningxia Vice Chairman Urges Major Role for ReligiousPersonages in Maintaining Ethnic Unity," and "Yinchuan Firmly Promotes Activities for Establishment of Ethnic Unity and Progress," in "Highlights: Reports on Ethnic Stability Issues inPRC Provinces 1 September–30 November 2011," Open Source Center, 30 December 11.

72 "Islam Flourishes in China’s Ningxia Region," Voice of America, 26 June 12.

73 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "Measures for Accrediting Islamic Clergy" [Yisilan jiao jiaozhi renyuan zige rending banfa], 20 December 10.

74 Daisuke Nishimura, "China’s Muslims Making the Pilgrimage to Mecca," Asahi Shimbun, 31 December 11.

75 "PRC: Table of Contents of ‘Blue Book of Religions (2011),’ " Open Source Center, 21 January 12.

76 State Administration for Religious Affairs, Regulation on Religious Affairs [Zongjiao shiwu tiaoli], issued 30 November 04, effective 1 March 05, art. 11. Article 11 states: "The making ofHajj abroad by Chinese citizens who believe in Islam shall be organized by the national religious body of Islam." For patriotic education, see Ananth Krishnan, "China’s Uighur Muslims Yearnfor Liberal Hajj Regime," Hindu, 29 October 11.

77 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12.

78 "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12).

79 "Chinese State Shura? China’s Islamic Association and Its Interpretation of Islamic Texts,"Xinjiang Review, 28 April 11; "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12); State Administration for Religious Affairs, "2011 Work Situation Report of the State Administration for Religious Affairs" [Guojia zongjiao shiwu ju 2011 nian gongzuo qingkuang baogao], 16 January 12.

80 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "2011 Work Situation Report of the State Administration for Religious Affairs" [Guojia zongjiao shiwu ju 2011 nian gongzuo qingkuang baogao], 16 January 12. See also "Chinese State Shura? China’s Islamic Association and Its Interpretation of Islamic Texts," Xinjiang Review, 28 April 11.

81 Changde People’s Government, "Municipal Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau: Serve With Close Feelings, Promote Ethnic and Religious Work" [Shimin zong ju: yi tiexin fuwu cujin minzu zongjiao gongzuo], 28 December 11.

82 Haidong District Public Security Bureau, "Haibei Menyuan Malian Police Station Uses Real Power of Action To Promote ‘Three Visits Three Appraisals’ Activity" [Haibei menyuan malian paichusuo yi shiji xingdong li tui "san fang san ping" huodong], reprinted in Qinghai Province Public Security Department, 19 January 12.

83 "Two Villagers Die in Clash Over Mosque’s Demolition," South China Morning Post, 3 January 12 (Open Source Center, 3 January 12). A police officer was paraphrased in this South China Morning Post report as saying that "those involved in building the mosque were linked to shadowy Islamic groups from the provinces of Yunnan, Gansu and Xinjiang and that the building had not been . . . properly approved." A local resident cited in the report said county officials had authorized the construction. He reported that two villagers died in the clash and that authorities detained protesters and restricted the free flow of information after the incident. Other reports described the mosque as a reconstruction or renovation of an earlier structure established in 1987. See "Muslims Clash With China Police Who Destroyed Mosque,"Agence France-Presse, 2 January 12 (Open Source Center, 2 January 12); "Beijing Rejects Death Claims," Radio Free Asia, 4 January 12. See also Tongxin County Government, "GovernmentWork Report" [Zhengfu gongzuo baogao], 4 January 12. The work report, delivered four days before the reported demolition, called for "strictly prohibiting arbitrary (suiyi) new construction,expansion, and chaotic construction of mosques."

84 "OIC Statement on Mosque Destruction in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China," International Islamic News Agency, 4 January 12. See also National Model United Nations, "Organisation of Islamic Cooperation," last visited 27 July 12, 3, 4.

85 "China Jails 14 Over Mosque Clash," Radio Free Asia, 26 June 12.

86 For a comprehensive review, see Zhang Shoudong, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences,"Analysis of House Churches and the Relationship Between State and Religion," 16 February 12. Difficulties in the process of registration are discussed in Xing Fuzeng, Pu Shi Institute forSocial Sciences, "Freedom of Association and Religious Freedom: The Regulation and Registration of Chinese Religious Organizations," 16 February 12, part IV.

87 Liu Peng, "House Churches: Issues and Solutions," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July–December 2011), 60, 76–79.

88 Shandong Province Regulation on Religious Affairs [Shandong sheng zongjiao shiwu tiaoli], enacted 29 September 11, effective 1 January 12.

89 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 103.

90 ChinaAid, "ChinaAid Special Report: Chinese Government Launches New Campaign ToEradicate House Churches," 22 April 12.

91 Ibid.

92 "Yuhuan County, Zhejiang, Establishes Electronic Files on ‘Basic Situation of County-Wide Religious Personnel’ " [Zhejiang yuhuan xian jianli "quan xian zongjiao zhi renyuan jiben qingkuang" dianzi dang’an], Buddhism-Online, 16 October 11.

93 Yang Kaile, "Basic Principles for Managing Privately Set-Up Christian Meeting Sites," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 8, No. 1 (January–June 2012), 77–81.

94 Ibid., 83.

95 ChinaAid, "Government of Mengka Township, Ximeng County, Yunnan Province Confiscates Bibles, Threatens and Suppresses Christians," 21 July 12; ChinaAid, "Police Raid HouseChurch in Jiangxi Province," 8 July 12; "House Church Baptism Disrupted by Raid," Voice of the Martyrs, 28 June 12; ChinaAid, "Chinese Theology Association Teacher Training Camp Harassed by State Security, Forced To Stop" [Zhongguo shenxue xiehui jiaoshi xunlianying shou guo’an saorao beipo zhongzhi], 26 June 12; "Sichuan Langzhong Jinya Church Raided: ChurchSues City Public Security Bureau Director" [Sichuan langzhong jinya jiaohui zao chachao jiaohui zhuanggao shi gong’an juzhang], Radio Free Asia, 18 June 12; "Arrest Notice [24 May 12]," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 8, No. 2 (January–June 2012), 121; ChinaAid, "House Churches in Multiple Provinces Attacked by Local Government," 27 April 12; "Criminal Detention Notice: Many Members of the Daying Village House Church, April 2012," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 8, No. 1 (January–June 2012), 120; "House Church Raided, Believers Detained," Voice of the Martyrs, 29 March 12; "Public Security Administrative Penalty Decision: Zhong Shuguang," 9 March 12, reprinted in Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 8, No. 1(January–June 2012), 119; "Christian Student Fellowship Banned in Inner Mongolia," Voice of the Martyrs, 27 October 11. See, for instance, the order of the Lizhou District Bureau for Ethnicand Religious Affairs of Guangyuan Municipality, 24 June 11, reprinted in Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July–December 2011), 107–8; "Petition of Shangxi HouseChurch, September 13, 2011," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July–December 2011), 108–116; "The Criminal Detention Notice for Pastor Shi Enhao [21 June 11]," ChineseLaw and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 1 (January–June 2011), 78; "Notification of Penalties on Du Xianping and Zhao Ximei [23 February 11]," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No.1 (January–June 2011), 57; "Interrogation Notice for Dr. Fan Yafeng, Nov. 24, 2010," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 1 (January–June 2011), 6; "Administrative Detention Notice Issued to Mr. Liu Jintao [9 October 10]," Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, Vol. 7, No. 1 (January–June 2011), 14. Twenty Chinese Protestants are listed as prisoners on the list maintained by Open Doors USA. See Open Doors USA, "Chinese Prisoners," last visited 17 July 12.

96 "Update: Pastor Released Early From Prison," Voice of the Martyrs, 22 September 11;ChinaAid, "Imprisoned Christian Newspaper Editor, South China Church Leader Li Ying Released Five Years Early," 22 February 12.

97 ChinaAid, "More Details About Raid on House Church in Jiangxi Province," 11 July 12; ChinaAid, "Xinjiang House Church Seeking Legal Action Against Local Police for Earlier Persecution Is Targeted Again; Police Detain 17 Believers, Confiscate Church Books," 22 July 12; "House Church Raided, Believers Detained," Voice of the Martyrs, 29 March 12; "Update: House Church Leader Released From Prison," Voice of the Martyrs, 2 February 12.

98 Yin Yeping, "Police Stop Illegal House Church Service," Global Times Online, 22 August 12 (Open Source Center, 22 August 12); "Update: New Year Brings Renewed Efforts To Prevent Worship at Shouwang Church," Voice of the Martyrs, 19 January 12. For a comprehensive review of Chinese officials’ persecution of Shouwang Church members, see Liu Peng, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "How To Treat House Churches: A Review of the Beijing Shouwang Church Incident," 16 February 12. See also Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "International Religious Freedom Report for 2011: China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 30 July 12, 11; Amnesty International, "Amnesty International Report 2012, the State of the World’s Human Rights," 2012, 108–9. For the church’s youth sports programs, see ChinaAid, "Shouwang Church Members Subjected to Two Days of Persecution Last Weekend," 20 June 12.

99 "House Church in Xilinhot City, IMAR, Oppressed: Attacked, Damaged, Locked Up, and People Taken Away" [Mengguxi shi jiating jiaohui zaoshou bipo: chongji, pohuai, shang suo, zhua ren], Voice of China, 16 February 12; Joseph DeCaro, "House Church in Xilinhot Raided: Officials Destroy Property, Detain Pastor," China Persecution Magazine, 24 February 12.

100 ChinaAid, "Church in Hefei, Anhui Province Illegally Demolished by Government-Backed Real Estate Developers," 13 May 12.

101 "House Church Asked To Halt Activities," Radio Free Asia, 22 May 12.

102 "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12); State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012 Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12.

103 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York, Oxford University Press, 2012), 153–54. Religious groups must obtain a certificate of permission for publications. See also Zhang Qianfan and Zhu Yingjing, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "Religious Freedom and Legal Restrictions: Theory and Practice in China," 16 February 12. See also State Administration for Religious Affairs, Regulation on Religious Affairs [Zongjiao shiwu tiaoli], issued 30 November 04, effective 1 March 05, art. 7.

104 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "International Religious Freedom for 2011: China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 30 July 12, 6. See also Andrew Jacobs, "Spreading the Faith Where Faith Itself Is Suspect," New York Times, 10 July 12. See also the comments on Bibles in Part III, "Registration of Religious Organizations," in Xing Fuzeng, Pu Shi Institute for Social Sciences, "Freedom of Association and Religious Freedom: The Regulation and Registration of Chinese Religious Organizations," 16 February 12. See also ChinaAid, "Shaanxi Province Authorities Target House Church, Confiscate Officially Published Bibles," 18 July 12.

105 See the Web site of the International Telecommunications Union for a copy of the ruling and the definition. Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate, "Explanations of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on Some Questions on Specific Applications of the Laws in Handling the Cases of Organizing and Using Cults for Criminal Activities," 8 October 99.

106 Fenggeng Yang, Religion in China: Survival and Revival Under Communist Rule (New York, Oxford University Press, 2012), 103–5, 115–16. The listed groups were Shouters, Established King, Lightning From the East, Lord God Sect, Lingling Sect, All Scope Church, South China Church, Disciples Sect (Narrow Gate), Three Ranks of Servants, Cold Water Sect, Commune Sect, New Testament Church/Apostles Faith Sect, Resurrection Sect, Dami Evangelization Association, and World Elijah Evangelism Association. Sixteen qigong "cults" were banned the same year as Falun Gong.

107 "Capital Area Cracks Down on Evil Cults To Maintain Stability in Lead-Up to 18th Party Congress" [Jingji yanda xiejiao weiwen ying shiba da], Ming Pao, 20 July 12.

108 Chinese Taoist Association, "Organizational Outline" [Xiehui jianjie], last visited 16 August 12.

109 Ibid.

110 "Promoting Religious Harmony and Serving Scientific Development," People’s Daily, 10 January 11 (Open Source Center, 20 January 12).

111 "Modernize Taoism To Promote the Religion: Former Chinese Legislator," Xinhua, 25 October 11.

112 "China Promoting Taoism’s Influence Abroad," Xinhua, 23 October 11; Zhao Qiguang, "Taoism Also Part of China’s Soft Power," People’s Daily, 11 July 12.

113 Ian Johnson, "Are China’s Rulers Getting Religion? " New York Review of Books Blog, 29 October 11.

114 Ibid.

115 Ibid.

116 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "Thoughts on Performing Religious Work Well During the ‘12th Five-Year Plan’ Period" [Guanyu zuohao "shier wu" shiqi zongjiao gongzuo de sikao], 29 January 11.

117 State Administration for Religious Affairs, "State Administration for Religious Affairs’ 2012 Main Points of Work" [Guojia zongjiao ju shiwuju 2012 nian gongzuo yaodian], 16 January 12.

118 Email from the Director of Public and International Affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Washington, DC, 31 July 12.

119 Bernardo Cervellera, "Hilarion’s Act: Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Meets Chinese Excommunicated Bishop," AsiaNews, 22 June 12.

 

ETHNIC MINORITY RIGHTS

Introduction | State Minority Policy | Grasslands Policy and Protests in Inner Mongolia | Political Prisoners

Introduction

Ethnic minorities in China continued to face challenges in upholding their rights, including the right to maintain their unique languages, cultures, and religions as provided in Chinese and international law.1 The PRC Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law allows for regional autonomy in designated areas with ethnic minority populations,2 but limits in both the substance and implementation of this law and various related policies have prevented meaningful autonomy in practice. A 2012 article by a high-level official published in a Communist Party publication proposed shifts in future policy regarding ethnic autonomy and language rights.3 New Tibetan protests and a series of self-immolations during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year highlighted continuing tensions and citizen grievances toward government minority policies. Government controls were harshest over groups deemed to challenge state authority, including those in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan autonomous areas, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. [See Section IV—Xinjiang and Section V—Tibet for additional information on these areas. See text below for information on broader government policies toward ethnic minorities and on conditions in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.]

State Minority Policy

Government steps to address ethnic minorities’ grievances remained limited in the 2012 reporting year, while authorities emphasized the role of top-down development in integrating "ethnic minority" populations into Chinese economic and social spheres.4 The acceleration of top-down development policies 5 has undercut the promotion of regional autonomy and limited the rights of ethnic minorities to maintain their unique cultures, languages, and livelihoods, while bringing some economic improvement to minority areas.6

In June 2012, the State Council published the 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan.7 The plan guarantees a broad range of ethnic minority rights, including "ethnic minorities’ right to learn, use and develop their own spoken and written languages," but also calls for the promotion of "bilingual education." 8 Non-Han groups have criticized "bilingual education" for prioritizing Mandarin in schools in minority areas and removing minority languages from instruction. [See Section IV—Xinjiang and Section V— Tibet for more information on bilingual education and related policies on the use of language in education.] In July 2012, the State Council issued a five-year plan for social and economic development in "ethnic minority" areas that includes protections for "traditional minority cultures." 9 The plan follows the February issuance of a national five-year blueprint for cultural reform and development that emphasizes state-defined cultural identity rather than the grassroots development of minority culture.10

Leading Chinese officials and scholars stepped up discussion of proposals to scale back ethnic autonomy and promote assimilative policies on language, family planning, and other programs in ethnic minority areas.11 Communist Party United Front Work Department Executive Deputy Head Zhu Weiqun published an article in February that proposes the removal of ethnic identity information from household registration (hukou) cards in the interests of "national cohesion" and "amalgamation." 12 Zhu suggested that the state’s failure to dilute distinct ethnic identities could lead to the breakaway of ethnic minority areas from the PRC.13 A new Web page hosted by the State Ethnic Affairs Commission featured discussion among leading scholars regarding a "second generation" of state ethnic policies.14 Under "second generation" reforms, regional and local autonomy frameworks and corresponding policy provisions would be abandoned in favor of the uniform application of policies.15

Grasslands Policy and Protests in Inner Mongolia

The Chinese government continued to implement longstanding grasslands policies that impose grazing bans and require herders to resettle from grasslands and abandon traditional pastoral livelihoods, a development that limits the rights of Mongols, Tibetans, Kazakhs, and other minority groups in China to practice their traditional cultures.16 Regional-level regulations that took effect in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) in December 2011 stipulate fines for unauthorized use of grasslands.17 Some international scholars have questioned the efficacy of state grasslands policies in meeting the declared goal of ameliorating grasslands degradation,18 while affected communities have reported forced resettlement, inadequate compensation, minimal recourse for grievances, and poor living conditions, along with challenges in upholding traditional pastoral livelihoods and preserving their cultures.19 [For more information on rights abuses related to grasslands policies, see Section II—The Environment.]

The proliferation of mines in the IMAR has reportedly contributed to the loss of grasslands due to environmental destruction and confiscation.20 State-controlled media reported in February that, in a regionwide overhaul of the mining sector in the IMAR in 2011, authorities suspended operations at 887 mines and shut down 73 mines.21 In July, a Beijing court sentenced the former IMAR Party secretary to life in prison for accepting bribes, especially in return for licenses for the requisition of land for mining.22 State efforts to place limitations on the mining sector, toward the goal of ameliorating grasslands degradation, have occurred as local governments continue to mandate an increase in coal output, and unlicensed mine operators reportedly use official connections to avoid being shut down.23

Mongols in the IMAR held a series of demonstrations in April, June, and July 2012 to protest the confiscation of grasslands for government and private development projects.24 The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center reported that local authorities detained and beat a number of herders who took part in the protests.25 In October 2011, a herder near Ordos municipality was struck and killed by an oil transport truck while protesting against the damage done to grazing lands and livestock by trucks carrying oil and gas.26 The death followed protests that took place in May 2011, after mining workers in Xilingol league, IMAR, killed two Mongol protestors in separate incidents.27

Political Prisoners

The continued extralegal detention of Mongol rights advocate Hada underscores the repercussions Mongols have faced from officials for promoting their rights and the recent heavy-handed state tactics employed to silence rights defenders across China. Throughout the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Hada remained in official custody, without apparent legal basis, despite the expiration of his 15-year legal sentence on December 10, 2010. Authorities imprisoned Hada after he organized peaceful protests for Mongols’ rights in 1995. An overseas rights group, citing a relative of Hada, reported in May 2012 that Hada was moved to a "luxury resort" in Chifeng city, but that he remained in poor health.28 In April, authorities reportedly released Hada’s wife Xinna, who was arrested in December 2011 around the same time as their son Uiles, after handing her a three-year suspended prison term.29 However, both Xinna and Uiles reportedly remain under home confinement.30 An overseas rights group reported in September 2011 that police in Tongliao city, IMAR, beat author and rights advocate Govruud Huuchinhuu, whose current whereabouts are unknown, multiple times while she was being detained by the Horchin district Public Security Bureau.31 Police reportedly detained Huuchinhuu in January 2011 in an "enforced disappearance" after she was released from a hospital where she was being treated for a serious medical condition.32 Authorities originally placed Huuchinhuu under home confinement in November 2010 after she published calls on the Internet for Mongols to show support for the release of Hada.33 A number of ethnic Mongols remain in prison or detention for political reasons, including Batzangaa, who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment with a four-year reprieve in 2011; Erden-uul (pen name Unaga), who was detained in December 2010; and Sodmongol, who was detained in April 2010.34

Notes to Section II—Ethnic Minority Rights

1 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 27.

2 See generally PRC Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo minzu quyu zizhi fa], issued 31 May 84, effective 1 October 84, amended 28 February 01.

3 Zhu Weiqun, "Some Thoughts on Existing Problems in the Field of Nationalities" [Dui dangqian minzu lingyu wenti de jidian sikao], Study Times, 13 February 12 (translated in OpenSource Center, 20 February 12).

4 State media reported that, in January, Vice Premier Hui Liangyu gave a speech stressingthe need to accelerate local implementation of centrally directed development in ethnic minority areas in order to resolve China’s "ethnic problems." See, e.g., "State Ethnic Affairs Commission Plenary Conference Opens in Beijing, Hui Liangyu Attends and Gives Speech" [Guojia minwei weiyuan quanti huiyi zai jing zhaokai, hui liangyu chuxi bing jianghua], Xinhua, reprinted in State Ethnic Affairs Commission, 6 January 12.

5 The State Council said in February 2012 that it had approved a plan for accelerating development in western areas as part of the Great Western Development Project that began in 2000. See, e.g., "China Plans Faster Growth in Western Regions," Xinhua, 20 February 12.

6 For more information on development projects in past years, see, e.g., CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 196–97, 214–19; CECC, 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 207–8, 222– 24; CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 263–64, 282–88; Uyghur Human Rights Project, "Uyghur Homeland, Chinese Frontier: The Xinjiang Work Forum and Centrally Led Development," 27 June 12.

7 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, sec. III(1).

8 Ibid.

9 State Council General Office, " ‘12th Five-Year’ Plan on Ethnic Minority Undertakings" [Shaoshu minzu shiye "shier wu" guihua], issued 12 July 12; "China Publishes Plan for Development in Minority Areas," Xinhua, 20 July 12; "Jia Qinglin: Spare No Efforts To Create New Dimensions in Ethnic Work in ‘12th Five-Year’ Period" [Jia qinglin: fenli kaichuang "shier wu" shiqi minzu gongzuo xin jumian], Xinhua, reprinted in State Ethnic Affairs Commission, 18 November 11.

10 Sixth Plenum of the 17th Party Congress, "Outline of Cultural Reform and Development Plan for the Period of the State’s ‘12th Five-Year’ Plan" [Guojia "shier wu" shiqi wenhua gaige fazhan guihua gangyao], Xinhua, 16 February 12; "China To Improve Cultural Services for Special Groups," Xinhua, 15 February 12, (Open Source Center, 15 February 12). According to the February 15, 2012, Xinhua article, the plan states, "We will also support the creation of cultural products for ethnic groups and translate more quality Mandarin products into minority languages," but does not mention any plan to promote products originally written in ethnic minority languages.

11 James Leibold, Jamestown Foundation, "Toward a Second Generation of Ethnic Policies?" China Brief, Vol. 12, No. 13, 6 July 12; Liu Ling, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "Persist in the Basic Political System, Resolve Ethnic Issues Through Development—An Outline of the Chinese Ethnic Theory Association Symposium" [Jianchi jiben zhengzhi zhidu—zai fazhan zhong jiejue minzu wenti—zhongguo minzu lilun xuehui zuotanhui jiyao], 23 February 12 (Open Source Center, 11 July 12); "Second Generation of Ethnic Policies" [Dier dai minzu zhengce], China Ethnicity and Religion Net, last visited 25 July 12; James Leibold, "Can China Have a Melting Pot?" Diplomat, 23 May 12.

12 Zhu Weiqun, "Several Thoughts on Current Issues in Ethnic Spheres" [Dui dangqian minzu lingyu wenti de jidian sikao], Study Times, 13 February 12; Minnie Chan, "Call To Strike Ethnic Status From I.D. Cards," South China Morning Post, 15 February 12; Wang Su, "Central United Front Work Department Vice Minister Proposes Removing Ethnic Information From Identification Cards" [Zhongyang tongzhanbu fubuzhang jianyi shenfenzheng quxiao minzu xinxi], Caixin, 15 February 12.

13 Zhu Weiqun, "Several Thoughts on Current Issues in Ethnic Spheres" [Dui dangqian minzu lingyu wenti de jidian sikao], Study Times, 13 February 12.

14 James Leibold, "Can China Have a Melting Pot?" Diplomat, 23 May 12; "Second Generation of Ethnic Policies" [Dier dai minzu zhengce], China Ethnicity and Religion Net, last visited 25 July 12.

15 James Leibold, Jamestown Foundation, "Toward a Second Generation of Ethnic Policies?" China Brief, Vol. 12, No. 13, 6 July 12; Liu Ling, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "Persist in the Basic Political System, Resolve Ethnic Issues Through Development—An Outline of the Chinese Ethnic Theory Association Symposium" [Jianchi jiben zhengzhi zhidu—zai fazhan zhong jiejue minzu wenti—zhongguo minzu lilun xuehui zuotanhui jiyao], 23 February 12 (Open Source Center, 11 July 12); "Second Generation of Ethnic Policies" [Dier dai minzu zhengce], China Ethnicity and Religion Net, last visited 25 July 12; James Leibold, "Can China Have a Melting Pot?" Diplomat, 23 May 12.

16 State Council Information Office, "The Past Year’s Implementation of a Ban on Grazing in Xinjiang on 1.5 Million Hectares of Land" [Yinian lai xinjiang yi shishi caoyuan jinmu 1.5 yi mu], 14 August 12; Li Yao and Da Qiong, "Tibetan Herders Lead Environment Effort," China Daily, 16 August 12. For information on grasslands policy in earlier years, see, e.g., CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 148–49, 194.

17 "The Newly Revised ‘Regulations on the Protection of Inner Mongolian Grasslands’ Take Effect Today" [Xin xiuding de "nei menggu zizhiqu jiben caoyuan baohu tiaoli" jinri qi zhengshi shixing], Xinhua, 1 December 11; "Chinese Pasture Region Charges Fees for Grassland Exploitation," Xinhua, 28 February 12.

18 Tenzin Norbu, Human Rights in China, "A Culture Endangered: Depopulating the Grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau," July 2012; Gregory Veeck and Charles Emerson, "Develop the West Assessed: Economic and Environmental Change in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, People’s Republic of China 2000–2005," Asian Geographer, Vol. 25, Nos. 1–2 (2006), 61 (basedon information on page 13 of prepublication article on file with the Commission); China’s Ethnic Regional Autonomy Law: Does It Protect Minority Rights? Staff Roundtable of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 11 April 05, Testimony of Christopher P. Atwood, Associate Professor, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University; Qiu Lin, "ScholarsUrge Improving Grassland Policies," Xinhua, 31 July 09.

19 See generally Robert Saiget, "China’s Tibetan Herders Face Uncertain Future," AgenceFrance-Presse, reprinted in Google, 1 April 12; Mark Kernan, "The Fate of Tibet’s Nomadic Peoples and the Decline of Global Cultural Diversity," Tibet Post International, 16 August 12;Human Rights Watch, " ‘No One Has the Liberty To Refuse’: Tibetan Herders Forcibly Relocated in Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region," June 2007.

20 Dorothy Kosich, "Chinese Officials Hail Inner Mongolian Mining Crackdown a Success," Mineweb, 20 February 12; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "HerdersTake to the Streets, Four Arrested," 23 May 11.

21 "Inner Mongolia Halts 467 Mining Projects," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 18 February12; Dorothy Kosich, "Chinese Officials Hail Inner Mongolian Mining Crackdown a Success," Mineweb, 20 February 12.

22 "Life Sentence for Former Party Chief Who Killed the Mongolian Steppe," AsiaNews, 17 July 12; "Former Deputy Governor of Inner Mongolia Liu Zhuozhi Given Indefinite Sentence for Accepting Bribes" [Neimenggu zizhiqu renmin zhengfu yuanfu zhuxi liu zhuozhi yin shouhui bei pan wuqi], Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily, 2 July 12.

23 "Little Hu and the Mining of the Grasslands," Economist, 14 July 12.

24 "Inner Mongolians Escalate Land Protest," Radio Free Asia, 4 April 12; "Inner MongolianFarmers Demand Authorities Release Arrested Villagers" [Neimeng mengguzu nongmin yaoqiu dangju shifang bei zhua cunmin], Voice of America, 4 April 12; Southern Mongolian HumanRights Information Center, "Tensions Rise Between Mongolian Herders and Chinese Authorities," 8 July 12.

25 Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Southern Mongolians Protest Land Expropriation, 22 Arrested," 2 April 12; "Inner Mongolians Escalate Land Protest," RadioFree Asia, 4 April 12; Wu Yu, "Explosion of Land Protests in Inner Mongolia, Many Arrested" [Neimeng baofa zhengdi kangyi, duoren zao daibu], Deutsche Welle, 4 April 12; MichaelMartina, "China Detains 22 After Inner Mongolia Protest: Group," Reuters, 3 April 12.

26 Ben Blanchard, "Truck Kills Herder in China Inner Mongolia Protest: Group," Reuters, 24October 11; "Herdsman Killed by Truck," Radio Free Asia, 23 October 11; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Another Mongolian Herder Killed by Chinese Trucker," 23October 11.

27 For more information, see, e.g., Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center,"Herders Take to the Streets, Four Arrested," 23 May 11; Andrew Jacobs, "Anger Over Protesters’ Deaths Leads to Intensified Demonstrations by Mongolians," New York Times, 30 May11; "Clampdown in Inner Mongolia," Radio Free Asia, 27 May 11; Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Public Security Department, "Public Security Department Holds News Conference,Shares Information on Situations Regarding Xilingol ‘5.11’ and ‘5.15’ Incidents and Public Security Agencies Cracking the Cases" [Gonganting juxing xinwen fabuhui tongbao xilingguoleimeng "5.11," "5.15" anjian qingkuang he gongan jiguan zhenpo qingkuang], 29 May 11. See analysis in "Mongols Protest in Inner Mongolia After Clashes Over Grasslands Use, Mining Operations," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 1 July 11; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Protests Spread in Southern Mongolia, Thousands MoreTake to the Streets," 26 May 11.

28 Sui-Lee Wee, "China Moves Long-Missing Mongolian Dissident to ‘Luxury Resort,’ " Reuters, 10 May 12; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Hada Held in ‘Luxury Resort,’ Xinna Sentenced to 3-Year Term, Uiles Kept Under House Arrest," 9 May 12; SouthernMongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Hada’s Health Declines Under Extrajudicial Custody, Wife in Detention, Son Under House Arrest, Relatives Harassed and Threatened," 7March 12; "Activist’s Health Deteriorates," Radio Free Asia, 7 March 12.

29 "Mongolian Activist’s Wife Sentenced," Radio Free Asia, 10 May 12; Southern MongolianHuman Rights Information Center, "Hada Held in ‘Luxury Resort,’ Xinna Sentenced to 3 Year Term, Uiles Kept Under House Arrest," 9 May 12.

30 "Mongolian Activist’s Wife Sentenced," Radio Free Asia, 10 May 12; Sui-Lee Wee, "China Moves Long-Missing Mongolian Dissident to ‘Luxury Resort,’ " Reuters, 10 May 12.

31 Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Dissident Writer Huuchinhuu Beaten Repeatedly," 29 September 11; "Dissident Suffers Beatings in Detention," Radio Free Asia, 29 September 11.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.

34 For more information on these cases, see, e.g., Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Deported United Nations Refugee Applicant Batzangaa Tried in China," 17 January 11; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Batzangaa, a UN Refugee Status Applicant, Sentenced to 3-Year Jail Term in China," 30 January 11; "Inner Mongolia Writer Unaga Secretly Detained for Publishing New Book" [Neimeng zuojia wunaga ni chuban xinshu zao mimi daibu], Radio Free Asia, 19 January 11; "Mongol Writer Unaga Secretly Arrested in Inner Mongolia" [Mongghul yazghuchisi unaga ichki mongghulda mexpiy tutuldi], Radio Free Asia, 18 January 11; Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, "Southern Mongolian Dissident Writer, Author of ‘Forefront of Independence’ Arrested and Detained," 23 January 11; UN Human Rights Council, reprinted in UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People, Cases Examined by the Special Rapporteur (June 2009–July 2010), A/HRC/15/37/Add.1, 15 September 10. Official Chinese information is not available regarding the current legal status of Erden-uul and Sodmongol. See also the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database for more information on the cases of Batzangaa, Erden-uul, and Sodmongol.

 

POPULATION PLANNING

Introduction | International Standards | Coercive Implementation | Punishments for Non-Compliance | Focus on Migrant Workers | Prospects for Policy Reform | Demographic Consequences

Introduction

Chinese officials continue to actively promote and implement population planning policies which, in both their nature and implementation, violate international standards. During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, central and local authorities continued to monitor and control the reproductive lives of Chinese citizens, and in some cases inflicted harassment and abuse in violation of Chinese law. Under China’s current population planning policies, most women in urban areas are limited to bearing one child, while slightly more than half of Chinese women—often located in rural areas—may bear a second child if their first child is a girl.1

The Chinese government requires married couples to obtain a birth permit before they can lawfully bear a child and forces them to employ contraceptive methods at other times. For those who become pregnant but do not meet the necessary requirements to bear the child, officials in some cases impose heavy fines, threaten or execute eviction or home demolition, or perform forced abortions or sterilizations. Officials in some localities experimented this year with policy reform, while at least one top-level official publicly ruled out national-level reform for at least the next five years.2

International Standards

China’s population planning policies in both their nature and implementation constitute human rights violations according to international standards. The PRC Population and Family Planning Law and provincial implementing guidelines limit couples’ freedom of reproductive choice by stipulating if, when, and how often they may bear children.3 Other domestic policies coerce compliance with population planning targets through heavy fines.4 Controls imposed on Chinese women and their families and additional abuses engendered by the system, including forced abortions, violate standards in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 5 and the 1994 Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.6 China participated as a state party in the negotiations and adoption of both.7 Acts of official violence committed in the implementation of population planning policies 8 and the fact that these acts are not clearly punishable under Chinese law contravene provisions under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,9 which China has signed and ratified.10 Further, discriminatory policies against "out-of-plan" children are in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 11 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.12 China is a state party to these treaties and is bound to uphold their terms.

Coercive Implementation

Chinese law prohibits official infringement upon the rights and interests of citizens while implementing population planning policies but does not define what constitutes a citizen’s right or interest.13 Chinese law does not stipulate punishment for officials who demand or implement forced abortion.14 Further, provincial-level population planning regulations in at least 18 of China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions explicitly endorse the practice, often referred to as a "remedial measure" (bujiu cuoshi), as an official policy instrument.15 Reports from this year continue to document official use of coercive methods—including arbitrary detention, forced abortion, and forced sterilization—to implement population planning policies.

OFFICIAL CAMPAIGNS

During the 2012 reporting year, authorities in a wide range of localities implemented population planning enforcement campaigns that employed coercive measures to prevent or terminate "out-of-plan" pregnancies. In a March 2012 announcement of one such campaign, the Luxi town government in Luxi county, Pingxiang city, Jiangxi province, outlined "focal points" for population planning work, including sterilizing couples in "rural two-daughter households," collecting social maintenance fees, and terminating "out-of-plan" pregnancies.16 Luxi family planning officials were encouraged to "concentrate time, concentrate force, and concentrate leadership to fight the family planning battle," to "ensure the prompt implementation of ‘remedial measures’ on ‘out-of-plan’ pregnancy targets," and to ensure that "not a single ‘out-of-plan’ [baby] makes it to the ground." 17

Official speeches and government reports from jurisdictions across China continued to reflect an emphasis on strengthening enforcement measures with apparent disregard for official restraint. Between October 2011 and August 2012, the Commission noted township, county, and city government reports from at least eight provinces (Jiangxi,18 Hubei,19 Hunan,20 Guangdong,21 Anhui,22 Guizhou,23 Fujian,24 and Shandong 25) using phrases such as "spare no efforts" (quanli yifu), "use all means necessary" (qian fang bai ji), "implement man-on-man military tactics" (shixing "rendingren" zhanshu),26 or "assault and storm the fortifications (tuji gongjian)" 27 to urge officials to implement family planning measures, including "remedial measures," the "two inspections" (intrauterine device (IUD) inspections and pregnancy inspections),28 and the "four procedures" (IUD implants, first-trimester abortions, mid- to late-term abortions, and sterilization).29

 

Individual Representative Cases of Coercion (Arranged by Province)

  • Shandong. In October 2011, local family planning officials forcibly brought Ma Jihong, six months pregnant with her third child, to the local hospital for a forced abortion.30 Officials reportedly ignored Ma’s onset of respiratory difficulties, forced her to provide her fingerprint to indicate consent, and performed the procedure.31 After hours of waiting with no information, Ma’s family reportedly forcibly entered the oper­ating room to find that Ma had died during the procedure and the med­ical team had left.32
  • Zhejiang. In November 2011, local officials reportedly "tricked" eight-months-pregnant Hu Qiaoqun into going to the family planning com­mittee office for a pregnancy examination. During the examination, offi­cials reportedly forcibly injected Hu with a substance that caused the abortion. Officials later criminally detained two of Hu’s family members for "assembling a crowd and creating a disturbance" when peacefully protesting the forced abortion.33
  • Jiangxi. In March 2012, government officials in Huangqiao town, Jishui county, reportedly dispatched over "20 strong men" to detain 46-year-old Mao Yuanchun, who was no longer able to have children. The men brought her to the local family planning office against her will and forced her to undergo a tubal ligation. Mao’s husband reported that the town government implemented the forced sterilization in retaliation for his petitioning efforts related to their daughter’s death.34
  • Fujian. In April 2012, "men working for a local official" in Daji town­ship, Xianyou county, Putian city, reportedly detained eight-months-pregnant Pan Chunyan with two other women. Four days later, they brought her to a hospital and forced her to provide her fingerprint to in­dicate consent to an abortion. Nurses reportedly injected Pan with a drug that caused the abortion. According to Pan’s husband, the couple had already paid the required fine of US$8,700 for this "out-of-plan" birth.35
  • Hunan. In June 2012, local family planning officials in Changsha mu­nicipality detained five-months-pregnant Cao Ruyi and took her to the hospital, threatening to forcibly abort her child unless she paid a fine of 150,000 yuan (US$23,563). Officials reportedly released Cao after she paid a 10,000 yuan (US$1,571) "deposit," but they required that she still return for an abortion to recoup the deposit.36 At the time of the most recent reports, Cao and her husband were in hiding.37
  • Shaanxi. In June 2012, local family planning officials in Ankang city reportedly detained seven-months-pregnant Feng Jianmei, blindfolded her, took her to the hospital against her will, and forced her to sign con­sent for an abortion. Five men then forcibly injected her with a sub­stance that caused the abortion, according to Feng’s husband. Feng’s family reportedly had not paid the required 40,000 yuan (US$6,284) fine to have a second child. Local family planning officials reportedly denied holding Feng against her will and claimed the abortion was legal.38 National- and provincial-level family planning authorities reportedly launched an investigation into the case,39 and the Ankang city govern­ment acknowledged that officials had "violated regulations by inducing labor in advanced months [of pregnancy]" and apologized for causing the family "serious harm." 40 The city reportedly later fired two officials, gave five officials formal warnings, and agreed to compensate the couple US$11,200.41
Punishments for Non-Compliance

Chinese authorities continued to use various methods of punishment and reward to manage citizens’ compliance with population planning policies. In accordance with national measures,42 local governments direct officials to punish non-compliance with heavy fines, termed "social maintenance fees" (shehui fuyang fei), which force many couples to choose between undergoing an unwanted abortion and incurring a fine much greater than the average an-nual income.43 Officials in some cases threatened or imposed employment repercussions, expulsion from the Communist Party, destruction of personal property, arbitrary detention, or even violence against couples who were pregnant with or gave birth to an unauthorized child.44 Often with court approval, family planning officials are permitted to take "forcible" actions against families who are unwilling or unable to pay the fines.45 The PRC Population and Family Planning Law, however, prohibits infringements on citizens’ personal, property, and other rights.46

Additionally, some children may go without household registration (hukou) in China because they are born "out-of-plan" and their parents do not pay the necessary fines.47 These children live in a legal limbo that may deny them the rights accorded to other citizens. Lack of a valid hukou raises barriers to access to social benefits typically afforded to registered citizens, including health insurance, public education, and pensions.48 [For additional discussion of China’s hukou system, see Section II—Freedom of Residence and Movement.]

Focus on Migrant Workers

Local governments appear to encourage harsher population planning measures on migrant populations due to the inherent difficulties migrants’ mobility presents for keeping track of birth quotas. Chinese officials collect and monitor citizens’ reproductive information, including marital history, pregnancy history, contraception history, reproductive health information, the results of periodic gynecological tests, and information on any children born to them, using a nationwide database called the Women of Childbearing Age Information System (WIS).49 The National Population and Family Planning Commission first issued standards on the WIS in January 2006,50 specifically guiding officials in rural areas to adhere to the standards,51 and hailing the system’s ability to meld the work of "management" together with "services." 52 Guidelines for the system include a particular focus on migrant women, and specific language used in national and provincial WIS directives appears to stress the efficiency of the WIS in promoting and enhancing overall management of the migrant population.53 Local governments in several localities also continued this year to conduct population planning campaigns that specifically mentioned or targeted migrants.54 Officials conducted these campaigns during the spring festival timeframe, when many migrant workers return to their hometowns to be with family. [For additional information on official treatment of migrant workers, see Section II—Freedom of Residence and Movement and Section II—Worker Rights.]

Prospects for Policy Reform

Chinese officials have allowed for limited relaxation of local population planning policies during this reporting year, yet continue to rule out the near-term possibility of major nationwide population planning policy reform or cancellation. In November 2011, Henan province became the last of China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions to implement a "two-child policy" (shuang du), permitting married couples to have two children if both parents were only children themselves.55

Citizens have increased calls this year for population policy reform. In July, for example, a group of Chinese scholars issued an open letter calling on the National People’s Congress to "begin the important work of comprehensively revising the ‘Population and Family Planning Law’ as soon as possible." 56 While the National Population and Family Planning Commission (NPFPC) led a special campaign this year to "tidy up" offensive, and in some cases violent, family planning propaganda slogans that have been displayed around the country for decades,57 top Communist Party and government leaders, as well as state media outlets, continue to publicly defend the national-level policy and rule out the possibility of its cancellation.58

Demographic Consequences

The Chinese government’s population planning policies continue to exacerbate the country’s demographic challenges, which include an aging population, diminishing workforce, and skewed sex ratio. Affected in recent decades by government restrictions on the number of births per couple, China’s total fertility rate has dropped from 6.1 births per woman in 1949 59 to an estimated 1.55 births per woman in 2012,60 resulting in the rapid growth of China’s aging population and decline in the working-age population.61 [For additional information on China’s projected labor shortage, see Section II—Worker Rights.]

Chinese parents continue the illegal practice of sex-selective abortion,62 in response to government-imposed birth limits and in keeping with a traditional cultural bias for sons.63 China’s male-female ratio at birth has therefore become severely skewed, and is reportedly the highest in the world.64 Some social and political scientists have warned that large numbers of "surplus males" could create social conditions that the Chinese government may choose to address by expanding military enlistment.65 Reports have also suggested a link between China’s large number of "surplus males" and an increase in the trafficking of women and children for forced marriage or commercial sexual exploitation.66 In August 2011, the State Council issued the PRC Outline for the Development of Children (2011–2020), urging officials to crack down further on "non-medically necessary sex determination and sex-selective abortion," 67 and, in June 2012, the State Council issued its 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, reiterating this call.68 A May 2012 Global Times report, citing Wang Xia, head of the NPFPC, stated that, with regard to the progress of the ban, "authorities have investigated 15,000 cases and punished 13,000 people for vio-lating family planning laws since the launch of the campaign in 2011." 69

Chinese and international news media reports continue to indicate that the Chinese government’s restrictive family planning policies have contributed in part to what a November 2011 Global Times article referred to as China’s "massive and lucrative baby market." 70 In some cases, family planning officials reportedly have coerced parents to relinquish their children born in excess of their parents’ birth quotas, later making a profit when transferring the children into the care of local orphanages.71 In other cases, individuals have abducted or purchased children for the purpose of subsequently selling them into domestic or international adoption 72 or forced labor situations.73

 

Case Update: Chen Guangcheng

In April 2012, Chen Guangcheng—a self-trained legal advocate who drew international news media attention to population planning abuses in 2005 74—escaped from his home outside of Linyi city, Shandong prov­ince, after being subjected to extralegal home confinement (ruanjin) with his family for one year and seven months.75 Authorities subjected Chen and his wife Yuan Weijing to harsh, and in some cases violent, treatment during the period of his home confinement.76 Authorities also prohibited them from leaving their home,77 and their daughter was pre­vented from attending primary school for approximately one year.78 Au­thorities later permitted her to attend school only with a police escort.79 International and domestic activists who attempted to visit Chen’s vil­lage during his confinement were reportedly blocked, sometimes with vi­olence.80 After escaping, Chen took shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Bei­jing on April 26, and, on May 2, he left the embassy to seek medical care at a nearby hospital for a foot injury and an intestinal illness.81 On May 19, Chen, Yuan, and their two children left China for the United States, where Chen had secured a fellowship to study at the New York University School of Law.82 Despite his initial confidence in the central government’s agreement to investigate local authorities for the abuses perpetrated against him,83 Chen has since expressed frustration with the government’s failure to act, and concern regarding the continued harsh treatment of family members who remain in Shandong.84 Chen, his family, and his supporters expressed concern that Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui—who faces charges of intentional homicide for allegedly wounding several government-appointed personnel—may have been sub­jected to torture,85 and that authorities had forced Chen Kegui to accept government-appointed lawyers.86 An August 2012 Radio Free Asia re­port noted that the case against Chen Kegui was marred with proce­dural irregularities and violations.87 [See Section III—Access to Justice for more information on harassment of lawyers who offered to represent Chen Kegui.]

Notes to Section II—Population Planning

1 The population planning policy was first launched in 1979, canonized as a "fundamental state policy" in 1982, and codified as national law in 2002. As of 2007, 19 of China’s 31 provincial-level jurisdictions—accounting for 53.6 percent of China’s population—allow rural dwellers to have a second child if their first child is a girl. Gu Baochang et al., "China’s Local and National Fertility Policies at the End of the Twentieth Century," Population and Development Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, 133, 138 (2007). Other exceptions to the one-child rule vary by provincial-level jurisdiction, and include some exceptions for ethnic minorities. See "The Origin of China’s Current Birth Policy" [Zhongguo xianxing shengyu zhengce youlai], China Net, 18 April 08; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 6. According to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "In 1984, the Central Committee issued a document outlining its ‘current family planning policy,’ which stated that rural residents with one daughter could have a second child, while ethnic minorities could have between two and four children. Since then, even more exceptions to the original ‘one-child’ rule have been added by local governments. These exceptions are numerous, detailed and differ across the country. For example, the Shandong Provincial Population and Family Planning Regulations lists 14 circumstances in which couples are permitted to have more than one child."

2 According to Li Bin, the head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, during the period of the 12th Five-Year Plan, China should persist with its current national population planning policies and continue to stabilize a low birth rate. Li Yongchun, "Population and Family Planning Commission Director: Population Reproduction Should Not Be Oversimplified" [Renkou jisheng wei zhuren: renkou zai shengchan buneng yi fang liao zhi], Caijing, 9 October 11. For a recent example of local policy reform, see, e.g., "All 31 Provinces in China Have Launched Two-Child Policy for Families in Which Both Parents Are Only Children" [Quanguo 31 shengfen jun yi fangkai shuangdu jiating sheng ertai zhengce], International Online, reprinted in NetEase, 26 November 11; "From One-Child to Two-Child Policy," CNC World, 25 January 12.

3 PRC Population and Family Planning Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo renkou yu jihua shengyu fa], adopted 29 December 01, effective 1 September 02, art. 18. According to Article 18, "The State maintains its current policy for reproduction, encouraging late marriage and childbearing and advocating one child per couple. Where the requirements specified by laws and regulations are met, plans for a second child, if requested, may be made." Implementing regulations in different provinces vary on the ages at which couples may give birth and the number of children they are permitted to have. See also Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 6–7.

4 See, e.g., Shaanxi Provincial Implementing Measures for Collection and Management of Social Maintenance Fees [Shaanxi sheng shehui fuyang fei zhengshou guanli shishi banfa], issued 8 June 04, effective 1 August 04, art. 5(1). In Shaanxi province, individuals in violation of local population planning regulations can each be fined three to six times the amount of the average annual income of a resident in their locality, sometimes more, based on statistics from the previous year. "Fengdu County Population and Family Planning Administrative Fines, Administrative Penalties Program and Standards" [Fengdu xian renkou he jihua shengyu xingzheng zhengshou, xingzheng chufa xiangmu ji biaozhun], Fengdu County Population and Family Planning Network, 27 November 11. As noted in this report, residents of Fengdu county, Chongqing municipality, are subject to fines amounting to two to nine times the local average annual income from the previous year if they have an out-of-plan child or illegally adopt. See also "Cost of a Second Child: Pair Fined 1.3m Yuan," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in China Internet Information Center, 31 May 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 19–20.

5 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 95, and endorsed by UN General Assembly resolution 50/203 on 22 December 95, para. 17. The Beijing Declaration states, "The explicit recognition and reaffirmation of the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to their empowerment."

6 Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, 18 October 94, paras. 7.2, 8. Paragraph 7.2 of the Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development states that, "Reproductive health . . . implies . . . that people are able to have . . . the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice . . . ." Paragraph 8.25 states, "In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning."

7 United Nations, "Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women," 1996, 135. China was a state party at the Fourth World Conference on Women, which adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development, 18 October 94, Introduction. China was one of the participating States at the International Conference on Population and Development, which reached general agreement on the Programme of Action.

8 For two recent examples of acts of official violence in the implementation of population planning policies, see "[Special Report] Shandong Province Lilu County Resident Ma Jihong Forced Abortion Case" [(Tegao) shandong lilu xian yunfu ma jihong bei qiangzhi yinchan shijian], China Public Welfare Alliance Net, 21 October 11; Yan Shuang, "Fury Over ‘Forced Abortion,’ " Global Times, 14 June 12.

9 UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 84, arts. 1, 4. In 2008, the Committee against Torture noted with concern China’s "lack of investigation into the alleged use of coercive and violent measures to implement the population policy." UN Committee against Torture, 41st Session, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties Under Article 19 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture—China,CAT/C/CHN/CO/4, 12 December 08, para. 29.

10 See United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, Human Rights, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, last visited 18 September 12. China signed the convention on December 12, 1986, and ratified it on October 4,1988.

11 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted and opened for signature, ratification,and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 89, entry into force 2 September 90, China signed 29 August 90, ratified 2 March 92, arts. 2–4, 6, 24, 26, 28. Article2 of the CRC calls upon States Parties to "respect and ensure the rights set forth . . . to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s orhis or her parent’s or legal guardian’s . . . national, ethnic or social origin . . . birth or other status." Article 24 sets forth the right of the child to access healthcare, Article 26 sets forththe right of the child to social security, and Article 28 sets forth the right of the child to free primary education and accessible secondary education and higher education. Children born "out-of-plan" in China may be denied household registration (hukou) and thus face barriers to accessing social benefits including health insurance and education. See Section II—Freedom of Residence and Movement for more information. See also Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 26.

12 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 3 January 76, Chinasigned 27 October 97, ratified 27 March 01, art. 10(3). Article 10(3) calls upon States Parties to recognize that "Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf ofall children and young persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions."

13 PRC Population and Family Planning Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo renkou yu jihua shengyu fa], enacted 29 December 01, effective 1 September 02, arts. 4, 39. Article 4 of the PRCPopulation and Family Planning Law (PFPL) states that officials "shall perform their administrative duties strictly in accordance with the law, and enforce the law in a civil manner, andthey may not infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of citizens." Article 39 states that an official is subject to criminal or administrative punishment if he "infringes on a citizen’s personal rights, property rights, or other legitimate rights and interests" or "abuses his power, neglects his duty, or engages in malpractices for personal gain" in the implementation of population planning policies.

14 Yan Shuang, "Fury Over Forced Abortion," Global Times, 14 June 12. For one U.S. scholar’sanalysis of Chinese law with regard to forced abortions, see Stanley Lubman, "The Law on Forced Abortion in China: Few Options for Victims," Wall Street Journal, 4 July 12.

15 This number is based on Commission analysis of population planning measures. These jurisdictions include Tianjin, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shandong, Fujian, Hebei, Hubei, Chongqing,Shaanxi, Heilongjiang, Shanxi, Xinjiang, Henan, Qinghai, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Guangxi, Anhui, Gansu, Yunnan, and Guizhou. For two specific examples, see "Revised ‘Guangdong ProvincePopulation and Family Planning Regulations’ Published" [Xiuding hou de "guangdong sheng renkou yu jihua shengyu tiaoli" gongbu], Guangzhou Beiyun District Zhongloutian Public Information Net, 29 June 09; "Jiangxi Province Population and Family Planning Regulations" [Jiangxi sheng renkou yu jihua shengyu tiaoli], Jiangxi News Net, 11 April 09. See also Bureauof Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "Country Report on Human Rights Practices—2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 24 May 12, sec. 6. TheBeijing Municipal Population and Family Planning Commission clearly draws the link between the term "remedial measures" and abortion: "Early term abortion refers to the use of surgeryor pharmaceutics to terminate a pregnancy before the 12th week of gestation; it is a remedial measure taken after the failure of contraception." See Beijing Municipal Population and FamilyPlanning Commission, "Early Term Abortion" [Zaoqi rengong liuchan], 10 April 09.

16 Luxi County People’s Government, "Luxi Town’s 2012 Spring Population and Family Planning Service Activities Month-Long Work Implementation Plan" [Guanyu yinfa luxi zhen 2012 nian chunji renkou he jihua shengyu fuwu huodong yue gongzuo shishi fang’an de tongzhi], 29March 12.

17 Ibid.

18 Yiyang County Government, "The Heart System, Migrants Returning Home, Services Entering the Home and Warming Hearts, Jigangkou County Spring Population and Family PlanningServices Activities Implementation Plan" [Xinxi fanxiang nongmingong fuwu jinmen nuan renxin jigangkou zhen chunji jihua shengyu fuwu huodong shishi fang’an], 6 January 12; Luxi County People’s Government, "Luxi Town’s 2012 Spring Population and Family Planning Service Activities Month-Long Work Implementation Plan" [Guanyu yinfa luxi zhen 2012 nian chunji renkou he jihua shengyu fuwu huodong yue gongzuo shishi fang’an de tongzhi], 29 March 12.

19 Echeng District People’s Government, "Huahu Town Strongly Launches Spring Family Planning Service Month Activities" [Huahu zhen zhashi kaizhan chunji jisheng fuwu yue huodong], 11 April 12; Echeng District People’s Government, "Xinmiao Town’s Four Methods To Complete Spring Concentrated Services Activities" [Xinmiao zhen si xiang cuoshi zuohao chunji jizhong fuwu huodong], 5 April 10.

20 Liu Xianghui, "Xianghua Township: Spare No Efforts To Promote Family Planning Concentrated Services Activities" [Xianghua xiang: quanli yifu tuijin jisheng jizhong fuwu huodong], Zixing News Net, 17 October 11; Jiahe County People’s Government, "Clarify Duties, Strengthen Methods, Diligently Initiate a New Phase in County-Wide Population and Family Planning Work—A Speech at the 2012 County Committee Economic Work Meeting" [Mingque renwu qianghua cuoshi nuli kaichuang quanxian renkou jisheng gongzuo xin jumian—zai 2012 nian xianwei jingji gongzuo huiyi shang de jianghua], 10 February 12; "Circular Regarding Earnestly Taking Charge of Population and Family Planning Work Before and After the Spring Festival" [Guanyu renzhen zhuahao chunjie qianhou renkou jisheng gongzuo de tongzhi], Xintian Population and Family Planning Net, 17 January 12.

21 Xingning City Government, Circular Regarding the Rapid Launch of City-Wide Family Planning Concentrated Services Activities [Guanyu xunsu kaizhan quanshi chunji jishengjizhong fuwu huodong de tongzhi], 14 February 12; Puning City Government, "Xie Jun Arrives in Puning To Inspect, Guide Family Planning Work" [Xie jun dao puning jiancha zhidao jishenggongzuo], 7 March 12; He Xiaoying, Shijiao Town People’s Government, "Shijiao Town Five Methods To Promote Success of Family Planning Concentrated Services Activities" [Shijiao zhenwuxiang cuoshi cu jisheng jizhong fuwu huodong qude hao chengxiao], reprinted in Fogang County Government, 27 March 12.

22 Tongling County Population and Family Planning Committee, "Donglian Township: Enter the Village for Rectification After Strengthening Family Planning" [Donglian xiang qianghuajihua shengyu hou jincun zhenggai], 31 March 12.

23 Wang Zezong, "Tongren City Launches Population and Family Planning Work Meeting, Emphasizes Making the Most of the Spirit of Taking Responsibility, Resolutely Paying Attention to Implementation of Measures, Sparing No Efforts To Ensure the Realization of the Goal ofthe ‘Two Decreases’ in Annual Population and Family Planning Work—Tongren" [Tongren shi zhaokai renkou he jihua shengyu gongzuo huiyi qiangdiao fayang dandang jingshen henzhuacuoshi luoshi quanli yifu quebao niandu renkou jisheng "shuangjiang" mubiao shixian— tongren], Guizhou Population Net, 17 February 12.

24 Gulou District People’s Government Office, "Transform Strategy Methods, Grasp Family Planning Tightly and Don’t Let Go" [Zhuanbian zhanlue fangshi, jinzhua jisheng bu fangshou],28 June 12.

25 Jinan Municipal People’s Government, "Municipal Population and Family Planning Committee Directors’ Study Class Opens Session" [Quanshi renkou jisheng wei zhuren dushuban kaiban], 7 August 12.

26 Tongling County Population and Family Planning Committee, "Donglian Township: Enter the Village for Rectification After Strengthening Family Planning" [Donglian xiang qianghuajihua shengyu hou jincun zhenggai], 31 March 12.

27 Luxi County People’s Government, "Luxi Town’s 2012 Spring Population and Family Planning Service Activities Month-Long Work Implementation Plan" [Guanyu yinfa luxi zhen 2012 nian chunji renkou he jihua shengyu fuwu huodong yue gongzuo shishi fang’an de tongzhi], 29March 12.

28 For one such example in which authorities clearly call for the implementation of the "twoexaminations and four procedures," see Central Wanhe Town Committee and Wanhe Town People’s Government, "Wanhe Town 2012 Population and Family Planning Basic Work Plan To Advance the Month’s Activities" [Guanyu yinfa wanhe zhen 2012 nian renkou yu jihua shengyu jichu gongzuo tuijin yue huodong fang’an de tongzhi], 13 March 12. Some government reportsrefer to "three examinations," instead of two. The third examination in these references is an examination for the presence of a gynecological disease or illness. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 10.

29 For an official government report enumerating the "four procedures," see Yancheng DistrictPeople’s Government, "The Four Surgeries in Family Planning" [Jihua shengyu sixiang shoushu], last visited 5 September 12.

30 "[Special Report] Shandong Province Lilu County Resident Ma Jihong Forced Abortion Case" [(Tegao) shandong lilu xian yunfu ma jihong bei qiangzhi yinchan shijian], China PublicWelfare Alliance Net, 21 October 11.

31 Ibid.

32 Ibid. For an additional case from Shandong province in which officials detained a woman and her infant son until her husband paid a 60,000 yuan (US$9,518) fine for having an "out-of-plan" child, see "Linyi Family Planning Authorities Take Over-Quota Mother and Children Hostage, Force Family To Pay Fine" [Linyi jisheng dangju jiang chaosheng muzi zuo renzhi bijiaren jiao fakuan], Radio Free Asia, 15 December 11.

33 "Netizens Expose Zhejiang Family Planning Department That Forced Over-Quota PregnantWomen To Abort" [Wangmin jiefa zhejiang jisheng bumen qiangpo chaosheng fu duotai], Radio Free Asia, reprinted in See China, 16 December 11. For an additional case from Zhejiang province in which officials detained seven-months-pregnant Xu Li and threatened her with a forced abortion if she did not pay a fine of 157,000 yuan (US$24,600), see "Abortion Threatened at 7Months," Radio Free Asia, 3 August 12.

34 "Menopausal Rural Woman Forcibly Given Tubal Ligation" [Juejing nongfu qiangzao jieza],HX blog, via Tengxun Weibo, last visited 31 July 12; "Chinese Woman Alleges Forced Sterilization," Voice of America, 24 July 12. See also Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, "As the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue Begins, A 46-Year-Old Woman Is Forcibly Sterilized in China," 23 July 12.

35 Edward Wong, "Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel Push To End Chinese Law," New York Times, 22 July 12; "Pitiable Mother, Pitiable Child" [Kelian de muqin, kelian de haier], [Lawyer] Han Feng’s blog, via Sina, 6 July 12. For an additional case from Fujian province in which officials forcibly brought a woman in for a pregnancy test and then attempted to forcibly sterilize her when she refused the test, see "Woman Forced To Undergo Sterilization Procedure in Fujian" [Fujian qiangpo funu zuo jueyu shoushu], Radio Free Asia, 12 January 12; "Woman Flees Forced Sterilization," Radio Free Asia, 12 January 12.

36 "Five-month Pregnant Woman Cao Ruyi Faces Forced Abortion in Hunan, China," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in news.com.au, 12 June 12.

37 Jing Zhang, "China’s One Child Policy: Two Cases," American Spectator, 15 June 12.

38 Yan Shuang, "Fury Over ‘Forced Abortion,’ " Global Times, 14 June 12.

39 Ibid.; "Officials Suspended in NW China Forced Abortion Case," Xinhua, 14 June 12.

40 Ankang City People’s Government, "Ankang City Government Demands: Thoroughly Investigate the Situation, Strictly Handle It, Firmly Safeguard the People’s Rights and Interests" [Ankang shi zhengfu yaoqiu: checha zhenxiang, congyan chuli jianjue weihu hao qunzhong hefa quanyi], 14 June 12; See also "Officials Suspended in NW China Forced Abortion Case," Xinhua,14 June 12.

41 Ian Johnson, "China To Pay Family In a Case of Forced Abortion," New York Times, 11July 12. See also Tania Branigan, "China Sacks Officials in Forced Abortion Case," Guardian, 27 June 12.

42 PRC Measures for Administration of Collection of Social Maintenance Fees [Shehui fuyang fei zhengshou guanli banfa], issued 2 August 02, effective 1 September 02, arts. 3, 7.

43 See, e.g., Shaanxi Provincial Implementing Measures for Collection and Management of Social Maintenance Fees [Shanxi sheng shehui fuyang fei zhengshou guanli shishi banfa], 19 October 06, art. 5(1). In Shaanxi province, individuals in violation of local population planning regulations can each be fined three to six times the amount of the average income of a resident intheir locality, sometimes more, based on their income compared to the average income of rural residents the previous year. "Fengdu County Population and Family Planning AdministrativeFines, Administrative Penalties Program and Standards" [Fengdu xian renkou he jihua shengyu xingzheng zhengshou, xingzheng chufa xiangmu ji biaozhun], Fengdu County Population andFamily Planning Network, 27 November 11. As noted in this report, residents of Fengdu county, Chongqing municipality are subject to fines amounting to two to nine times the local averageannual income from the previous year if they have an out-of-plan child or illegally adopt. See also "Cost of a Second Child: Pair Fined 1.3m Yuan," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in China Internet Information Center, 31 May 12. According to this report, officials in Ruian city, Zhejiang province, fined a couple 1.3 million yuan (US$205,000), a record high amount, for exceedingtheir birth quota with a second child. See also Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 18.

44 See, e.g., Qingdao People’s Government, Circular Regarding Guidelines for Qingdao Municipal Work Units’ Responsibilities in Population and Family Planning Work [Guanyu yinfa"qingdao shi danwei renkou he jihua shengyu gongzuo zeren guiding" de tongzhi], 19 June 12; Binzhou Economic Development Zone Government, "Dudian Implements Family Planning WorkControl Mechanism" [Dudian shishi jihua shengyu gongzuo yueshu jizhi], 11 April 12; Yan Shuang, "Fury Over ‘Forced Abortion,’ " Global Times, 14 June 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 19–23. See also CECC, 2008 Annual Report, 31 October 08, 97.

45 "Linyi Family Planning Authorities Take Over-Quota Mother and Children Hostage, Force Family To Pay Fine" [Linyi jisheng dangju jiang chaosheng muzi zuo renzhi bi jiaren jiaofakuan], Radio Free Asia, 15 December 11; "Woman Flees Forced Sterilization," Radio Free Asia, 12 January 12; "In China, A Daring Few Challenge One-Child Limit," Associated Press, reprinted in USA Today, 24 December 11. For information on the role of courts in family planning implementation, see Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My OwnBody," 21 December 10, 27.

46 PRC Population and Family Planning Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo renkou yu jihuashengyu fa], adopted 29 December 01, effective 1 September 02, art. 39. According to Article 39, officials are to be punished either criminally or administratively for the following acts: "(1)infringing on a citizen’s personal rights, property rights or other legitimate rights and interests; (2) abusing his power, neglecting his duty or engaging in malpractices for personal gain; (3) demanding or accepting bribes; (4) withholding, reducing, misappropriating or embezzling funds for family planning or social maintenance fees; or (5) making false or deceptive statistical dataon population or family planning, or fabricating, tampering with, or refusing to provide such data."

47 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "I Don’t Have Control Over My Own Body," 21 December 10, 13, 26. According to the report, "The management of the hukou system is the domain of theMinistry of Public Security and it refuses to issue hukous to children without birth permits, children of unmarried parents, and children whose parents for some reasons have not completedthe required procedures. Without a hukou, a child cannot apply for an ID card and thus does not have a legal identity, is not a citizen and consequently is deprived of the rights accordedto other Chinese citizens." Zhang Hui, "City Cuts Fines on Second Child," Global Times, 23 August 10. According to one expert quoted in this report, "Children born outside State scrutinywill enjoy equal rights as the first child only after the family pays the fine and registers them."

48 "Separate and Unequal," China Economic Review, 5 April 12; Yan Hao and Li Yanan,"Urban Hukou, or Rural Land? Migrant Workers Face Dilemma," Xinhua, 10 March 10; Tao Ran, "Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way To Reform," China Daily, 22 March 10.

49 "Women of Childbearing Age Information System (WIS) Basic Data Structure and Classification Codes" [Yuling funu xinxi xitong (WIS) jichu shuju jiegou yu fenlei daima], Population and Family Planning Development Program Office, reprinted in China Reproductive Health Net, 30 April 08, sections 4.2, 5.2.2, 5.2.4–5.2.9. See also National Population and Family Planning Commission, Circular Regarding the Basic Data Structure and Classification Codes for the Com-prehensive Personnel Population Case Management System (Trial) [Guojia renkou jisheng wei bangongting guanyu yinfa quanyuan renkou gean guanli xinxi xitong jichu shuju jiegou yu fenlei daima (shixing) de tongzhi], issued 26 September 08, categories 016, 022, and section 3.

50 National Population and Family Planning Commission, Circular Regarding the Basic Women of Childbearing Age Information System Services Information Guidance Work Standards (Trial) [Jishengwei guanyu yinfa "jiceng yuling funu xinxi xitong fuwu xinxi yindao gongzuo guifan (shixing)" tongzhi], issued 1 January 06.

51 Ibid., art. 3.

52 Ibid., art. 26.

53 Hunan Province Population and Family Planning Commission, reprinted in Wancheng District Population and Family Planning Bureau, Hunan Province Women of Childbearing Age Information System (HNWIS) Management Methods (Final Draft) [Hunan sheng yuling funu xinxi xitong (HNWIS) guanli banfa (dinggao)], 25 December 07; Hunan Province Women of Childbearing Age Information System (HNWIS) [Hunan sheng yuling funu xinxi xitong (HNWIS)], Hunan Provincial Family Planning Information Center, reprinted on Baidu, May 2007, 4, 5, 34,37, 38, 40–43.

54 See, e.g., Circular Regarding Earnestly Taking Charge of Population and Family PlanningWork Before and After the Spring Festival [Guanyu renzhen zhuahao chunjie qianhou renkou jisheng gongzuo de tongzhi], Xintian Population and Family Planning Net, 17 January 12; JiaheCounty People’s Government, "Clarify Duties, Strengthen Methods, Diligently Initiate a New Phase in Countywide Population and Family Planning Work—A Speech at the 2012 CountyCommittee Economic Work Meeting" [Mingque renwu qianghua cuoshi nuli kaichuang quanxian renkou jisheng gongzuo xin jumian—zai 2012 nian xianwei jingji gongzuo huiyi shang dejianghua], 10 February 12; Yiyang County People’s Government, "The Heart System, Migrants Returning Home, Services Entering the Home and Warming Hearts, Jigangkou County SpringPopulation and Family Planning Services Activities Implementation Plan" [Xinxi fanxiang nongmingong fuwu jinmen nuan renxin jigangkou zhen chunji jihua shengyu fuwu huodongshishi fang’an], 6 January 12.

55 "All 31 Provinces in China Have Launched Two-Child Policy for Families in Which BothParents Are Only Children" [Quanguo 31 shengfen jun yi fangkai shuangdu jiating sheng ertai zhengce], International Online, reprinted in NetEase, 26 November 11; "National Populationand Family Planning Commission Spokesperson: Over 11% of Population Can Have Two Children" [Jishengwei xinwen fayanren: 11% yishang renkou ke sheng liangge haizi], PRC CentralPeople’s Government, reprinted in Sina, 10 July 07.

56 Zhan Zhongyue et al., translated by ChinaAid, "A Citizen’s Proposal To Begin as Soon asPossible a Complete Revision of the ‘Population and Family Planning Law of the People’s Republic of China,’ " 13 July 12; Josh Chin, "Another High-Profile Call To Revisit China’s One- Child Rule," Wall Street Journal, 5 July 12.

57 Examples of some of the slogans targeted include, "Raise fewer babies but more piggies"and "Houses toppled, cows confiscated, if abortion demand rejected." See "Family Planning Slogans To Be Overhauled," China Daily, 24 February 12; "Media Checks Family Planning Slogansin Various Locations" [Meiti pandian gedi jihua shengyu kouhao], Sina, 24 February 12; "Family Planning Commission Tidies Up ‘Violent’ Posters, Checks Family Planning Slogans in VariousLocations" [Jishengwei qingli "baoli" biaoyu pandian gedi jihua shengyu kouhao], China News Net, 24 February 12; "Family Planning Commission ‘Face Washing Program’ Cleans Up ViolentSlogans" [Jishengwei "xilian gongcheng" qingchu baoli biaoyu], Beijing Youth Report, reprinted in World of Finance, 25 February 12.

58 "400 Million Births Prevented by One-Child Policy," People’s Daily, 28 October 11. According to this report, "China will still regard the birth-control policy as a fundamental state policyand adhere to it for a long period." See also Shan Juan, "Low Birthrate Will Be Maintained," China Daily, 11 April 12; "Solve Problems in a Coordinated Way: Official," Xinhua, 6 March 12.

59 "Total Population, CBR, CDR, NIR and TFR in China (1949–2000)," China Daily, 20 August 10.

60 U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, "The World Factbook," last visited 22 August 12. While China’s National Bureau of Statistics estimated China’s fertility rate at 1.8 in 2007, in May2011, a group of Chinese academics publicly disputed the number, stating that it had been "grossly overestimated." These academics estimated in 2011 that China’s total fertility rate moreaccurately stood anywhere from 1.63 to below 1.5. See "China’s Total Fertility Rate Grossly Overestimated: Academic," Caijing, 17 May 11.

61 Tania Branigan, "China Faces ‘Timebomb’ of Ageing Population," Guardian, 20 March 12; "400 Million Births Prevented by One-Child Policy," People’s Daily, 28 October 11.

62 For discussion of the continued practice and its impact, see "Ban on Sex Testing To Help Balance Girl-Boy Ratio," Global Times, 25 May 12. See also PRC Population and Family Planning Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo renkou yu jihua shengyu fa], adopted 29 December 01, effective 1 September 02, art. 22. According to Article 22, "Discrimination against, maltreatment, and abandonment of baby girls are prohibited." For regulations prohibiting the practices of non-medically necessary gender determination tests and sex-selective abortion, see StateCommission for Population and Family Planning, Ministry of Health, State Food and Drug Administration, "Regulations Regarding the Prohibition of Non-medically Necessary Gender Determination Examinations and Sex-Selective Termination of Pregnancy" [Guanyu jinzhi fei yixue xuyao de tai’er xingbie jianding he xuanze xingbie de rengong zhongzhi renshen de guiding],issued 29 November 02, effective 1 January 03. For discussion of these regulations, see "China Bans Sex-Selection Abortion," Xinhua, reprinted in China Net, 22 March 03.

63 Shan Juan, "Gender Imbalance Set To Ease," China Daily, 30 March 12. According to Zhai Zhenwu, head of the social population college at Renmin University, there is a deeply rooted tradition of son preference, and this tradition remains in some areas, such as Guangdong province. Zhai also noted that "as fertility rates declined due to the family planning policy, the figure for male births surged ahead." See also "Preference for Boys by Migrants," China Internet Information Center, 15 December 11.

64 According to United Nations Population Division statistics, China’s sex ratio at birth (SRB) in 2010 was the highest in the world at 120 males per 100 females born. The next highest was Azerbaijan at 117, followed by Armenia at 115, Federated States of Micronesia at 111, and the Republic of Korea at 110. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, "World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision," 31 August 11; "China’s Sex Ratio at Birth Dropping," North Side Net, translated in Women of China, 12 July 12. According to the North Side Net report, which cites a 2012 National Population and Family Planning Commission Bulletin, "China’s sex ratio at birth in 2011 was 117.78, representing a drop of 0.16 compared to 2010 . . . . The ratios of 2008, 2009 and 2010 were respectively 120.56, 119.45 and 117.94." See also, Nicholas Eberstadt, "The Demographic Risks to China’s Long-Term Economic Outlook," Swiss Re Center for Global Dialogue, 24 January 11, 7. According to Eberstadt’s analysis, "ordinary human populations regularly and predictably report [SRBs of] 103 to 105." For recent statistics regarding sex-selective abortion in China see, Wei Xing Zhu et al., "China’s Excess Males, Sex Selective Abortion and One Child Policy: Analysis of Data From 2005 National Intercensus Survey," British Medical Journal, 9 April 09, 4–5. For one observer’s analysis of these statistics, see "A Study of Sex-Selective Abortion," China YouRen blog, 13 May 10.

65 See Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. den Boer, Bare Branches: Security Implications of Asia’s Surplus Male Population (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004); Dudley L. Poston, Jr. and Peter A. Morrison, "China: Bachelor Bomb," 14 September 05.

66 See "China Gender Gap Fuelling Human Trafficking: Report," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in China Post, 22 September 10. See also World Health Organization, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, "Preventing Gender-Biased Sex Selection," 14 June 11, 5; Susan W. Tiefenbrun and Christie J. Edwards, "Gendercide and the Cultural Context of Sex Trafficking in China," 32 Fordham International Law Journal 731, 752 (2009); Therese Hesketh et al., "The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy After 25 Years," New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 353, No. 11 (2005), 1173; Nicholas Eberstadt, "A Global War Against Baby Girls: Sex-Selective Abortion Becomes a Worldwide Practice," Handbook of Gender Medicine, reprinted in All Girls Allowed, 1 May 11. According to this report, "Some economists have hypothesized that mass feticide, in making women scarce, will only increase their ‘value’—but in settings where the legal and personal rights of the individual are not secure and inviolable, the ‘rising value of women’ can have perverse and unexpected consequences, including increased demand for prostitution and an upsurge in the kidnapping and trafficking of women (as is now reportedly being witnessed in some women-scarce areas in Asia)[.]"

67 PRC State Council, PRC Outline for the Development of Children (2011–2020) [Zhongguo ertong fazhan gangyao (2011–2020 nian)], issued 30 July 11, sec. 3(5).

68 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(3). The National Human Rights Action Plan states, "Discrimination against girls will be eliminated. The state . . . bans identification of the sex of a fetus for other than medical purposes and termination of pregnancy in the case of a female fetus." See also "Ban on Sex Testing To Help Balance Girl-Boy Ratio," Global Times, reprinted in People’s Daily, 25 May 12.

69 "Ban on Sex Testing To Help Balance Girl-Boy Ratio," Global Times, 25 May 12. For one report of specific arrests and sentences related to illegal gender testing and abortions this reporting year, see "25 Jailed for Illegal Abortion in E China," Xinhua, 31 July 12.

70 Zhu Shanshan, "Shandong Baby Trafficking Ring Taken Down," Global Times, 4 November 11. For reports linking population planning policies with the abduction or purchase of children for subsequent sale, see, e.g., "China Rescues 23 Abducted Children Destined for New Families, Arrests 12 Trafficking Suspects," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 29 March 12; Shangguan Jiaoming, "In Hunan, Family Planning Turns to Plunder," Caixin, 10 May 11.

71 Shangguan Jiaoming, "In Hunan, Family Planning Turns to Plunder," Caixin, 10 May 11; "China Babies ‘Sold for Adoption,’ " BBC, 2 July 09.

72 See, e.g., Liu Baijun, "Representative Chen Xiurong Suggests Punishing the Buyer Market in the Trafficking of Women and Children" [Chen xiurong daibiao jianyi chengzhi guaimai funu ertong maifang shichang], Legal Daily, 12 March 12; "2,000 Abducted Children Identified Via DNA Bank," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 1 March 12; Zhu Shanshan, "Shandong Baby Trafficking Ring Taken Down," Global Times, 4 November 11; John Leland, "One Answer to Adoption’s Difficult Questions," New York Times, 26 September 11; "China Babies ‘Sold for Adoption,’ " BBC, 2 July 09; Patricia J. Meier, "Small Commodities: How Child Traffickers Exploit Children and Families in Adoption and What the United States Must Do To Fight Them," Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, Vol. 12, No. 1, Fall 2008; Beth Loyd, "China’s Lost Children," ABC News, 12 May 08; Peter S. Goodman, "Stealing Babies for Adoption," Washington Post, 12 March 06.

73 See, e.g., "8 Sentenced for Abducting, Murdering Children in China as Govt Tries To Combat Trafficking," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 15 August 11.

74 Philip P. Pan, "Who Controls the Family?" Washington Post, 27 August 05; Hannah Beech, "Enemies of the State?" Time, 12 September 05; Michael Sheridan, "China Shamed by Forced Abortions," Times of London, 18 September 05. See also Congressional-Executive Commission on China, "Population Planning Official Confirms Abuses in Linyi City, Shandong Province," 3 October 05.

75 Chen Guangcheng was held under extralegal detention in his home from the time of his release in prison in September 2009 to the time of his escape from home in April 2012. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Activist Chen Guangcheng Released After Serving Full Sentence," 9 September 10; ChinaAid, "Detained Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng’s Wife Reveals Details of Torture," 16 June 11; Keith B. Richburg, "Blind Chinese Lawyer-Activist Escapes House Arrest," Washington Post, 27 April 12.

76 ChinaAid, "Details of Brutal Beating & Torture of Blind Legal Activist Chen Guangcheng Emerge," 27 October 11; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing October 21–26, 2011," 26 October 11; ChinaAid, "Urgent! Chen and Wife Beaten Severely, Chinese Citizens Appeal to America," 10 February 11; ChinaAid, "Detained Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng’s Wife Reveals Details of Torture," 16 June 11; ChinaAid, "Exclusive Video Shows Ill Treatment & Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng," 9 February 11. For Commission analysis, see "Chen Guangcheng, Wife Reportedly Beaten After Release of Video Detailing Official Abuse," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 11 March 11. See also CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 116.

77 "Chen Guangcheng, Wife Reportedly Beaten After Release of Video Detailing Official Abuse," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 11 March 11; ChinaAid, "Exclusive Video Shows Ill Treatment & Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng," 9 February 11.

78 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing October 21–26, 2011," 26 October 11. According to CHRD, "Chen Guangcheng’s daughter, Chen Kesi . . . began attending class on September 16." In a February 2011 video that Chen and Yuan released, Yuan mentioned that Kesi had not been permitted to attend school, which presumably started in September 2010. ChinaAid, "Exclusive Video Shows Ill Treatment & Illegal Detention of Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng," 9 February 11.

79 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing January 31–February 6, 2012," 8 February 12.

80 " ‘Batman’ Star Bale Punched, Stopped From Visiting Blind Chinese Activist," CNN, 16 December 11; "Authorities Loosen Some Restrictions on Chen Guangcheng and Family, Continue To Hold Them Under Tight Control," CECC China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, No. 1, 24 January 12, 2; "Chen Supporters Attacked," Radio Free Asia, 19 September 11; " ‘Chased With Guns’ on Chen Visit," Radio Free Asia, 5 October 11; "Dozens of People Beaten While At-tempting To Visit Blind Legal Advocate Chen Guangcheng," Human Rights in China, 31 October 11; Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China, "Warning: Reporting on Chen Guangcheng," 17 February 11; ChinaAid, "Government Retaliation Continues, Foreign Journalists Mistreated in Wake of Smuggled Video by Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng," 15 February 11.

81 Josh Rogin, "U.S. Officials Feared Chen Guangcheng Had Cancer While in Embassy," Foreign Policy, 7 May 12; Keith B. Richburg et al., "Chinese Activist Chen Leaves U.S. Embassy for Hospital, Is Surrounded by Police," Washington Post, 3 May 12.

82 Thomas Kaplan et al., "Dissident From China Arrives in U.S., Ending an Ordeal," New York Times, 19 May 12.

83 Gillian Wong, "Blind Activist: China Says It’ll Investigate Abuse," Associated Press, reprinted in Yahoo! News, 8 May 12.

84 "Chen Says Beijing Broke Promise," Radio Free Asia, 1 August 12; Erik Eckholm, "Even in New York, China Casts a Shadow," New York Times, 18 June 12. See also "Chen Nephew Faces Murder Trial," Radio Free Asia, 7 August 12.

85 "Fears for Chen Family, Supporters," Radio Free Asia, 8 May 12; Human Rights in China, "Family of Chen Kegui Rejects Officially Appointed Lawyers," 25 July 12.

86 Human Rights in China, "Family of Chen Kegui Rejects Officially Appointed Lawyers," 25 July 12.

87 "Guards Return to Chen’s Village," Radio Free Asia, 24 August 12.

 

FREEDOM OF RESIDENCE AND MOVEMENT

Freedom of Residence | Freedom of Movement | Home Confinement, Surveillance, and Harassment of Chinese Citizens

Freedom of Residence

The Chinese government continued to enforce the household registration (hukou) system it first established in the 1950s.1 The hukou system places limitations on the right of Chinese citizens to freely determine their permanent place of residence. Initially used to control migration of the rural population to China’s cities, the hukou system today has developed into a "mechanism determining one’s eligibility for full citizenship, social welfare, and opportunities for social mobility." 2 The hukou system classifies Chinese citizens as either rural or urban hukou holders and confers legal rights and access to social services based on the classification.3 The implementation of these regulations discriminates against rural hukou holders who migrate to urban areas by denying them equal access to social security benefits and many public services guaranteed to registered urban residents.4 The hukou regulations appear to contravene the freedoms guaranteed in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 12 and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which include "the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose [one’s] residence." 5

The hukou system’s discriminatory effect lies in the unfair division of various social benefits and rights to which it is linked and through which rural migrants continue to face unequal chances for development and social status. Government officials and scholars estimate that between 200 and 250 million migrant workers living in cities are denied access to social services because they lack urban hukou status.6 Statistics and analyses from studies published in 2011 on China’s migrant population found migrants living in urban areas had lower rates of labor and social welfare protection coverage.7 The continued use of the hukou system to deny social benefits to migrant workers in cities exacerbates discord and division between rural and urban hukou holders.8 Migrant children, for instance, continue to face significant difficulties gaining access to urban public schools, while an estimated 58 million children left in rural areas by their migrant parents face disadvantages accessing quality schooling and basic nutrition.9 In some cases, concerns over access to equal education led to protests and violent clashes involving migrants.10 A report published by the Chinese Acacdemy of Social Sciences (CASS) in August 2012 emphasized the significant challenges China would face over the next 15 to 20 years in incorporating an estimated 500 million rural residents into urban society in part because of the uneven distribution of public services in China’s cities.11

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, high-level Chinese officials and scholars publicly acknowledged the need for hukou reforms, including the need to provide migrant workers equal access to social services.12 One Chinese scholar warned that the large gap in social services access marginalized migrants and "ultimately poses a challenge to social stability." 13 Central authorities have advocated a gradual approach to hukou reform that emphasized re-laxing hukou admission standards for a limited number of areas, improving access to social services, and strengthening protection of rural residents’ land rights and interests.14 During the National People’s Congress in March, Premier Wen Jiabao stressed that the government would "prudently carry forward the reform of the household management system," while also reforming the land requisition system and promoting the equal distribution of public resources in urban and rural areas.15 In July, the State Council issued a five-year national plan for basic public services, which aims to gradually separate the allocation of social services from the hukou system.16 The implications of these latest hukou reform proposals remain unclear.

In February 2012, the State Council General Office issued a circular passed in February 2011 outlining a series of new policies intended to reform the hukou system. Some notable reforms include relaxing hukou registration standards in county- and prefectural-level cities, prohibiting coercive requisition and conversion of rural residents’ land in exchange for urban hukous, and barring future policies that use hukou status as a precondition for access to social services.17 Several Chinese scholars and media outlets have criticized the vague nature and limited scope of these measures, leading some to question the circular’s potential effectiveness.18 At least one Chinese scholar expressed concern that local officials may not comply with the measures because the circular has no implementation date.19

Local governments continued to relax certain hukou restrictions, consistent with earlier reform efforts. While details vary by location, the key provisions of these reforms, in some instances, allow some rural residents to transfer their hukou status from rural to urban status or apply for a residency permit (juzhu zheng), based on certain criteria.20 These criteria usually include education and income standards aimed at attracting elite rural hukou holders with specialized skill sets and wealth. In some cases, reforms require that rural migrants possess both a stable source of income and stable place of residence for a specified period of time as conditions for obtaining local hukou.21 Despite these limited attempts to relax hukou criteria, most reforms still exclude the majority of mi-grants who do not have a college education, specialized skills, or stable employment and residence.22

Freedom of Movement

Chinese authorities continue to restrict freedom of movement to penalize citizens who express views that authorities deem objectionable or sensitive. The Chinese government has placed restrictions on movement that are inconsistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China has signed and expressed an intent to ratify.23

Chinese authorities continue to arbitrarily prevent rights defenders, advocates, and critics from leaving China. The PRC Passport Law and PRC Exit and Entry Control Law give officials the discretion to prevent Chinese citizens from traveling abroad when they believe that a citizen’s leaving China might harm "state security" or harm or cause "major loss" to national interests.24 The meaning and scope of harm or loss to state security or national interests are undefined, however, which has led to official abuse and arbitrary enforcement.

In numerous cases, authorities prevented Chinese citizens from leaving China for political reasons:

  • Li Sihua. In June 2012, Chinese authorities in Guangzhou city, Guangdong province, prevented rights activist and independent provincial People’s Congress candidate Li Sihua from traveling to Hong Kong. Border control officers informed Li that authorities had suspended his passport two months earlier in his home province of Jiangxi and he would not be permitted to travel to Hong Kong en route to Switzerland.25 Jiangxi officials said a pending civil case involving Li was the pretense for suspending his passport, although they did not provide any details regarding the case. Li’s travel ban appears to be related to his activities as an independent candidate in Jiangxi Province People’s Congress elections.26 Authorities previously detained Li on February 25 after returning from a human rights training program in Thailand.27
  • Chen Yunfei. In June 2012, authorities in Sichuan province prevented democracy activist Chen Yunfei from boarding a plane to Europe, where he had planned to take part in a human rights legal exchange program.28 National security officers subsequently questioned Chen about his travel itinerary before eventually letting him go. Chen has been the target of police harassment for many years due to his activism.29
  • Ai Weiwei. In June 2012, authorities informed well-known artist and rights advocate Ai Weiwei that he was barred from traveling abroad, despite the expiration of a one-year bail imposed after his release from detention in 2011. Police informed Ai that he still was under investigation for a series of crimes and would not be allowed to leave the country.30 As of June 2012, authorities had not returned his passport.31 Authorities detained Ai in April 2011 for 81 days without official confirmation of his whereabouts amid a government crackdown following calls for nonviolent, "Jasmine" protests in various cities in China. He was later released on bail and indicted on charges of tax evasion. He was ordered to pay 15 million yuan (US$2.4 million) in back taxes and fines.32 Under the reported terms of his release on bail last year, Ai is barred from leaving Beijing and talking with foreign media.33
Home Confinement, Surveillance, and Harassment of Chinese Citizens

The Chinese government continued to place restrictions on liberty of movement within China to punish and control rights defenders, advocates, and critics in contravention of international legal standards.34

As in previous years, authorities continued to employ a range of measures to restrict liberty of movement, including: Stationing plainclothes police or hired personnel to monitor the homes of rights defenders; 35 forcing them to have informal chats over tea ("drink tea") with security personnel; 36 removing them to unknown locations; 37 and imprisoning them.38 Restrictions on liberty of movement were especially prominent during politically sensitive periods, including the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March 2012,39 the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen protests,40 and the four-year anniversary of the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake.41

The Commission notes that, during this reporting period, authorities employed particularly forceful techniques to punish and control family members and supporters of human rights defenders and activists. Authorities, for example, continued to confine, harass, and abuse family members and supporters of self-trained legal advocate Chen Guangcheng after he left China for the United States with his immediate family in May 2012.42 Following the death of labor advocate and 1989 Tiananmen protester Li Wangyang in June 2012, officials confined, harassed, and removed to unknown locations Li’s family members and supporters, including arresting Li’s close friend and advocate Zhu Chengzhi on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power," and ordering rights activist Xiao Tong to serve 18 months’ reeducation through labor apparently for expressing concerns with official accounts of Li’s death.43 In April 2012, officials also placed Dong Xuan, the daughter of housing rights advocate and lawyer Ni Yulan, under "soft detention" (ruanjin) and 24-hour surveillance.44 In January 2012, authorities had prevented Dong from traveling to the Netherlands to accept a Dutch government human rights award on behalf of her mother.45 Authorities also continued to hold Liu Xia, wife of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo, under extralegal confinement in her home, where she has been arbitrarily detained since October 2010.46

Notes to Section II—Freedom of Residence and Movement

1 PRC Regulations on Household Registration [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo hukou dengji tiaoli], issued and effective 9 January 58.

2 Kam Wing Chan, "Crossing the 50 Percent Population Rubicon: Can China Urbanize to Prosperity?" Eurasian Geography and Economic, Vol. 53, No.1 (2012), 67–68.

3 Ibid., 66–67.

4 Ibid., 67.

5 China has signed and expressed intent to ratify the ICCPR. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 48, arts. 2, 13(1); International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, arts. 2(1), 12(1), 12(3), 26.

6 Kam Wing Chan, "Crossing the 50 Percent Population Rubicon: Can China Urbanize to Prosperity?" Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 53, No.1 (2012), 68–69; Tom Holland, "Third of China’s City-Dwellers Are Still Second Class Citizens," South China Morning Post, 4 April 12; Feng Ya, "National Development and Reform Commission Official: The Household Registration System Cannot Be Simply Abolished" [Fagaiwei guanyuan: huji zhidu buneng jiandan quxiao liaozhi], China National Radio, reprinted in Xinhua, 26 June 12.

7 National Bureau of Statistics, "Quantity, Structure, and Characteristics of New Generation Migrant Workers" [Xinshengdai nongmingong de shuliang, jiegou he tedian], 11 March 11; Li Xiaohong, "Development Report on China’s Floating Population: Post 80s Migrants Gradually Take Lead Role in Mobile Army" [Zhongguo liudong renkou fazhan baogao: 80 hou jian cheng liudong da jun zhujue], People’s Daily, reprinted in Xinhua, 10 October 11.

8 "Young Migrant Workers Not Well Adapted in City," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 8 December 11; Lin Meilian, "Outcasts No Longer," Global Times, 5 July 12.

9 Raymond Li, "Migrants’ Children Learn of Education Inequality," South China Morning Post, 6 March 12; "A Wound in Society, Left-Behind Children Struggle With the Law," Xinhua, 30 May 12; Gao Hanbing, "No Hukou or Housing Permit Make It Difficult for Migrant Children To Attend School" [Mei hukou mei fang zheng, nongmingong zidi shangxue nan], Dongbei News Net, 5 July 12. According to a 2012 National Population and Family Planning Commission report on migrants, the percentage of migrant children in Beijing (3.5 percent), Shanghai (5.1 percent), and Guangzhou (5.3 percent) who do not attend school is higher than the national average (2.1 percent). Sun Tiexiang, "Population and Family Planning Commission Releases ‘2012 Development Report on China’s Floating Population’ " [Renkou jisheng wei fabu "zhongguo liudong renkou fazhan baogao 2012"], Xinhua, 6 August 12, reprinted in China Development Gateway, 7 August 12.

10 See, e.g., Matthew Jukes and Liu Meng, "Parents Claim 2 Detained At Protest," Global Times, 6 July 12; " ‘We Want To Go To School,’ Say Children of Chinese Migrant Workers," France 24, 18 June 12; Wang Jing and Chen Ruofei, "Beating of Boy Sparks Three Days of Unrest," Caixin, 3 July 12; John Blau, "Unhappy Migrant Workers in China Are a Growing Problem," Deutsche Welle, 27 June 12.

11 Kan Feng, "2012 Cities Bluebook: Development of China’s Cities Face Ten Major Challenges" [2012 nian chengshi lanpishu: zhongguo chengshi fazhan mianlin shi da tiaozhan], China News Service, reprinted in People’s Daily, 14 August 12; Liu Rong, "City Bluebook: 500 Million Farmers Will Need To Be ‘Urbanized’ in the Next 20 Years" [Chengshi lanpishu: weilai 20 nian you jin 5 yi nongmin xuyao "shimin hua"], People’s Daily, 15 August 12; Yu Qian, "More Than Half of All Chinese Live in Cities, as Rural Exodus Continues," Global Times, 15 August 12. The CASS report notes that urban dwellers totaled 691 million in 2011, which accounted for 51.27 percent of China’s population. This is the first time in China’s history that the urban population is greater than the rural population.

12 See, e.g., Yin Pumin, "Breaking the Lock," Beijing Review, 22 March 12; Lan Lan, "More Live in Cities, but Reform Still Needed," China Daily, 26 March 12; "Wen Jiabao: Actively and Steadily Advance Reform of the Household Registration System, Promote Implementation of the Residence Permit System" [Wen jiabao: jiji wentuo tuijin huji guanli zhidu gaige tuidong shixing juzhuzheng zhidu], People’s Daily, 5 March 12.

13 Yin Pumin, "Breaking the Lock," Beijing Review, 22 March 12.

14 See, e.g., State Council General Office, Circular Regarding the Active and Sound Implementation of Household Registration System Reform [Guowuyuan bangongting guanyu jiji wentuo tuijin huji guanli zhidu gaige de tongzhi], 26 February 12; State Council, Circular Regarding Issue of the National "12th Five-Year" Plan for Population Development [Guowuyuan guanyu yinfa guojia renkou fazhan "shi er wu" guihua de tongzhi], 23 November 11, art. 3(4); "Authorized Release: The Outline for the PRC’s 12th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development" [Shouquan fabu: zhonghua renmin gongheguo guomin jingji he shehui fazhan di shi er ge wu nian guihua gangyao], Xinhua, 16 March 11.

15 "Wen Jiabao: Actively and Steadily Advance Reform of the Household Registration System, Promote Implementation of the Residence Permit System" [Wen jiabao: jiji wentuo tuijin huji guanli zhidu gaige tuidong shixing juzhuzheng zhidu], People’s Daily, 5 March 12.

16 State Council General Office, Circular Regarding Issue of the National "12th Five-Year" Plan for the Basic Public Services System [Guowuyuan guanyu yinfa guojia jiben gonggong fuwu tixi "shi er wu" guihua de tongzhi], 11 July 12; "Incremental Household Registration Reform Helps To Equalize Public Services" [Jianjin shi huji gaige zhuli gonggong fuwu jundenghua], Chinese Central Television, 21 July 12; Xuyang Jingjing, "Hukou Restrictions To Be Loosened To Give Equal Access to Resources," Global Times, 20 July 12.

17 State Council, Circular Regarding the Active and Sound Implementation of Household Registration System Reform [Guowuyuan bangongting guanyu jiji wentuo tuijin huji guanli zhidu gaige de tongzhi], 26 February 12.

18 "The Ease and Difficulty of Household Registration Reform" [Huji gaige yi yu nan], New Century, reprinted in Caixin, 5 March 12; "State Council: Household Registration Open in Small- and Medium-Level Cities, Exchanging Land for Hukou Residency Is Prohibited" [Guoban zhong xiao chengshi huji fangkai jinzhi tudi huan hukou], Caixin, 23 February 12; "Separate and Unequal," China Economic Review, 5 April 12; Yue Zhen, "Cai Jiming: What Harm Is There in Opening Household Registration in Large Cities?" [Cai jiming: fangkai da chengshi huji you he fang], Caixin, 7 March 12; Liu Yuhai, "Next Step in Household Registration Reform: Equalizing Public Services" [Huji gaige xiayibu: gonggong fuwu jundenghua], 21st Century Business, 27 March 12.

19 Deng Yuwen, "China’s Huji Problem," Tianda Institute, 21 April 12 (reprinted in and translated by China Elections and Governance).

20 See, e.g., "Progressive Reform: Shenzhen Advances Household Registration Reform" [Gaige jinxing shi: shenzhen tuijin huji gaige], CCTV Economic News Broadcast, reprinted in World of Finance, 7 April 12; "Deciphering ‘Hangzhou Floating Population Service Management Regulations’ Educational Barriers Cited as Concern in Applying for Hangzhou Residency Permit" [Jiedu "hangzhou shi liudong renkou fuwu guanli tiaoli" hangzhou shenqing juzhuzheng she xueli menkan yin guanzhu], Land Resources Net, 1 June 12; Yang Fang, "Shandong Will Abolish Temporary Residence Permit System, Floating Population Can Enjoy Residential Benefits" [Shandong jiang quxiao zanzhuzheng zhidu liudong renkou ke xiangyou shimin daiyu], Shandong Business News, reprinted in Xinhua, 21 June 12.

21 Wang Bin, "Shandong Household Registration Reforms: Education and Employment Will Hereafter No Longer Be Linked With Hukou Status" [Shandong huji gaige: jinhou jiaoyu jiuye xin gui bu yu hukou xingzhi guagou], Jinan Daily, reprinted in Western Net, 30 March 12; "Migrant Workers Can Apply To Settle in Shandong, Jinan, and Qingdao, Residency Threshold Not Reduced" [Wailai wu gong dou ke shenqing luohu shandong jinan qingdao chengqu luohu menkan wei jiang], Shandong Business News, reprinted in Soufun Net, 1 April 12.

22 Tom Holland, "Third of China’s City-Dwellers Are Still Second Class Citizens," South China Morning Post, 4 April 12; Li Zijun, "Over Half of Employable Floating Population Does Not Have Social Insurance" [Guoban jiuye liudong renkou mei shebao], Beijing Business Today, 10 October 11; All-China Federation of Trade Unions, "The Conditions of New Generation Migrant Workers in Enterprises: A 2010 Study and Policy Recommendations" [2010 nian qiye xinshengdai nongmingong zhuangkuang diaocha ji duice jianyi], 21 February 11; Kam Wing Chan, "Crossing the 50 Percent Population Rubicon: Can China Urbanize to Prosperity?" Eurasian Geography and Economics, Vol. 53, No. 1 (2012), 75.

23 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 48, art. 13; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 12.

24 PRC Passport Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo huzhao fa], issued 29 April 06, effective 1 January 07, art. 13(7); PRC Exit and Entry Control Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo chujing rujing guanli fa], issued 30 June 12, effective 1 July 13, art. 12(5).

25 "In Xinyu, Li Sihua Unaware Passport Had Been Revoked for Two Months" [Xinyu li si hua huzhao bei fei liang yue jing bu zhiqing], Voice of America, 16 June 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Jiangxi Independent Candidate Li Sihua Intercepted En Route to Hong Kong" [Jiangxi duli canxuanren li si hua fu gang bei lanjie jingguo], 17 June 12.

26 "In Xinyu, Li Sihua Unaware Passport Had Been Revoked for Two Months" [Xinyu li si hua huzhao bei fei liang yue jing bu zhiqing], Voice of America, 16 June 12.

27 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Chinese Human Rights Briefing February 28–March 5, 2012," 7 March 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Independent Candidate Li Sihua Is Taken Away by ‘Police’ at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport" [Duli canxuanren li sihua zai guangzhou baiyun jichang bei "jingfang" dai zuo (zhi yi)], 29 February 12.

28 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Record of Sichuan Democracy Activist Chen Yunfei Prevented From Leaving Shuangliu Airport" [Sichuan minzhu weiquan renshi chen yunfei zai shuangliu jichang bei zuzhi chu guan ji], 20 June 12.

29 See, e.g., Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Chinese Human Rights Briefing November 23–29, 2011," 30 November 11; "Entire Course of Events Surrounding Chen Yunfei and Others Rescuing Petitioners Imprisoned in Black Jails" [Chen yunfei deng ren jiejiu hei jianyu guanya fangmin quan guocheng], Boxun, 10 December 11.

30 "Ai Weiwei: Still Can’t Leave China," Voice of America, 21 June 12.

31 "Ai Weiwei Has Passport Confiscated, No Freedom To Leave the Country" [Ai weiwei huzhao bei moshou wu chuguo ziyou], Radio France Internationale, 26 June 12.

32 "Ai Weiwei: Still Can’t Leave China," Voice of America, 21 June 12.

33 "Ai Weiwei Still Prohibited From Leaving the Country, Overseas Fame Steadily Increases" [Ai weiwei reng beijin chuguo haiwai shengyu youzengwujian], Radio Free Asia, 23 June 12.

34 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 December 48, art. 9; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 9(1).

35 Liu Kailong, "Cheng Xue of Wuhan City Prevented From Leaving Home, Mayor’s Hotline Claims Public Security Bureau Had a Directive From Above To Arrange for Gang To Block Door " [Wuhan shi cheng xue bei du zai jia shizhang rexian cheng gonganju zhipai hei shehui du men shi shangji zhishi], Canyu, reprinted in Boxun, 19 February 12; Lara Farrar, "My Shanghai Next Door Neighbor Is Chinese Dissident Feng Zhenghu," Huffington Post, 11 June 12; Tania Branigan, "Chinese Activist Feng Zhenghu Held Under Shanghai House Arrest," Guardian, 11 June 12.

36 "Concern Over Activist’s Health," Radio Free Asia, 11 June 12; "Fears for Blind Activist’s Family," Radio Free Asia, 14 February 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Guangdong Independent Chinese PEN Center Member Ye Huo Asked To ‘Drink Tea’ " [Guangdong duli zhongwen bihui huiyuan ye huo bei " ‘hecha’ "], 28 April 12.

37 Michael Bristow, "China Keeps Close Eye on Government Opponents," BBC, 20 February 12; Guan Xiaoling, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Jilin Petitioner Zhao Guixiang Kidnapped and Then Detained by Beijing Police" [Jilin fangmin zhao gui xiang zai beijing bei jingfang bangjia hou juliu], reprinted in Boxun, 6 March 12; Ren Changling, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Li Kuichun of Fuzhou Went to Hebei To Handle Affairs. Kidnapped by Interceptors" [Fuzhou li kui chun dao hebei banshi bei jie fang ren bangjia], reprinted in Boxun, 7 March 12.

38 Wu Yu, "Zhu Yufu Is Sentenced to Seven Years for ‘A Short Poem’ " [Zhu yufu "yi shou xiao shi" pan qi nian], Deutsche Welle, 10 February 12; Sui-Lee Wee, "China Again Targets ‘Subversion’ Ahead of Leadership," Reuters, 19 January 12.

39 "Many Rights Activists Are Still Under House Arrest After Conclusion of Two Sessions" [Lianghui jieshu hou reng you duo wei weiquan renshi zao ruanjin], Radio Free Asia, 19 March 12; "Strict Controls Put on Petitioners in All Parts of the Country Ahead of NPC and CPPCC Meetings, Those Taking Risks To Petition Are Watched Closely" [Lianghui qian yan kong gedi fang min maoxian shangfang wang bei guanzhu], Radio Free Asia, 26 February 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "A Number of Shanghai Petitioners Arrested for Submitting Materials at Two Sessions, Protest Against Injustices Held at Old Summer Palace" [Shanghai fang min xiang lianghui di cailiao duo ren bei zhua, zai yuanmingyuan jingqu su yuanqing], 5 March 12, reprinted in Boxun, 6 March 12.

40 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "As ‘June 4’ Approaches, Rights Activists in Xi’an are Taken Away on a ‘Trip’ " ["Liu si" lailin, xi’an weiquan renshi bei daizou "luyou"], 2 June 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Shanghai Police Drop in To Warn Wang Kouma Not To Go Out on June 4" [Shanghai jingcha shangmen jinggao wang kouma liu si bude waichu], 4 June 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "On the Eve of June 4, Anhui Dissident Gu He’s Home is Under ‘Guard’ " [Liu si qianxi anhui yiyirenshi gu he jia bei "zhan gang"], 3 June 12.

41 "On Four Year Anniversary of Sichuan Earthquake Parents of Child Victims Are Put Under Surveillance, Victims’ Families Clash With Urban Management Officers in Dujiangyan" [Chuanzhen si zhounian yu’nan tong jiazhang bei jiankong dujiangyan nan shu yu chengguan fasheng chongtu], Radio Free Asia, 13 May 12; "Authorities Again Apply "Tiger’s Claw" To Clamp Down on Rights During Four-Year Anniversary of Sichuan Earthquake" [Chuanzhen si zhounian dangju zai shi hu zhua qianzhi weiquan], Radio Free Asia, 11 May 12.

42 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Chen Guangcheng: A Special Bulletin–Updates on Situation of Chen Guangcheng & His Family Members, Relatives & Supporters Since Chen’s Flight for Freedom," 2 July 12.

43 Tania Branigan, "China Accused of Crackdown on Family and Friends of Dead Activist," Guardian, 17 August 12; Verna Yu, "Police Charge Activist Who Cast Doubt on Suicide," South China Morning Post, 10 August 12; "China Activist Gets Hard Labour in Tiananmen Row," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Yahoo! News, 23 July 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, " ‘Chinese Human Rights Defenders Net’ Statement Regarding Hunan Authorities Wonton Suppression of Rights Activists and Blocking of the Truth of Li Wangyang’s Death" [‘Weiquan wang’ jiu hunan dangju dasi da ya weiquanrenshi fengsha li wangyang siwang zhenxiang de shengming], 18 July 12. According to the non-governmental organization Chinese Human Rights Defenders, upwards of 20 people have faced police harassment and detention for their involvement with Li’s case. Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Li Wangyang Autopsy ‘Suicide’ Verdict Announced Today, Dozens of Hunan Rights Activists Being Controlled" [Li wangyang shijian "zisha" jielun jinri gongbu, shushi ming hunan weiquanrenshi bei kongzhi], 12 July 12.

44 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Beijing Rights Lawyer Ni Yulan’s Daughter Dong Xuan Placed Under House Arrest" [Beijing weiquan lushi ni yulan zhi nu dong xuan bei ruanjin], 11 April 12.

45 "Ni Yulan’s Daughter Is Prevented From Traveling to Holland To Accept Award on Behalf of Her Mother, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Engage In Negotiations With Chinese" [Ni yulan nuer qianwang helan dai mu lingjiang bei zu helan waijiaobu chumian yu zhongfang jiaoshe], Radio Free Asia, 27 January 12; "Empty Chair Represents Ni Yulan Unable To Accept Award" [Ni yulan wufa lingjiang kong deng daibiao], Radio Free Asia, reprinted in Sina, 2 February 12.

46 Simon Leys, "He Told the Truth About China’s Tyranny," New York Review of Books, 9 February 12; "Liu’s Parole Rumors Rejected," Radio Free Asia, 29 August 12.

 

STATUS OF WOMEN

Gender Equality | Legal Developments | Employment Discrimination | Violence Against Women | Impact of Population Planning on Women

Gender Equality

Through its international commitments and domestic efforts, the Chinese government has agreed to ensure gender-equal political participation; however, current official statistics reveal that women remain underrepresented. China is a state party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,1 and as such has committed to ensuring the right of women, on equal terms with men, "to participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government." 2 In accordance with this commitment, the Chinese government has passed several laws 3 and policy initiatives 4 which aim to promote gender equality by setting broad goals and minimum standards for political positions filled by women. Most recently, China released its 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan in June 2012, stating plans to increase female representation at national and local levels of government, and to ensure rural women’s land rights.5

Against the backdrop of these legislative and policy efforts, female representation at the highest levels of the central government and the Communist Party falls short of international norms 6 and remains far from equal to that of males. For example, in 2012, women held 1 out of 25 positions in the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee,7 13 out of 204 full memberships in the Communist Party Central Committee,8 and 4 out of 35 positions in the State Council.9 In July 2011, official state media reported that women made up 21.3 percent of deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC).10 This figure has shown little growth since the early 1970s.11 This year several NPC deputies highlighted the need for increased female political representation.12

Despite reported increases in women’s participation in government in some local jurisdictions during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the percentage of women in local leadership positions across China reportedly remains low.13 Domestic media reports this past year noted an increase in female representation in village-, city-, county-, and provincial-level governments and Party organizations, in some cases as a result of scheduled reshuffling of government positions in 2011.14 These increases follow national-level legislative efforts in late 2010 to increase quotas for female representation in village committees and village representative assemblies.15 However, women continue to face challenges protecting their land rights due to factors including the lack of "concrete means and mechanisms to supervise, control, and manage villagers’ decisions and local rules." 16

Legal Developments

In August 2011, the Supreme People’s Court issued a new interpretation of the PRC Marriage Law, which, some have argued, leaves women’s property rights unprotected. The interpretation states that, in the case of divorce, full ownership of property is afforded solely to the person in whose name it was purchased and registered.17 Under cultural norms in China, this is traditionally the man.18

In June 2012, the Shenzhen Municipality Fifth People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Gender Equality Promotion Regulations (Regulations), the first legislation of its kind in China to focus on gender equality.19 The Regulations are set to take effect in January 2013.20 If implemented, the Regulations could provide greater protections against and punishment for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and domestic violence.21

Employment Discrimination

Gender-based employment discrimination with respect to issues such as wages, recruitment, promotion, and retirement age remains widespread in China, despite government efforts to eliminate it and promote women’s employment. The Chinese government has committed under international standards 22 as well as with several of its domestic laws 23 and policies 24 to prohibit gender discrimination and promote gender equality in the workplace. A number of domestic reports and surveys from the 2012 reporting year highlighted challenges that women continue to face in employment due to their gender, as noted below:

  • Discrimination in hiring, promotion. Several surveys noted continued gender discrimination in hiring and promotion. An All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) joint survey released in October 2011 found that approximately one out of four college students and one out of five "female professional respondents" reported encountering discrimination in job hiring.25 The survey also polled women who held senior positions in education, engineering, government, and enterprises—and found that 31 percent of these respondents reported slower rates of promotion than equally qualified male coworkers.26 Results of a China University of Political Science and Law Constitutionalism Research Institute survey released in November 2011 showed an increase in gender discrimination in civil service hiring since 2010.27 The survey also pointed out that "even the All-China Women’s Federation had barred women from certain positions." 28 In a stance against one continued form of gender discrimination in recruiting, in March 2012, non-governmental organization Beijing Yirenping Center published an open letter to the government calling for the revision or elimination of provisions which require women to submit to gynecological tests when applying for civil service positions.29
  • Wage disparity. The October 2011 ACWF and NBS joint survey, a result of responses from over 105,000 women, found that "[t]he annual income of female urbanites is 67 percent of that of their male counterparts, and women laborers earn only half of what men do in rural areas." 30 Similarly, in April 2012, international non-profit business organization Catalyst reported that "women [in China] earned on average 31% less than men for doing similar work." 31
  • Discriminatory actions during maternity leave. In March 2012, a woman in Guangdong province filed a lawsuit against her former employer for terminating her employment during her maternity leave.32 This is reportedly the first such gender discrimination case in Guangdong to elevate beyond labor dispute arbitration committees and reach court.33 Job termination on the grounds of maternity leave is prohibited under Article 27 of the PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests.34 In April 2012, the State Council issued the Special Provisions for the Work Protection of Female Employees,35 which include such guarantees as protection against job termination on the grounds of maternity or nursing 36 and more time allotted for maternity leave (extended from 90 37 to 98 days).38
  • Forced early retirement. Mandatory retirement ages for women in China continue to be 5 to 10 years earlier than those for men, depending on their position of employment.39 Public discussion on retirement age this year continued to reveal varying views regarding for whom the retirement age should be raised, if at all. In March, China’s top labor official reportedly announced plans to raise the retirement age for both men and women; 40 however, he did not provide a timeline.41 At the annual session of the NPC that same month, one NPC deputy proposed that the retirement age be raised specifically for "highly educated" female workers.42 Non-government workers, university students, and academics, however, have expressed hesitation about a delayed retirement age, noting that such a change would push already over-taxed laborers to work "extra years," and that it might limit job opportunities and exacerbate existing pressure on China’s pension system.43
Violence Against Women

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence is prohibited and punishable under Chinese law,44 yet the problem of domestic violence remains widespread.45 Current national-level legal provisions regarding domestic violence leave many victims unprotected by prohibiting domestic violence without defining the term or clarifying the specific responsibilities of public and private sector organizations in prevention, punishment, and treatment.46 As in previous years,47 Chinese advocates called for clear national-level legislation on domestic violence,48 and nationwide attention to the issue appears to have increased following several high-profile domestic violence cases this year involving women and children.49 State media reported in March 2012 that "[d]omestic violence is listed on the 2012 legislative agenda of the [NPC]," 50 and China’s 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, issued in June, also included goals to "formulate" a domestic violence law.51

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment remains widespread in China, and those who are targeted face difficulties in defending their rights under Chinese law. China has committed under international standards to taking "all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment." 52 Accordingly, Chinese law prohibits sexual harassment and allows for legal recourse for victims.53 Chinese law does not clearly define sexual harassment or provide standards and procedures for prevention and punishment.54 Survey findings in recent years show that many who face sexual harassment choose to "tolerate" it.55 Other reports indicate that those who decide to take legal action may risk losing their lawsuits due to the challenge of supplying adequate evidence.56

Impact of Population Planning on Women

In response to government-imposed birth limits and in keeping with a traditional cultural bias for sons, some Chinese parents choose to engage in sex-selective abortion, especially rural couples whose first child is a girl 57—a practice that has contributed to China’s skewed sex ratio, which some have linked to China’s ongoing problem of human trafficking. The male-female ratio of newborns in 2008 was greater than 120:1, and in 2011 it was above 117:1.58 National regulations issued in 2003 banned prenatal gender determination and sex-selective abortion; 59 however, statistics and analysis from recent years 60 show that the practice remains commonplace, especially in rural areas, and suggest that implementation of the ban on sex-selective abortion remains uneven. In August 2011, the State Council issued the PRC Outline for the Development of Children (2011–2020), urging officials to crack down further on "non-medically necessary sex determination and sex-selective abortion," 61 and, in June 2012, the State Council issued its 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, reiterating this call.62 Observers, including Chinese state media, have linked China’s skewed sex ratio with an increase in forced prostitution, forced marriages, and other forms of human trafficking.63 [For more information regarding China’s skewed sex ratio, see Section II—Population Planning.]

The international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch reported in January 2012 that "women’s reproductive rights remain severely curtailed in 2011 under China’s family planning regulations," citing the pressures of "administrative sanctions, fines, and forced abortions" on women in rural areas, female migrant workers in urban areas, as well as women living in ethnic minority areas.64

Notes to Section II—Status of Women

1 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 34/180 of18 December 79, entry into force 3 September 81. China signed the convention on July 17, 1980, and ratified it on November 4, 1980. See United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, HumanRights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, last visited 14 September 12.

2 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 34/180 of18 December 79, entry into force 3 September 81, art. 7.

3 The PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests and the PRC Electoral Law of the National People’s Congress and Local People’s Congresses stipulate that an "appropriate number" of female deputies should serve at all levels of people’s congresses. PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, art. 11; PRC Electoral Law of the National People’s Congress and Local People’s Congresses [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo quanguo renmin daibiao dahui he difang geji renmin daibiao dahui xuanju fa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 10 December 82, 2 December 86, 28 February 95, 27 October 04, 14 March 10, art. 6.

4 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012–2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(2); PRC State Council, "PRC Outline for the Development of Women" [Zhongguo funu fazhan gangyao], issued 30 July 11, sec. 3(4).

5 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012–2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(2).

6 The target of 30 percent female representation in leadership positions by 1995 was set by the UN Commission on the Status of Women at its 34th session in 1990. "Target: 30 Percent of Leadership Positions to Women by 1995—United Nations Commission on the Status of Women," United Nations Publications, reprinted in Bnet, June 1990.

7 State Councilor Liu Yandong is reportedly the only woman who holds a position in the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee. Jen-Kai Liu, "The Main National Leadership of the PRC," China Data Supplement, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2011), 3; Kerry Brown, "Chinese Politics—Still a Man’s World," CNN World Blog, 27 August 12; "Liu Yandong," China Vitae, last visited 4 September 12.

8 Kerry Brown, "Chinese Politics—Still a Man’s World," CNN World Blog, 27 August 12. See also Didi Kirsten Tatlow, "Chinese Women’s Progress Stall on Many Fronts," New York Times, 6 March 12.

9 Jen-Kai Liu, "The Main National Leadership of the PRC," China Data Supplement, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Vol. 19, No. 3 (2011), 3; Michael Forsythe and Yidi Zhao, "Women Knowing China Men Rule Prove Mao’s Half the Sky Remains Unfulfilled," Bloomberg News, 23 June 11.

10 State Council Information Office, "Assessment Report on the National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009–2010)," Xinhua, 14 July 11, IV(2). Zhang Liming, a Chinese official quoted in a March 2012 Xinhua report, confirmed that this statistic remains current. It is unclear whether Zhang’s sources were official. See He Dan, "Women Deputies Call for Greater Female Voice," Xinhua, 8 March 12.

11 "Number of Deputies to All the Previous National People’s Congresses" [Lijie quanguo renmin daibiao dahui daibiao renshu], China Statistical Yearbook 2011, 2011, Table 23–1.

12 He Dan, "Women Deputies Call for Greater Female Voice," Xinhua, 8 March 12.

13 See, e.g., "Women Village Officials All Too Rare," Southern Daily, reprinted in Women’s Watch-China, 30 November 11.

14 "More Chinese Women Elected Village Cadres," China News Center, 6 March 12.

15 PRC Organic Law of the Villagers’ Committees [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo cunmin weiyuanhui zuzhi fa], passed 4 November 98, amended 28 October 10, art. 6, 25.

16 Women’s Watch-China, "2009 Women’s Watch-China Annual Report," 23 August 10, 12. See also Leta Hong Fincher, "Marriage Laws in Modern China Still Leave Women Behind," Women News Network, 24 August 12. According to the Women News Network report, "The All China Women’s Federation says the most urgent problem facing rural women in China is the absence of property rights. In theory, women in China have had legally recognized rights to land and property. But in practice, they have lost land rights mainly through marriage, divorce, inheritance, widowhood and urban migration."

17 Didi Kirsten Tatlow, "Chinese Law Could Make Divorced Women Homeless," New York Times, 7 September 11.

18 Ibid.; Leta Hong Fincher, "Marriage Laws in Modern China Still Leave Women Behind," Women News Network, 24 August 12. According to official statistics cited in the Women News Network report, "According to the latest government statistics from the All China Women’s Federation, . . . in China in 2005 . . . 80 percent of household heads were men. The vast majority of residential property in China is registered to the ‘household head,’ which is usually the man . . . household heads almost always control the property, deciding whether or when to sell it and how to use it."

19 Shenzhen Municipal National People’s Congress Standing Committee, "Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Gender Equality Promotion Regulations" [Shenzhen jingji tequ xingbie pingdeng cujin tiaoli], passed 28 June 12, issued 10 July 12, effective 1 January 13; You Chunliang and Hui Zhen, "Shenzhen Comes Out With First National Gender Equality Regulations, Protects Women’s Lawful Rights and Interests" [Shenzhen chutai guonei shoubu xingbie pingdeng tiaoli baohu nuxing hefa quanyi], Legal Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 2 July 12.

20 Shenzhen Municipal National People’s Congress Standing Committee, "Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Gender Equality Promotion Regulations" [Shenzhen jingji tequ xingbie pingdeng cujin tiaoli], passed 28 June 12, issued 10 July 12, effective 1 January 13; "Shenzhen Passes China’s First Anti-Gender Discrimination Law," China Briefing, 23 August 12.

21 Shenzhen Municipal National People’s Congress Standing Committee, "Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Gender Equality Promotion Regulations" [Shenzhen jingji tequ xingbie pingdeng cujin tiaoli], passed 28 June 12, issued 10 July 12, effective 1 January 13, arts. 22–24, 29. For a definition of gender discrimination, see Articles 4 and 5. For guidelines on analyzing and assessing gender equality, see Article 11. For provisions on assessing and eliminating gender discrimination in education, see Article 14. For provisions on gender discrimination in media advertising, see Article 21. For provisions on handling gender discrimination disputes, see Article 28. For provisions on sexual harassment, see Articles 22, 23, and 29. For provisions on domestic violence, see Articles 24 and 25.

22 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 3 January 76, art. 7. China signed the ICESCR on October 27, 1997, and ratified it on March 27, 2001. See also PRC Employment Promotion Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo jiuye cujin fa], enacted 30 August 07, effective 1 January 08, art. 3.

23 PRC Labor Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo laodong fa], enacted 5 July 94, effective 1 January 95, amended 10 October 01, arts. 12, 13; PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, arts. 22–27; PRC Employment Promotion Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo jiuye cujin fa], enacted 30 August 07, effective 1 January 08, art. 3.

24 PRC State Council, "PRC Outline for the Development of Women" [Zhongguo funu fazhan gangyao], issued 30 July 11, sec. 3(3). The outline calls for officials to "ensure females may enjoy an equal right to work," and to "eliminate gender discrimination in employment."

25 He Dan, "Women Still Face Bias on the Job, Survey Finds," China Daily, 22 October 11; PRC Central People’s Government, "All-China Women’s Federation Pays Close Attention to the Problem of Discrimination Against Chinese Females in Some Areas" [Quanguo fulian feichang guanzhu zhongguo nuxing zai yixie fangmian shou qishi wenti], 21 October 11.

26 He Dan, "Women Still Face Bias on the Job, Survey Finds," China Daily, 22 October 11.

27 "Report: Discrimination Prevalent in Civil Service Hiring," Caixin, 21 November 11.

28 Ibid.

29 Beijing Yirenping Center, "Letter of Opinion Regarding Revising or Cancelling the Gynecological Exam Requirement in the ‘Commonly Used Standards for Physical Examinations in Civil Servant Hiring’ " [Guanyu xiugai huo quxiao "gongwu yuan luyong tijian tongyong biaozhun" zhong fuke tiyan xiangmu de jianyi xin], 19 March 12. See also "Women Workers in China Standing Up to Discrimination," China Labour Bulletin, 19 April 12.

30 He Dan, "Women Still Face Bias on the Job, Survey Finds," China Daily, 22 October 11.

31 "Women in the Labor Force in China," Catalyst, last visited 4 September 12. To arrive at this number, Catalyst analyzed statistics from the World Economic Forum’s 2011 "Global Gender Gap Report," which ranked China 61st in the world. See also Ricardo Hausmann, Laura D. Tyson, and Saadia Zahidi, Global Gender Gap Report: 2011, World Economic Forum, 2011.

32 "Guangdong Female Employee Dismissed While on Maternity Leave, Files a Lawsuit for Employment Discrimination on Women’s Day" [Guangdong nugong xiu chanjia zao citui funujie qisu gongsi xingbie qishi], Guangdong News Net, 9 March 12. See also "Women Workers in China Standing Up to Discrimination," China Labour Bulletin, 19 April 12.

33 "Guangdong Female Employee Dismissed While on Maternity Leave, Files a Lawsuit for Employment Discrimination on Women’s Day" [Guangdong nugong xiu chanjia zao citui funujie qisu gongsi xingbie qishi], Guangdong News Net, 9 March 12; "Women Workers in China Standing Up to Discrimination," China Labour Bulletin, 19 April 12.

34 PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, art. 27.

35 PRC State Council, Special Provisions for the Work Protection of Female Employees [Nu zhigong laodong baohu tebie guiding], issued and effective 28 April 12.

36 Ibid., art. 5.

37 PRC State Council, Provisions on the Work Protection of Female Employees [Nu zhigong laodong baohu guiding], issued 21 July 88, effective 1 September 88, art. 8.

38 PRC State Council, Special Provisions for the Work Protection of Female Employees [Nu zhigong laodong baohu tebie guiding], issued and effective 28 April 12, art. 7.

39 Currently, retirement ages for male and female government and Party officials are 60 and 55, respectively, while retirement ages for male and female workers in general are 60 and 50, respectively. "China’s Compulsory Retirement Age for Males and Females Challenged for Violating Constitution" [Woguo nannu tuixiu nianling guiding beitiqing weixian shencha], China Law Education, 16 March 06. For information on the current debate about raising the retirement age, see Chen Xin, "Retirement Age Will Be Pushed Back: Minister," China Daily, 22 March 12.

40 Chen Xin, "Retirement Age Will Be Pushed Back: Minister," China Daily, 22 March 12.

41 Ibid.

42 "Women Should Retire at 60 Under Proposal," China Daily, reprinted in Women’s Watch-China, 5 March 12.

43 Chen Xin, "Retirement Age Will Be Pushed Back: Minister," China Daily, 22 March 12.

44 PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, art. 46; PRC Marriage Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo hunyin fa], enacted 10 September 80, effective 1 January 81, amended 28 April 01, art. 3; PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], enacted 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 234, 236, 260.

45 See, e.g., "Law on Domestic Violence," China Daily, 8 May 12. According to All-China Women’s Federation statistics from 2011, approximately one in four Chinese women have experienced domestic violence. See also "More Than Half Chinese Suffer Domestic Violence: Survey," CRIenglish, 14 May 12. According to an online survey released by the Maple Women’s Psychological Counseling Center in May 2012, of 1,858 respondents (both male and female), 54.6 percent had experienced some form of domestic violence—including "vocal or sexual abuse, restraints on freedom, beating, and even scalding and knife attacks."

46 PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, art. 46; PRC Marriage Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo hunyin fa], enacted 10 September 80, effective 1 January 81, amended 28 April 01, art. 3. For Chinese experts’ discussion of the shortcomings of current national-level legislation, see "All-China Women’s Federation Strongly Promotes Anti-Domestic Violence Law" [Quanguo fulian litui fan jiating baoli fa], People’s Representative News, 31 December 09; Women’s Watch-China, "Proposal for Law on Prevention and Curbing of Domestic Violence Comes Out" [Yufang he zhizhi jiating baoli fa jianyi gao chulu], 28 November 09; "China Scholars Call for Attention on ‘Anti-Domestic Violence Legislation’ " [Zhongguo xuezhe huyu guanzhu "fan jiating baoli" lifa], Radio Free Asia, 13 January 10. See also "All-China Women’s Federation Proposes, Highlights Need for Draft Anti-Domestic Violence Legislation," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 2 February 10.

47 See CECC 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 124; CECC 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 132; CECC 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 168.

48 "Advisor Calls for Domestic Violence Law," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 10 March 12; "85% of People Favor Law Against Domestic Violence," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 13 March 12; Valerie Tan, "China Considers Law Against Domestic Violence," Channel News Asia, 18 November 11.

49 All-China Women’s Federation, "Child Abuse Highlights Need for Anti-Domestic Violence Laws," 11 June 12; Yan Shuang, "Crazy English Founder Threatened To Kill Me, Says Wife," Global Times, 13 April 12; "Advisor Calls for Domestic Violence Law," Xinhua, 10 March 12.

50 He Dan, "Domestic Violence Law Should Be Broad," China Daily, 12 March 12.

51 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(2).

52 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 34/180 of 18 December 79, entry into force 2 September 81, art. 11. China signed the convention on July 17, 1980, and ratified it on November 4, 1980. See United Nations Treaty Collection, Chapter IV, Human Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, last visited 14 September 12.

53 PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, arts. 40, 58; PRC State Council, Special Provisions for the Work Protection of Female Employees [Nu zhigong laodong baohu tebie guiding], issued and effective 28 April 12, art. 11. See also Women’s Watch-China, "Annual Report 2008," 23 October 09, 30.

54 PRC Law on the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo funu quanyi baozhang fa], enacted 3 April 92, effective 1 October 92, amended 28 August 05, arts. 40, 58; PRC State Council, Special Provisions for the Work Protection of Female Employees [Nu zhigong laodong baohu tebie guiding], issued and effective 28 April 12, art. 11; Women’s Watch-China, "Annual Report 2008," 23 October 09, 30.

55 Women’s Watch-China, "2009 Women’s Watch-China Annual Report," 23 August 10, 24.

56 Tang Yu, "Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, What Difficulties Exist in Defending One’s Rights" [Zhichang xing saorao weiquan heqi nan], China Worker Net, 7 January 11; Gao Zhuyuan, "The Evil of Sexual Harassment," China Daily, 2 June 11. See also Luo Wangshu and Cao Yin, "More Sexual Assault at Work Reported," China Daily, 5 January 12.

57 See, e.g., Therese Hesketh et al., "The Consequences of Son Preference and Sex-Selective Abortion in China and Other Asian Countries," Canadian Medical Association Journal, 14 March 11, 1–2; Mikhail Lipatov et al., "Economics, Cultural Transmission, and the Dynamics of the Sex Ratio at Birth in China," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105, No. 49 (2008), 19171. According to this study, "The root of the [sex ratio] problem lies in a 2,500-year-old culture of son preference." See also Chu Junhong, "Prenatal Sex Determination and Sex-Selective Abortion in Rural Central China," Population and Development Review, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2001), 260; Joseph Chamie, "The Global Abortion Bind: A Woman’s Right To Choose Gives Way to Sex-Selection Abortions and Dangerous Gender Imbalances," Yale Global, 29 May 08. For discussion of the continued practice of sex-selective abortion and its impact, see "Ban on Sex Testing To Help Balance Girl-Boy Ratio," Xinhua, reprinted in Global Times, 25 May 12.

58 See "China’s Sex Ratio at Birth Dropping," North Side Net, translated in Women of China, 12 July 12. According to this report, which cites a 2012 National Population and Family Planning Commission Bulletin, "China’s sex ratio at birth in 2011 was 117.78, representing a drop of 0.16 compared to 2010 . . . . The ratios of 2008, 2009 and 2010 were respectively 120.56, 119.45 and 117.94."

59 State Commission for Population and Family Planning, Ministry of Health, State Food and Drug Administration, PRC Regulations Regarding the Prohibition of Non-Medically Necessary Gender Determination Examinations and Sex-Selective Termination of Pregnancy [Guanyu jinzhi fei yixue xuyao de taier xingbie jianding he xuanze xingbie de rengong zhongzhi renshen de guiding], issued 29 November 02, effective 1 January 03. For a discussion of these regulations, see "China Bans Sex-Selection Abortion," Xinhua, reprinted in China Net, 22 March 03.

60 Mikhail Lipatov et al., "Economics, Cultural Transmission, and the Dynamics of the Sex Ratio at Birth in China," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105, No. 49 (2008), 19171; Wei Xing Zhu et al., "China’s Excess Males, Sex Selective Abortion and One Child Policy: Analysis of Data From 2005 National Intercensus Survey," British Medical Journal, 9 April 09, 4–5; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "Difficulty Finding a Wife in 10 Years: 1 Out of Every 5 Men To Be a Bare Branch" [10 nian zhihou quqi nan, 5 ge nanren zhong jiuyou 1 ge guanggun], 27 January 10.

61 PRC State Council, PRC Outline for the Development of Children (2011–2020) [Zhongguo ertong fazhan gangyao (2011–2020 nian)], issued 30 July 11, sec. 3(5).

62 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(3). The National Human Rights Action Plan states, "Discrimination against girls will be eliminated. The state . . . bans identification of the sex of a fetus for other than medical purposes and termination of pregnancy in the case of a female fetus." See also "Ban on Sex Testing To Help Balance Girl-Boy Ratio," Global Times, reprinted in People’s Daily, 25 May 12.

63 "China Gender Gap Fuelling Human Trafficking: Report," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in China Post, 22 September 10. See also Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China," January 2012; World Health Organization, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children’s Fund, and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, "Preventing Gender-Biased Sex Selection," 14 June 11, 5; Susan W. Tiefenbrun and Christie J. Edwards, "Gendercide and the Cultural Context of Sex Trafficking in China," Fordham International Law Journal Vol. 32, No. 3 (2009), 752; Therese Hesketh et al., "The Effect of China’s One-Child Family Policy After 25 Years," New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 353, No. 11 (2005), 1173; Nicholas Eberstadt, "A Global War Against Baby Girls: Sex-Selective Abortion Becomes a Worldwide Practice," Handbook of Gender Medicine, reprinted in All Girls Allowed, 1 May 11. According to Eberstadt’s report, "Some economists have hypothesized that mass feticide, in making women scarce, will only increase their ‘value’—but in settings where the legal and personal rights of the individual are not secure and inviolable, the ‘rising value of women’ can have perverse and unexpected consequences, including increased demand for prostitution and an upsurge in the kidnapping and trafficking of women (as is now reportedly being witnessed in some women-scarce areas in Asia)[.]"

64 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China," January 2012.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Introduction | Anti-Trafficking Challenges | Prevalence | Risk Factors | Anti-Trafficking Efforts

Introduction

The Chinese government faces persistent challenges as it continues to combat human trafficking that occurs both within and across Chinese borders. With respect to human trafficking, the Chinese government has taken steps to increase public awareness, expand social services, and improve international cooperation. Yet, officials’ focus on the abduction and sale of women and children,1 while giving proportionally less attention to other forms of trafficking, limits the support rendered to the trafficking victims who need it. Despite improvements to the PRC Criminal Law in 2011, gaps between domestic legislation and international standards on human trafficking remain and limit the scope and effectiveness of related efforts. Domestic and international observers have linked certain longstanding risk factors to the human trafficking problem in China, including the government’s population planning policies and their exacerbation of China’s skewed sex ratio; migrant mobility; uneven enforcement of anti-trafficking laws; lack of anti-trafficking training, education, and resources; and government corruption.

Anti-Trafficking Challenges

The Chinese government acceded to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol) in December 2009,2 but has not revised domestic legislation to come into full compliance. While the PRC Criminal Law prohibits the trafficking of persons,3 Chinese law addresses the crime more narrowly, in some ways, than does the UN TIP Protocol. For example, provisions in the PRC Criminal Law do not appear to cover all forms of trafficking, such as certain types of non-physical coercion 4 and the commercial sex trade of minors.5 Nor does the definition of trafficking provided under Article 240 clearly include offenses against male victims,6 although other articles in the PRC Criminal Law address some aspects of these crimes.7 Each of these forms of trafficking are covered under Article 3 of the UN TIP Protocol.8 In other ways, the Chinese legal definition of trafficking is overly broad in comparison to that provided in the UN TIP Protocol. For example, under Chinese law, the crime of "trafficking" includes the purchase or abduction of children for subsequent sale without specifying the end purpose of these actions.9 Several Chinese and international media reports in the past year highlighted such cases—referring to them as "trafficking" cases—and indicated that a significant amount of anti-trafficking work in China is focused on investigating or prosecuting these types of cases.10 Under the UN TIP Protocol, the purchase or abduction of children for subsequent sale only constitutes trafficking if the end purpose of the sale is exploitation, such as sexual exploitation, labor, or servitude.11

Chinese officials also continue to conflate human trafficking with human smuggling and therefore treat some victims of trafficking as criminals.12 According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the main international body responsible for implementing the UN TIP Protocol, "human trafficking" and "migrant smuggling" mainly differ with respect to consent, exploitation, and transnationality.13 Commonly, human trafficking involves the exploitation of an individual (either domestically or after they have crossed borders) without the individual’s consent, or if the individual initially consented, the consent was "rendered meaningless by the coercive, deceptive, or abusive actions of the traffickers," whereas migrant smuggling involves the cross-border transport of an individual with the individual’s consent and ends when the migrant arrives at his or her destination.14 In conflating the two, Chinese officials may consider an individual’s illegal entry into China to be a crime of "human smuggling" and punish the individual accordingly, while giving less consideration to the role exploitation may have played in the border crossing.15 The Chinese government continues to deport all undocumented North Koreans as illegal "economic migrants" and does not provide legal alternatives to repatriation for foreign victims of trafficking.16 [For more information, see Section II—North Korean Refugees in China.]

Prevalence

China remains a country of origin, transit, and destination for the trafficking of men, women, and children.17 The majority of trafficking cases are domestic; 18 however, human traffickers continue to traffic women and children from China to countries around the world.19 Women and girls from countries across Asia, as well as some countries in Europe and Africa, are also trafficked into China and forced into marriages, employment, and sexual exploitation.20 Forced labor of men, women, and children continues, and certain cases gained media attention during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year; 21 however, the full extent of the forced labor problem in China is unclear.22 Of note, an internal memo issued in 2012 by the Lhasa Public Security Bureau in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) reported a recent spike in the trafficking of women and children from the TAR to other areas of China to serve "as ‘brides’ or household servants." 23 [See Section II—Worker Rights for more information on child labor.] According to the UN TIP Protocol, "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt" of any person under 18 years of age for exploitative purposes constitutes trafficking in persons.24

Risk Factors

Experts link the reported growth 25 of the trafficking market in China to several political, demographic, economic, and social factors. Reports indicate that China’s sex ratio 26—which has become severely skewed against the backdrop of China’s population planning policies and Chinese families’ preference for sons 27—has increased the demand for trafficking for forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation.28 In recent years, domestic and inter-national observers have also linked the growing trafficking problem with a continued lack of awareness among potential victims, a continued lack of education on trafficking prevention for vulnerable women and parents,29 and challenging conditions in bordering countries such as instability in Burma and poverty in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.30 [For additional information on China’s skewed sex ratio, see Section II—Population Planning.]

 

Representative Human Trafficking Cases from the 2012 Reporting Year (Arranged by Province)

  • Henan. In September 2011, officials in Henan province reportedly rescued 30 people with mental disabilities from slave labor conditions in illegal brick kilns in several locations in the province.31 The case has re­portedly raised concerns regarding official efforts to prevent forced labor of persons with mental disabilities, following a similar case in Shaanxi province in 2007.32
  • Jiangsu. According to a December 2011 Xinhua article, a 22-year-old Burmese woman was rescued and returned home in July 2011 after a year and a half of forced marriage to a farmer who was "mentally handi­capped." The woman reportedly had difficulty escaping the abusive situ­ation because she could not speak Chinese.33
  • Jiangsu. In February 2012, officials in Suzhou city launched an in­vestigation into a local electronics factory after Suzhou police received an online tip reporting child labor there. The police found at least 10 un­derage workers, including 1 as young as 9 years old, employed at the factory. The youths were reportedly forced to work under harsh condi­tions, including 12-hour daily shifts, and they reportedly suffered from poor nutrition.34
  • Yunnan. Eight persons between the ages of 12 and 22 in Pucheng town, Puning county, Kunming municipality, have disappeared in a se­ries of alleged abductions since May 2011. Police launched an investiga­tion into these cases only after another young person escaped a brick kiln on April 25, 2012, and reported to authorities that he had been ab­ducted off the street and forced into labor. Parents of the disappeared reported that when they approached the police about the disappear­ances, the police accused them of "starting rumors." 35
Anti-Trafficking Efforts

The Chinese government, non-governmental organizations, and individuals continued efforts to combat human trafficking. In December 2009, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) approved China’s accession to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol).36 On February 25, 2011, the NPCSC revised the PRC Criminal Law, making amendments to provisions on forced labor,37 a crime that constitutes human trafficking under the UN TIP Protocol.38 The revised legislation broadens the scope of activity considered punishable for forced labor and strengthens punishments for "serious" crimes of forced labor; however, the legislation still does not clearly define what constitutes forced labor.39 The Commission did not observe changes to other areas in which China’s domestic legislation does not comply with the UN TIP Protocol during the 2012 reporting year.40

GOVERNMENT EFFORTS

Chinese authorities, in cooperation with non-governmental organizations and international organizations, took limited steps to improve protection, services, and care for victims of trafficking but continued to focus such efforts only on women and children identified as victims through the government’s definition of trafficking. The United Nations Interagency Project on Human Trafficking and the International Organization for Migration each conducted training sessions during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year that reportedly addressed issues including victim protection and services, as well as worker rights.41 The U.S. State Department reported in 2012 that the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) "continued to allocate an unknown amount of funds to operate ‘women’s homes,’ " 42 a network of shelters where women could access referrals for legal aid, report human trafficking violations, and seek assistance from social workers.43 China signed the Mekong River Sub-regional Cooperation Anti-Trafficking Memo in 2004, committing to meet on an annual basis with senior officials from Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia to discuss anti-trafficking work.44 The Chinese government has eight border offices with neighboring countries to combat cross-border trafficking.45

Authorities continued outreach and education campaigns in concert with the ACWF and international organizations. The government continued trafficking education campaigns in areas with high numbers of migrant workers, including train and bus stations, and through television, cell phones, and the Internet, informing workers of their rights. The ACWF in conjunction with an international organization also reportedly aided in integrating awareness messages into school curricula.46 Chinese authorities continue to operate national and local hotlines for reporting suspected trafficking cases,47 although there appears to be limited public data on their use.

As Chinese law conflates human smuggling, illegal adoption, and child abduction with human trafficking, accurate official statistics are not available on the number of trafficking cases the government investigated and prosecuted during the past reporting year.48

In addition to provisions in the newly issued 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan calling for continued and improved anti-trafficking efforts and provision of victim services,49 the government reportedly is working in conjunction with international organizations to draft a specific "National Plan of Action" to combat human trafficking. The draft is expected to be released in December 2012 and reportedly factored into the U.S. State Department’s decision to waive "an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3" in its 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.50 The U.S. State Department thus placed China on its Tier 2 Watch List for the eighth consecutive year in 2012,51 listing several areas in which China’s anti-trafficking efforts remain insufficient.52

Notes to Section II—Human Trafficking

1 The specific phrase used to describe the concept of trafficking in Chinese government documents, including the National Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children (2008–2012), as well as related regulations, circulars, and opinions, is guaimai funu ertong, which literally means "the abduction and sale of women and children." See, for example, State Council General Office, "Circular on the State Council General Office’s Issuance of China’s National Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children (2008–2012)" [Guowuyuan bangongting guanyu yinfa zhongguo fandui guaimai funu ertong xingdong jihua (2008–2012 nian) de tongzhi], 13 December 07. See also Ministry of Public Security, "Qinghai Province Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children (2008–2012)" [Qinghai sheng fandui guaimai funu ertong xingdong jihua shishi xize (2008–2012 nian)], 22 December 09; Ministry of Public Security, Zhuzhou Municipal People’s Government, "Zhuzhou Municipal People’s Government Office Circular Regarding the Issuance of Zhuzhou Municipality’s Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children" [Zhuzhou shi renmin zhengfu bangongshi guanyu yinfa zhuzhou shi fandui guaimai funu ertong xingdong jihua de tongzhi], 31 December 09; Bazhong Municipal People’s Government, "Opinion of Bazhong Municipal People’s Government Office Regarding the Implementation of China’s National Action Plan on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children (2008– 2012)" [Bazhong shi renmin zhengfu bangongshi guanyu guanche guowuyuan "zhongguo fandui guaimai funu ertong xingdong jihua (2008–2012 nian)" de shishi yijian], 30 September 09.

2 "China’s Top Legislature Ends Bimonthly Session, Adopts Tort Law," Xinhua, 26 December 09; UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03. This protocol is also commonly referred to as the Palermo Protocol because it was adopted in Palermo, Italy, in 2000.

3 The PRC Criminal Law defines trafficking as "abducting, kidnapping, buying, trafficking in, fetching, sending, or transferring a woman or child, for the purpose of selling the victim." PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 240.

4 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 240, 244, 358. For additional information on this topic, see Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118. According to this report, "[I]t remains unclear whether [articles 240, 358, and 244] prohibit the use of common non-physical forms of coercion, such as threats and debt bondage, as a form of ‘forcing workers to labor’ or ‘forced prostitution’ and whether acts such as recruiting, providing, or obtaining persons for compelled prostitution are covered."

5 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 240(4), 244, 358(3). See also Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 119. "[I]t remains unclear whether, under Chinese law, children under the age of 18 in prostitution are victims of trafficking regardless of whether force is involved."

6 The PRC Criminal Law defines trafficking as "abducting, kidnapping, buying, trafficking in, fetching, sending, or transferring a woman or child, for the purpose of selling the victim." PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 240.

7 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, arts. 244, 358. See also Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2009—China," 16 June 09, 106. "China’s definition of trafficking does not prohibit non-physical forms of coercion, fraud, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, forced labor, or offenses committed against male victims, although some aspects of these crimes are addressed in other articles of China’s criminal law."

8 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UN TIP Protocol), adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03, art. 3(a). Article 3(a) of the UN TIP Protocol states: "‘Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs."

9 The PRC Criminal Law defines trafficking as "abducting, kidnapping, buying, trafficking in, fetching, sending, or transferring a woman or child, for the purpose of selling the victim." PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], passed 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, amended 14 March 97, 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 240.

10 Zhu Shanshan, "Shandong Baby Trafficking Ring Taken Down," Global Times, 4 November 11; "178 Kids Rescued in China Human Trafficking Bust," CBS News, 7 December 11; "2,000Abducted Children Identified via DNA Bank," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 1 March 12; "Chinese Police ‘Smash’ Trafficking Gang, Frees 181," BBC, 6 July 12; Chen Xin, "Police PledgeTo Fight Child Trafficking," China Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 7 July 12; Liu Baijun, "Representative Chen Xiurong Suggests Punishing the Buyer Market in the Trafficking ofWomen and Children" [Chen xiurong daibiao jianyi chengzhi guaimai funu ertong maifang shichang], Legal Daily, 12 March 12. An official quoted in the Legal Daily report suggested thatthe human trafficking buyer market can be broken down into three main categories: 1) purchasing children for the purpose of adoption, 2) purchasing women for the purpose of marriage,and 3) abducting or purchasing women or children for the purpose of forced prostitution or child begging. The official recommended additional punishments for the purchasers in these cases aswell as adjustments to national family planning policies in order to remedy China’s sex ratio imbalance.

11 The end result of exploitation is one of the required elements of a trafficking case under Article 3 of the UN TIP Protocol. UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking inPersons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15November 00, entered into force 25 December 03, art. 3(c).

12 CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 175. For more information on distinctions between "human smuggling" and "human trafficking," see U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, "Human Smuggling and Trafficking," 20 January 10.

13 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, "Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling," last visited 6 September 12.

14 Ibid.

15 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 120.

16 Ibid.; Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012—North Korea," 22 January 12.

17 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118. See also CECC, 2008 Annual Report,31 October 08, 118. As documented and defined internationally, major forms of human trafficking include forced labor, bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, child soldiers, forcedprostitution, children exploited for commercial sex, child sex tourism, and debt bondage and involuntary servitude among migrant laborers.

18 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118.

19 Ibid. See also, for example, Alisha Hassan, "Malaysia Arrest 6 Chinese Women in Sex Trafficking Raid," Bikya Masr, 14 July 12; "Woman ‘Kidnapped and Trafficked Through 10 Countries,"’ BBC, 9 May 12; "Chinese Madam Jailed for Trafficking in Ulster," News Letter, 6 July 12; Mark Fisher, "CNN Freedom Project Airing Reports of CA Human Trafficking Task ForceThis Week," Examiner, 11 June 12; "Chinese Police Free 24,000 Abducted Women and Children," BBC, 11 March 12.

20 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118. See also, for example, Phil Thornton,"Kachin Women Sold as Chinese Brides," South Asia Wired, reprinted in Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 26 January 12; "Nepali Girls Being Trafficked to China," Republica, reprinted inXnepali, 30 January 12; "Trafficking of Ugandan Women to Asia on the Rise," Voice of America, 16 February 12; George Thomas, "North Korean ‘Bride Slaves’ Sold Into Misery," CBN News,19 February 12; Hanna Hindstrom, "Female Migrants See Dark Side of China’s Border," Democratic Voice of Burma, 24 February 12; "Vietnam Arrests 6 for Allegedly Trafficking Women,"Associated Press, reprinted in Straits Times, 20 March 12.

21 See, for example, "Kunming Families of Group of Disappeared [Children] Report to the Police, Denounced by Police for Starting Rumors" [Kunming lianhuan shizong an jiashu baojing bei jingfang chi wei zaoyao], East Net, reprinted in CCVIC.com, 9 May 12; "23 Men Abduct andSell 15 Mentally Disabled Women, Oldest Criminal Suspect Is 79," Yangcheng Nightly News, reprinted in Sina, 14 February 12; Zhou Wenting, "Factory Caught Using Child Labor," ChinaDaily, 14 February 12; "Police Rescue 41 Women From Forced Prostitution," Xinhua, reprinted in CRIenglish, 17 March 12. See also, Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012—China," 22January 12; "Chinese Netizens Join Efforts To Save Abused Boy," Xinhua, 13 July 12; Madison Park, "Bullied Chinese Boy Recovering From Assault," CNN, 16 July 12; Office To Monitor andCombat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012— China," 19 June 12, 118.

22 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118. According to this report, "The [Chinese] government did not release any statistics relating to the trafficking of forced labor victims or the trafficking of men."

23 "Tibet Battles Women Trafficking," Radio Free Asia, 24 August 12.

24 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03, art. 3.

25 Zhang Yan, "More Women Kidnapped for Brides," China Daily, 3 December 11. Chen Shiqu, director of the anti-trafficking office under the Ministry of Public Security, reported in December 2011 that "[t]he number of foreign women trafficked to China is definitely rising."

26 The China Daily reported in March 2012 that China’s sex ratio at birth "stands at exactly 117.78 males born for every 100 females" and "it is estimated that by 2020, China will have 24 million more men than women of marriageable age." Shan Juan, "Gender Imbalance Set To Ease," China Daily, 30 March 12. A previous study issued by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reported that by 2020, the number of Chinese males of marriageable age may exceed the number of Chinese females of marriageable age by 30 to 40 million. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, "Difficulty Finding a Wife in 10 Years: 1 Out of Every 5 Men To Be a Bare Branch" [10 nian zhihou quqi nan, 5 ge nanren zhong jiuyou 1 ge guanggun], 27 January 10.

27 Mikhail Lipatov et al., "Economics, Cultural Transmission, and the Dynamics of the Sex Ratio at Birth in China," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105, No. 49 (December 2008), 19171. According to this study, "The root of the [sex ratio] problem lies in a 2,500-year-old culture of son preference." Wei Xing Zhu et al., "China’s Excess Males, Sex Selective Abortion and One Child Policy: Analysis of Data From 2005 National Intercensus Survey," British Medical Journal, 9 April 09, 4–5.

28 See, e.g., SOS Children’s Villages Canada, "Young Women Fleeing Myanmar Trafficked in China as Brides," 5 November 11. See also Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 119. According to the U.S. State Department report, "The Director of the Ministry of Public Security’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force stated in the reporting period that "[t]he number of foreign women trafficked to China is definitely rising" and that "great demand from buyers as well as traditional preferences for boys in Chinese families are the main culprits fueling trafficking in China."

29 "Chinese Women Taught To Avoid People-Traffickers," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 8 March 10.

30 Kathleen E. McLaughlin, "Borderland: Sex Trafficking on the China-Myanmar Border," Global Post, 26 October 10; "Women Tricked, Trafficked Into China," Radio Free Asia, 4 March 11; Zhang Yan, "More Women Kidnapped for Brides," China Daily, 3 December 11. According to the China Daily report, "[the director of the Ministry of Public Security’s anti-trafficking office] said the lack of natural barriers, such as rivers or mountains in the border areas between China and Southeast Asian countries, in addition to poverty in some regions in these countries, contribute to the rising trafficking of foreign women."

31 "30 Persons With Mental Disabilities Rescued From Slave Labor in Illegal Brick Kilns in Henan, Returned Home Without Accompaniment" [Henan hei zhuanyao 30 ming zhizhang nugong huo jiejiu fanxiang wuren peihu], Beijing Times, reprinted in China News Net, 7 September 11.

32 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012 – China," 22 January 12.

33 "More Women Trafficked to China as Brides," Xinhua, reprinted in Global Times, 3 December 11.

34 "Child Labor Claim at Electronics Plant Probed," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in China Internet Information Center, 13 February 12; Zhou Wenting, "Factory Caught Using Child Labor," China Daily, 14 February 12.

35 "Kunming Families of Group of Disappeared [Children] Report to the Police, Denounced by Police for Starting Rumors" [Kunming lianhuan shizong an jiashu baojing bei jingfang chi wei zaoyao], East Net, reprinted in CCVIC.com, 9 May 12.

36 "China’s Top Legislature Ends Bimonthly Session, Adopts Tort Law," Xinhua, 26 December 09; UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03, art. 3(a).

37 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 244; "Eighth Amendment to the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China" [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa xiuzheng’an (ba)], 25 February 11, item 38.

38 UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03, art. 3(a).

39 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, effective 1 October 97, art. 244; PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 244. See also CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 129.

40 Topics that need to be addressed in domestic legislation to bring it into compliance with the UN TIP Protocol include protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking (see UN TIP Protocol art. 6.3), addition of non-physical forms of coercion into the legal definition of trafficking (see UN TIP Protocol art. 3(a)), commercial sexual exploitation of minors, (see UN TIP Protocol Art. 3(c and d)), and trafficking of men (see UN TIP Protocol Art. 3(a)). See UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 00, entered into force 25 December 03; Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 119.

41 "UNIAP—Trafficking Victims Protection Training Seminar" [Lianheguo fanguai jigou jian xiangmu (UNIAP) –baohu guaimai shouhairen peixun yantaohui], China Development Brief, 10 April 12; "Social Welfare [Organization] and International Organization on Migration Hold Symposium, Strike Hard Against Human Trafficking, Protect Rights and Interests of Workers Abroad" [Shehui fuli yu guoji yimin zuzhi zhaokai yantaohui yanda renkou guaimai baohu wailao quanyi], Jinbian Nightly News, 14 March 12.

42 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 120.

43 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2011—China," 27 June 11, 124.

44 Zhang Yan, "More Women Kidnapped for Brides," China Daily, 3 December 11; Zhang Yan, "Cross-Border Human Trafficking Cases Rising," China Daily, 12 August 11.

45 Zhang Yan, "More Women Kidnapped for Brides," China Daily, 3 December 11.

46 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 121.

47 Ibid., 120. See, e.g., "Ministry of Public Security Launches ‘Anti-Trafficking’ Hotline" [Gonganbu kaishe ‘daguai’ rexian], Xunqin Net, 13 November 11.

48 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 120.

49 State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015), reprinted in Xinhua, 11 June 12, sec. III(2).

50 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118.

51 Ibid. For information on the significance of the tier placements see, Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012— Tier Placements," 19 June 12. According to the U.S. Department of State, countries placed on the Tier 2 Watch List are "[c]ountries whose governments do not fully comply with the [Trafficking Victim Protection Act’s] minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND: a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year."

52 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 118.

 

NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES IN CHINA

Unlawful Repatriation | Punishment in the DPRK | North Korean Women and Trafficking | Foreign Aid Workers in China

Unlawful Repatriation

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese government persisted in detaining and repatriating North Korean refugees to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), despite the severe punishments refugees face once returned.1 The Chinese government continues to classify all North Korean refugees in China as "illegal" economic migrants and not refugees (nanmin)2 and continues its policy of repatriating them based on a 1961 treaty with the DPRK and a subsequent 1986 border protocol, documents which are still not publicly available.3 A former vice minister in the South Korean Ministry of Unification and South Korean activists have said that China repatriates 5,000 North Korean refugees every year.4 In May, one non-governmental organization (NGO) expert estimated that there were between 100,000 and 200,000 North Korean refugees living in China.5 China’s forced re-patriation of North Korean refugees, including those who leave the DPRK for fear of persecution, contravenes obligations under the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) and its 1967 Protocol (1967 Protocol), to which China has acceded.6

During this reporting year, central and local authorities increased security measures along the North Korean border and implemented new campaigns to crack down on North Korean refugees.7 Sources cited in international media reported in March that Chinese authorities had installed silent alarm systems "in every house" in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin province. The silent alarm systems are designed to allow local residents to notify police if North Korean refugees sought assistance from them.8 In late May, public security authorities in Yanbian launched a five-month crackdown on illegal immigrants, targeting North Korean refugees as well as international NGOs and religious organizations that assist refugees.9 Additional media reports this past year indicated increased collaboration between North Korean and Chinese security officials in apprehending North Korean refugees, as well as the presence of North Korean security agents operating in China.10

In early 2012, international media outlets and advocacy organizations raised human rights concerns about lethal crackdowns on North Koreans following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in December 2011. Some news reports claimed that the DPRK’s new leader Kim Jong-un threatened to "exterminate three generations" of any family with a member caught defecting from the DPRK during the 100-day mourning period.11 In February 2012, Chinese authorities reportedly detained between 24 and 33 North Korean refugees over a week-long period in separate arrests in Liaoning and Jilin provinces.12 In early March 2012, Yonhap News Agency and CNN cited activists and a South Korean official who indicated that they believed Chinese officials forcibly repatriated the detained North Korean refugees.13

China’s public security bureau agencies have held detained North Korean refugees and asylum seekers in detention centers that are not subject to independent monitoring.14 Refugees and asylum seekers cannot challenge their detention in court.15 The Chinese government continued to deny the UN High Commissioner for Refugees permission to work along its northeastern border with the DPRK.16

Another problem that reportedly stems from China’s unlawful repatriation policy is the denial of education and other public services for the children of North Korean refugees married to Chinese citizens.17 The scope of this problem, however, is unclear due to limited public information.

Punishment in the DPRK

North Koreans repatriated by the Chinese government face the threat of imprisonment, torture, and capital punishment in the DPRK.18 Under the 2004 revised North Korean Penal Code, border crossers can receive sentences of up to two years’ imprisonment in a "labor-training center." 19 North Korean authorities assign harsher punishment, including long sentences and public execution, to repatriated North Koreans deemed to have committed "political" crimes, which include attempted defection; conversion to Christianity; and having had extensive contact with religious groups, South Koreans, or Americans.20

The North Korean government’s imprisonment and torture of repatriated North Koreans renders North Koreans in China refugees "sur place," or those who fear persecution upon return to their country of origin.21 Under the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, China is obligated to refrain from repatriating refuges "sur place."

North Korean Women and Trafficking

The Chinese government’s policy of forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees and denying them legal status increases the likelihood that they will be abused, trafficked, and exploited in China. North Korean women are especially vulnerable to inhumane treatment and indentured servitude.22 Although Chinese authorities have taken limited steps to combat trafficking and protect trafficking victims,23 traffickers continue to traffic an estimated 80 to 90 percent of the North Korean women in China,24 and Chinese authorities refuse to provide these victims with legal alternatives to repatriation.25 NGOs and researchers estimate that as many as 70 percent of North Korean refugees in China are women.26 In March 2012, the director of a South Korean NGO said that between 20,000 and 30,000 North Korean women were trapped in "what many observers see as a form of slavery." 27 Traffickers, many of whom operate in organized networks, have used false promises to lure North Korean women into China, and have ab-ducted those entering China on their own.28 Traffickers reportedly blackmailed North Korean women in China by warning them that if they did not obey, they would be reported to Chinese authorities, who would forcibly repatriate them.29

The trafficking of North Korean women has created a black market in which refugees have been "moved and traded like merchandise, with many sold as ‘brides,’ kept in confinement, and sexually assaulted," according to sources cited in a March 2011 Radio Free Asia report.30 There has been a high demand for wives in northeastern China where severe sex ratio imbalances have spurred the Chinese market for trafficked North Korean brides, and where poor, disabled, or elderly men have difficulty finding wives.31 In other cases, North Korean women have been trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation and forced to work as prostitutes or in Internet sex operations.32 Some women reportedly have been sold and resold multiple times,33 and trafficked North Korean women have testified to being beaten, sexually abused, and locked up to prevent escape.34

The Chinese government’s repatriation of trafficked North Korean women contravenes the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol,35 and the Chinese government is obligated under Article 7 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol) to "consider adopting legislative or other appropriate measures that permit victims of trafficking to remain in its territory, temporarily or permanently . . . giving appropriate consideration to humanitarian and compassionate factors." 36 The Chinese government’s failure to prevent trafficking of North Korean women and protect them from revictimization also contravenes its obligations under Article 9 of the UN TIP Protocol and Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.37

Foreign Aid Workers in China

Chinese authorities also forcibly detained, tortured, and deported those who attempted to assist North Korean refugees, including foreign aid workers and those involved with humanitarian organizations.38 In March 2012, for example, Chinese state security officials in Dalian municipality, Liaoning province, detained four South Korean activists on charges of "endangering state security," after they allegedly interviewed North Korean refugees hiding there.39 The four South Korean detainees reportedly had interviewed refugees to collect information about their circumstances and the situation in the DPRK.40 After their release in July 2012, one of the detainees, Kim Young-hwan, alleged he was tortured while in Chinese custody.41

Notes to Section II—North Korean Refugees in China

1 See, e.g., "China Defenses Repatriation of N. Koreans," Caijing, 29 February 12; "China Returns Refugees to N. Korea," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in South China Morning Post, 24 February 12; Song Sang-ho, "N.K. Defectors in China Face Repatriation," Korea Herald, 14 February 12; "China ‘Repatriates 15 N. Korean Defectors,’ " Chosun Ilbo, 10 October 11.

2 The Commission observed numerous reports describing China’s longstanding policy position that North Korean refugees are illegal economic migrants. See, e.g., Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei’s Regular Press Conference on February 22, 2012" [2012 nian 2 yue 22 ri waijiaobu fayanren hong lei juxing lixing jizhehui], 22 February 12; "South Korea Passes Resolution on North Korean Refugees," BBC, 27 February 12; "China Halts Repatriation of N. Korean Defectors," Chosun Ilbo, 19 April 12.

3 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Ministry of State Security, People’s Republic of China Ministry of Public Security, Mutual Cooperation Protocol for the Work of Maintaining National Security and Social Order in the Border Area, signed 12 August 86, art. 4, reprinted in North Korea Freedom Coalition. The protocol commits each side to treat as illegal those border crossers who do not have proper visa certificates, except in cases of "calamity or unavoidable factors." According to a report commissioned by UNHCR the validity of "this document cannot be authenticated, but it does not seem implausible." James Seymour, "China: Background Paper on the Situation of North Koreans in China," commissioned by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Information Section, January 2005, 13.

4 "China To Repatriate ‘Hundreds’ of N.Koreans," Chosun Ilbo, 27 February 12; "China Deports 5,000 N.Korea Refugees Annually: Activists," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 1 November 11.

5 Donald Kirk, "North Korean Women Are Being Sold Into ‘Slavery’ in China," Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 12. Other estimates put the total number of North Korean refugees living in China between 10,000 and 40,000. Due to the difficulty of accurately measuring the number of North Korean refugees living in China, no reliable statistics are available. Andrei Lankov, "Underground Railroad Faces Barriers," Asia Times, 16 March 12.

6 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 429 (V) of 14 December 50, arts. 1, 33. Article 1 of the 1951 Convention defines a refugee as someone who, "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country . . . ." Article 33 of the 1951 Convention mandates that "[n]o Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion." UN Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/2198 of 16 December 66, entry into force 4 October 67. The Chinese government acceded to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol in September 1982, but has not adopted legislation to implement the treaties.

7 These activities appear to be focused in the Chinese provinces bordering North Korea and include the installation of new security equipment, crackdowns on illegal border crossers, and increased identification checks. "Jilin, Yanbian To Clear Out Foreigner ‘Three Illegals,’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denies Xenophobic Charges" [Jilin yanbian qingli "sanfei" waiguoren waijiaobu fouren paiwai], Oriental Morning Post, 25 May 12; Mok Yong Jae, "New Law To Add to Defection Risk," Daily NK, 2 July 12.

8 "China Installs Silent Alarm System Against N.K. Defectors," Yonhap, 23 March 12; "China Installs Alarm System To Grab Refugees: Report," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Economic Times, 23 March 12.

9 Zhang Liang, " ‘Three Illegal’ Personnel’s ‘Hidden’ Crimes Difficult To Investigate and Deal With" ["Sanfei" renyuan "yinshen" weifa fanzui nan chachu], Legal Daily, 25 May 12; "What’s Behind China’s Fresh Crackdown on N.Koreans?" Chosun Ilbo, 26 May 12.

10 One media report alleged the increase in arrests of North Korean refugees in China stemmed from a January 2012 agreement between North Korea and China "to step up efforts to uncover and detain defectors in their [Chinese] jurisdictions." Lee Seok Young, "More Defections, More Arrests," Daily NK, 17 February 12. It is unclear whether North Korean agents were operating in China under agreements made with the Chinese government. Lee Seok Young, "NSA Flying Ever Higher Still," Daily NK, 31 January 12; Lee Beom Ki, "50 NSA Agents Cross Sino-NK Border at Sanhe," Daily NK, 27 February 12; "N. Korean Soldiers Shoot Refugee in China: Activist," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google News, 6 November 11.

11 John M. Glionna, "North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Wages Defector Crackdown," Los Angeles Times, 5 January 12; "[Editorial] U.N. Focus on Defectors," Korea Herald, 22 February 12.

12 "Chinese Policy on North Korean Defectors Decried," Los Angeles Times, reprinted in San Francisco Chronicle, 15 February 12; UN High Commissioner for Refugees, "UNHCR Urges Humanitarian Solution for Detained North Koreans," 24 February 12; Song Sang-ho, "N.K. Defectors in China Face Repatriation," Korea Herald, 14 February 12; "29 N.Korean Defectors ‘Face Repatriation,’ " Chosun Ilbo, 14 February 12.

13 Lee Chi-dong, "Clinton Urges China To Stop Repatriation of N. Korean Defectors," Yonhap, 9 March 12; Paula Hancocks, "China Has Repatriated North Korean Defectors, South Korean Official Says," CNN, 9 March 12.

14 U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, "World Refugee Survey 2009: China," (2010); David Hawk, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "The Hidden Gulag," Second edition (2012), 118.

15 U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, "World Refugee Survey 2009: China," (2010).

16 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "Country Report on Human Rights Practices—2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 24May 12.

17 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: North Korea," January 2012; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, "Country Report on Human Rights Practices—2011, China (Includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)," 24 May 12.

18 Sanghee Bang et al., Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, "Survival Under Torture: Briefing Report on the Situation of Torture in the DPRK," NKHR Briefing Report No.2, September 2009, 24–31; UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republicof Korea," 21 February 11, para. 65; Yoonok Chang et al., Peterson Institute for International Economics, "Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China,"Working Paper No. 2008–4, March 2008, 10.

19 Stephen Haggard and Marcus Noland, East-West Center, "Repression and Punishment inNorth Korea: Survey Evidence of Prison Camp Experiences," Politics, Governance, and Security Series, No. 20, 5 October 09, 11–12.

20 Yoonok Chang et al., Peterson Institute for International Economics, "Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China," March 2008, 6; Tom O’Neill,"Escape From North Korea," National Geographic, February 2009; David Hawk, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "The Hidden Gulag," Second edition (2012), 119, 121; Kim Hee-jin, "One-Time Defectors Say Repatriation Could Be Fatal," Korea JoongAng Daily, 24 February 12.

21 Under the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, the Chinese government is obligated to refrain from repatriating refugees "sur place." UN Office of the High Commissioner for HumanRights, "Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status Under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees," January 1992, (b) paras.94–105; UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,"21 February 11, para. 65.

22 Lee Hae Young, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "Lives for Sale: Personal Accounts of Women Fleeing North Korea to China," 1 October 09, 46–49; Yoonok Chang et al., Peterson Institute for International Economics, "Migration Experiences of North Korean Refugees: Survey Evidence From China," March 2008, 15.

23 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 120.

24 Lee Tae-hoon, "Female North Korean Defectors Priced at $1,500," Korea Times, 5 May 10;Melanie Kirkpatrick, "North Korea: Human Traffickers and the Chinese Market for Brides," Daily Beast, 20 August 12.

25 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—China," 19 June 12, 120.

26 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of," 19 June 12, 209.

27 Donald Kirk, "North Korean Women Sold Into ‘Slavery’ in China," Christian Science Monitor, 11 May 12.

28 Lee Hae Young, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "Lives for Sale: Personal Accounts of Women Fleeing North Korea to China," 1 October 09, 28–33; "North Korean TraffickedBrides," Radio Free Asia, 30 April 09; Melanie Kirkpatrick, "North Korea: Human Traffickers and the Chinese Market for Brides," Daily Beast, 20 August 12.

29 Escaping North Korea: The Plight of the Defectors, Hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, U.S. House of Representatives, 23 September 10, Testimony of Su Jin Kang;David Hawk, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "The Hidden Gulag," Second edition (2012), 114.

30 "Women Tricked, Trafficked Into China," Radio Free Asia, 4 March 11.

31 Lee Hae Young, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "Lives for Sale: Personal Accounts of Women Fleeing North Korea to China," 1 October 09, 20–21; Lee Tae-hoon, "Female North Korean Defectors Priced at $1,500," Korea Times, 5 May 10; Melanie Kirkpatrick, "NorthKorea: Human Traffickers and the Chinese Market for Brides," Daily Beast, 20 August 12.

32 Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State, "Trafficking in Persons Report 2012—Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of," 19 June 12, 209; "Christian Missionaries Go Online To Help North Korean Refugees in China," Voice of America,27 December 10.

33 Nam You-Sun, "N.Korean Women Up for Sale in China: Activist," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 12 May 10; The Rising Stakes of Refugee Issues in China, Staff Roundtable of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 1 May 09, Testimony of Suzanne Scholte, President, Defense Forum Foundation; Song Sang-ho, "China Blamed for Defector Abuse," Korean Herald, reprinted in AsiaOne, 31 May 12.

34 Lee Hae Young, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, "Lives for Sale: Personal Accounts of Women Fleeing North Korea to China," 1 October 09, 33–36; The Rising Stakes of Refugee Issues in China, Staff Roundtable of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 1 May 09, Testimony of Suzanne Scholte, President, Defense Forum Foundation; Melanie Kirkpatrick, "North Korea: Human Traffickers and the Chinese Market for Brides," Daily Beast, 20 August 12.

35 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 429 (V) of 14 December 50, arts. 1, 31–33; Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (1967 Protocol), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/2198 of 16 December 66, entry into force 4 October 67.

36 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol), supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/55/25 of 15 November 00, entry into force 29 September 03, art. 7.

37 Article 9 of the UN TIP Protocol provides that "States Parties shall establish comprehensive policies, programmes and other measures: (a) To prevent and combat trafficking in persons; and (b) To protect victims of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, from revictimization." Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (UN TIP Protocol), supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/55/25 of 15 November 2000, entry into force 29 September 03, art. 9. Article 6 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women provides that "States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women." Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted and opened for signature, ratification, and accession by UN General Assembly resolution 34/180 of 18 December 79, entry into force 3 September 81, art. 6.

38 Song Sang-ho, "China Blamed for Defector Abuse," Korean Herald, reprinted in AsiaOne, 31 May 12; Mok Yong Jae, "Kim Not the Only One Tortured," Daily NK, 1 August 12; Kang Hyun-kyung, "Torture Allegation Raises Concern About Korean Detainees," Korea Times, 1 August 12.

39 "S Korean Activists Detained in China," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in South China Morning Post, 15 May 12.

40 "Four South Koreans Being Held in China," Voice of America, 15 May 12; "FM Pledges Swift Release of S. Korean Activists Detained in China," Korea Herald, 17 May 12.

41 Choe Sang-Hun, "South Korean Activist Says He Was Tortured in China," New York Times, 25 July 12; Choe Sang-Hun, "Seoul Demands That China Respond to Torture Allegation," New York Times, 31 July 12.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH

Public Health Advocacy | Health-Based Discrimination | Mental Health

Public Health Advocacy

Despite official recognition of the positive role non-governmental actors have played in raising awareness about health concerns, combating stigma, and promoting prevention of diseases,1 some Chinese civil society organizations and individual citizens continued to face government harassment and interference in their public health advocacy work during the Commission’s 2012 reporting year. Restrictions that central authorities placed on registration 2 and funding 3 of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in 1998 and 2009, respectively, remain in effect and have reportedly been used to monitor, control, and limit NGO activities.4 Nineteen provinces and regions have begun experimenting with direct registration of NGOs, but a civil affairs official in Guangdong province noted that the health sector is not included.5

Challenges for public health advocates and organizations continued during this reporting year, as illustrated in the following three cases:

  • Hu Jia. Officials have repeatedly subjected Beijing-based HIV/AIDS advocate Hu Jia to harassment and monitoring since his June 2011 release from prison upon completion of his three-and-a-half-year sentence for "inciting subversion." Specific instances of official harassment of Hu Jia during this reporting year included police threatening him in October 2011; 6 officials following and filming him on a visit to the Ministry of Health in November 2011; 7 officials searching his home, confiscating his computer, and calling him in for questioning in January 2012; 8 and officials briefly detaining him in both April and June 2012.9 Hu Jia reportedly has been under constant surveillance by a team of at least 16 people.10
  • Beijing Huiling. In March 2012, the Beijing News profiled the experience of Beijing Huiling, an NGO that provides housing and services to disabled persons. Beijing Huiling has reportedly faced several difficulties in trying to secure registration as a civil society organization and has been unable to do so for 12 years.11 Beijing Huiling reported that, if it could not successfully register as a "social organization" by May 2012, it would have to close due to lack of funding.12 [For additional information on Beijing Huiling’s situation and the impact of registration restrictions on NGOs, see Section III—Civil Society.]
  • HIV/AIDS NGOs in Hebei province. Hebei officials reportedly announced in February 2012 that every social organization in the province must register with their local civil affairs bureau before May 1, 2012, or else they would be "banned." 13 In an interview with Caixin regarding the crackdown, one representative from an unregistered Hebei HIV/AIDS NGO communicated concern that the organization would have to discontinue future activities, noting, "It is not that we don’t want to have legal status. Rather, it is simply impossible for HIV/ AIDS organizations to meet civil affairs registration standards. Currently the government deems our activities illegal. . . ." 14
Health-Based Discrimination

DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT

Health-based employment discrimination is prohibited under Chinese law,15 yet the problem remains widespread.16 Reports this year have shed light on the unique difficulties that people living with HIV/AIDS face when seeking legal recourse for employment discrimination based on their HIV status.17 For example, many public institutions continue to set physical requirements for job applicants based on the General Standards for Civil Service Recruitment Examinations (General Standards),18 despite the fact that the General Standards are in apparent conflict with other Chinese laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination.19 In addition, the manual accompanying the General Standards contains outdated and incorrect information on the risks of HIV/AIDS,20 posing added challenges for people living with HIV/AIDS in securing employment.21 Health-based employment discrimination with respect to other forms of illness such as Hepatitis B virus 22 and diabetes,23 as well as physical disabilities,24 also remains commonplace, according to several reports in this past year. Lawsuits filed to challenge health-based discrimination in Anhui,25 Sichuan,26 and Guizhou 27 provinces in the past year have been unsuccessful, even when appealed.28

DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTHCARE

Reports from the 2012 reporting year indicate that discrimination based on HIV status remains a barrier preventing many from accessing adequate healthcare.29 In one representative example, an HIV-positive burn victim reportedly sought treatment in three hospitals in Guangdong province, but each denied her care due to her HIV status.30 In addition to common denial of medical treatment due to HIV status,31 concerns regarding lack of patient confidentiality remain a deterrent for those seeking medical attention for HIV/AIDS.32

DISCRIMINATION IN EDUCATION

Health-based discrimination remains a barrier in access to education. For example, in September 2011, Beijing municipal authorities refused radio broadcasting student Dong Lina’s application to take certain exams to progress in her media studies due to her visual impairment.33 In connection with this, the NGO Beijing Yirenping launched a campaign to raise awareness of education discrimination against the visually impaired.34

Mental Health

China has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and in doing so, China has committed to ensuring "the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health." 35 During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese authorities continued to move the country’s first national mental health law through the final stages of consideration. In June 2011, a draft was released for public comment,36 and in October 2011, the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee reviewed a revised draft of the proposed legislation.37 The NPC Standing Committee conducted a review of an amended draft in August 2012.38 The drafts contain revisions that, if faithfully implemented, could further constrain officials from abusing psychiatric detention 39 to stifle or punish dissent.40 Despite these potential improvements, the drafts raise concerns regarding the law’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),41 which China has signed and ratified.42 Specific concerns include the drafts’ failure to make independent reviews of an initial diagnosis mandatory, lack of provision for the appointment of legal counsel, and lack of safeguards that would place time limits on involuntary commitment.43 In August 2012, Chinese Human Rights Defenders submitted a report to the CRPD monitoring body that details abuses of involuntary psychiatric commitment in China and includes recommendations for provisions to the mental health law to stem such violations.44 The Commission has not observed official statements providing information on an expected finalization time-frame for the mental health law.45

 

Organ Transplants in China: Developments and Controversies

On March 22, 2012, a top Chinese health official announced that, within three to five years, central authorities would "abolish" the prac­tice of harvesting organs from death-row prisoners, a group that report­edly has been the primary source of organs for transplants in China.46 The announcement follows a trend in recent years of increased govern­ment regulation surrounding the transfer of human organs, including the 2007 Regulations on Human Organ Transplants (2007 Regula­tions),47 the 2009 establishment of an official national organ donation database,48 and the 2011 revision to the PRC Criminal Law, which, for the first time, categorized organ trafficking as a crime.49 In 2012, the Chinese government prosecuted organ traffickers 50 and conducted a multi-province crackdown on organ-trafficking rings,51 and legal experts called for amendments to the 2007 Regulations to stop organ traf­ficking.52 Nevertheless, there continue to be reports of illegal organ transplants in recent years 53 and allegations of organ harvesting from non-consenting Falun Gong practitioners.54 Dr. Luc Noel, an expert from the World Health Organization, reported in May 2012 that, "while commercial [organ] transplantation is now forbidden by law in China, that’s difficult to enforce; there’s been a resurgence [in China] in the last two or three years." 55 Dr. Noel also noted that China’s military hos­pitals may be involved in such transplant operations.56 [See Section II— Criminal Justice—Sentencing, Punishment, and Execution for more in­formation.]

Notes to Section II—Public Health

1 Trudy Rubin, "Worldview: NGOs a Paradox in Today’s China," Philadelphia Inquirer, 23 May 10. According to Minister of Health Chen Zhu, quoted in this article, "NGOs have an indispensable role in health care. . . . The participation of NGOs has played an active role in raising social awareness and ending stigma and in prevention measures."

2 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, arts. 9–19; Yu Fangqiang, "Challengesfor NGOs in China," Asia Catalyst, 26 June 09.

3 State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Circular on Issues Concerning the Managementof Foreign Exchange Donated to or by Domestic Institutions [Guojia waihui guanli ju guanyu jingnei jigou juanzeng waihui guanli youguan wenti de tongzhi], issued 30 December 09, effective 1 March 10. See also Verna Yu, "Beijing Tightens Rules on Foreign Funding of NGOs," South China Morning Post, 12 March 10; Cara Anna, "NGOs in China Say Threatened by New Donor Rules," Associated Press, reprinted in Google, 12 March 10; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing March 9–15, 2010: Prominent NGO Raise [sic] Concern Over New Regulations on Receiving Foreign Funding," 16 March 10.

4 See, e.g., Yu Fangqiang, "Challenges for NGOs in China," Asia Catalyst, 2 June 09. See also CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 151; CECC, 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 147–48.

5 He Dan and Huang Yuli, "NGOs Get Boost From Shenzhen Register Reforms," China Daily, 21 August 12.

6 "Police Warn China Activist Against Speaking Out," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Google, 16 October 11. Police warnings reportedly followed Hu’s public criticism of proposed changes to the PRC Criminal Law as well as his advocacy on behalf of fellow rights advocate Chen Guangcheng.

7 "Hu Jia Takes Risks, Fights Again for the Rights and Interests of People Living With AIDS" [Hu jia maoxian zai wei aizibing ren zhengqu quanyi], Radio Free Asia, 24 November 11.

8 "Dissidents Under Pressure Over Holiday," Radio Free Asia, 17 January 12. Upon his return home, Hu Jia reported that officials’ interrogation "focused on my vocal support for other [dissidents]," noting that officials "want to suppress such discussion." Hu has used his microblog as a platform to advocate on behalf of other advocates, including HIV/AIDS advocate Tian Xi. For more information on Tian Xi’s case, see "Tian Xi: ‘As Long as I Am Living, I Will Not Gullibly Believe the Government’s Promises’ " [Tian xi: "wo hai huozhe, buyao qingxin xiang zhengfu de chengnuo"], Radio Free Asia, 11 July 12.

9 Josh Chin and Brian Spegele, "Dissidents Report Renewed Pressures," Wall Street Journal, 3 May 12; Matthew Robertson, "Chinese Dissident Hu Jia Arrested," Epoch Times, 12 June 12.

10 Mark MacKinnon, "Love, Dissident-Style: The Saga of Hu Jia and Zeng Jinyan," Globe and Mail, 20 April 12. According to this report, officials have deployed "16 people—eight at the gates of [Hu’s apartment complex] Freedom City, eight more who wait 24 hours a day in two unmarked cars" to monitor Hu Jia’s activities.

11 Wang Kala and Di Dongnuo, "Beijing Huiling Applies for ‘Regularization’; Refused Three Times in One Day" [Beijing huiling shenqing "zhuanzheng" yiri bei ju san ci], Beijing News, 29 February 12; He Dan and Guo Rui, "Charity Law ‘Vital’ for Sector To Grow," China Daily, 14 March 12.

12 Wang Kala and Di Dongnuo, "Beijing Huiling Applies for ‘Regularization’; Refused Three Times in One Day" [Beijing huiling shenqing "zhuanzheng" yiri bei ju san ci], Beijing News, 29 February 12. Beijing News reported in February that, "In three months, Beijing Huiling faces ‘running out of food,’ the money in their account is only enough to pay three more months of wages." See also Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human Rights Briefing March 6– 12, 2012," 14 March 12. For additional information on the difficulties Huiling and other NGOs have faced in registration, see "The Embarrassment of ‘Grassroots’ Civil Society Public Interest Organizations" ["Caogen" minjian gongyi zuzhi de ganga], Legal Weekly, 12 July 12.

13 "Hebei Demands Every Social Organization Register With Civil Affairs Bureau or Be Banned" [Hebei yaoqiu ge shehui zuzhi dao minzheng bumen zhuce fouze jiang bei qudi], Radio Free Asia, 30 March 12.

14 Liu Hongqiao, "Hebei Directed To Tighten Up Management of Social Organizations, Grass-roots Organizations May Be Banned" [Hebei bei zhi shoujin shetuan guanli caogen zuzhi huo bei qudi], Caixin, 28 March 12.

15 PRC Employment Promotion Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo jiuye cujin fa], passed 30 August 07, effective 1 January 08, arts. 29, 30; PRC Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo canjiren baozhang fa], passed 28 December 90, amended 24 April 08, effective 1 July 08, arts. 3, 25, 30–40; PRC Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo chuanranbing fangzhi fa], issued 21 February 89, amended 28 August 04, effective 1 December 04, art. 16. See also Ministry of Education, "Circular Regarding Further Standardizing Physical Examinations [Prior to] School Enrollment or Employment To Protect the Rights of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Carriers to School Enrollment or Employment" [Guanyu jinyibu guifan ruxue he jiuye tijian xiangmu weihu yigan biaomian kangyuan xiedaizhe ruxue he jiuye quanli de tongzhi], issued 10 February 10.

16 Tan Zongyang, "Campaign To End Discrimination and Help Disabled Become Teachers," China Daily, 13 September 11; "640 People Send Letter to Taiwan Headquarters of Inventec, Protesting Discrimination" [640 ren zhixin yingye da taiwan zongbu kangyi qishi], XGO.com.cn, 2 November 11; Wan Jing, "Hepatitis B Carrier Who Fought for the ‘Right To Eat in a Dining Hall’ Wins Case Today, Compensated 20,000 Yuan" [Yigan xiedaizhe taoyao "jiucanquan" jinri huopei liangwan yuan], Legal Daily, reprinted in Legal Risk, 19 December 11.

17 "HIV-Positive Teachers Urge China To End Discrimination," BBC, 28 November 11; "Report: Discrimination Prevalent in Civil Service Hiring," Caixin, 21 November 11; "HIV Positive Teachers To Petition China Government," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in China Digital Times, 29 November 11. For information on the results of one successful discrimination case, see Wan Jing, "Hepatitis B Carrier Who Fought for the ‘Right To Eat in a Dining Hall’ Wins Case Today, Compensated 20,000 Yuan" [Yigan xiedaizhe taoyao "jiucanquan" jinri huopei liangwan yuan], Legal Daily, reprinted in Legal Risk, 19 December 11.

18 Yu Fangqiang, "[Commentary] China’s First Lawsuit on Discrimination Against a Person Living With HIV/AIDS," Asia Catalyst, 25 October 11.

19 Ibid.

20 Ibid. According to Yu Fangqiang, "[T]he civil service has a physical examination manual which describes HIV/AIDS as follows: 100% of people with HIV will spread the disease, and without treatment, most people who have HIV will die within two years. Therefore, when an HIV-positive diagnosis is made, the physical examination is immediately declared ‘unsatisfactory.’ "

21 "Report: Discrimination Prevalent in Civil Service Hiring," Caixin, 21 November 11. According to this article, "[The China University of Political Science and Law report] took China’s civil service to task for only allowing people under the age of 35 to sit for its exam, as well as for barring people with AIDS or diabetes from taking the test." See also "HIV/AIDs Discrimination in Workplace," CNTV, reprinted in Xinhua, 1 December 11.

22 Hepatitis B Foundation, "Hepatitis B Carriers Need Not Apply: Discrimination in China," 1 September 11.

23 "Report: Discrimination Prevalent in Civil Service Hiring," Caixin, 21 November 11.

24 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China," 22 January 12; Beijing Yirenping Center, "Many Activities on Human Rights of People With Disability Were Carried Out at the Beginning of 2012," 30 January 12; "State Agencies Fall Short of Regulations in Proportion of Disabled Persons Hired" [Guojia jiguan zhaolu canjiren bili diyu falu guiding], Legal Daily, reprinted in Beijing Youth Net, 17 January 12; Cheng Yingqi, "Colorblind Man Seeks Help From Blind Justice," China Daily, 7 April 12.

25 For the Anhui province case, see "HIV-Infected Man Appeals Ruling," Radio Free Asia, 27 April 11; "Courts Hear China’s First HIV/AIDS Employment Discrimination Cases," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 31 March 11.

26 For the Sichuan province case, see "Experts Call for Amendments to Civil Servant Physical Examination Standards, Do Away With AIDS Employment Discrimination" [Zhuanjia huyu xiugai gongwuyuan tijian biaozhun xiaochu aizi jiuye qishi], Worker Daily, reprinted in Sichuan Online, 6 July 11.

27 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China," 22 January 12. According to the Human Rights Watch report, "On September 8 an HIV-positive school teacher launched a wrongful dismissal suit against the Guizhou provincial government after it refused to hire him on April 3 due to his HIV status." For the outcome of the Guizhou case, see "HIV-Positive Teachers Urge China To End Discrimination," BBC, 28 November 11. According to the BBC report, "A third lawsuit was filed in Guizhou province, but the judge is said to have refused to accept it."

28 For a report discussing the outcomes of all three cases, see Jin Jianyu, "HIV-Positive Civil Service Applicants Appeal for Employment Rights," Global Times, 29 November 11. "According to media reports, two of the applicants, who are from the provinces of Anhui and Sichuan, lost their cases during their second trials, while the third person’s case, which was to be heard in Guizhou Province, was never accepted." See also CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 136.

29 "China Fights Against AIDS Discrimination," CNTV, 3 March 12.

30 Human Rights Watch, "World Report 2012: China," 22 January 12.

31 "China Fights Against AIDS Discrimination," CNTV, 3 March 12. According to this report, "Xiao Duan believes the biggest challenge facing those living with HIV is discrimination, especially, and surprisingly, from the doctors meant to treat them. He said, ‘Now society shows much more understanding than before. But we still feel discriminated against, when we go to hospital as many refuse to accept HIV positive people. As a result, many of us cannot get treatment.’ "

32 "AIDS Patient Fights Discrimination in China," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Youtube, 23 July 12. According to one Chinese expert quoted in this video, "Even if their conditions deteriorate or they display more severe symptoms, they won’t go get checked out."

33 Wei Na, "Blind Ambition Blocked," Global Times, 30 September 11; Beijing Yirenping Center, "Yirenping Launched Advocacy Campaigns on the Visually Disabled Persons’ Equal Right to Education Together With Hundreds of People With Visual Handicap," 30 October 11.

34 Beijing Yirenping Center, "Yirenping Launched Advocacy Campaigns on the Visually Disabled Persons’ Equal Right to Education Together With Hundreds of People With Visual Handicap," 30 October 11. According to this report, "Yirenping submitted a proposal letter to [the Self-Study Examination Instruction Group of the National Higher Education Committee] recommending specific rules be created for people with visual disabilities to take self-study examinations. One blind volunteer carried out a survey showing that only Guangdong Province allows the visually disabled to take self-study exams. Four activists with visual handicap submitted a proposal letter signed by 101 disabled people calling on BEEI to protect blind persons’ equal rights to taking self-study exam. And one student, who practiced in Yirenping this summer, helped Yirenping to contact with [Hong Kong Blind Union] hoping for its backing. All these activities were in part based on the events that took place in September that Dong Lina, a girl with visual impairment, was refused to take the self-study examination held in Beijing because of her disability."

35 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXII) of 16 December 66, entry into force 3 January 76, art. 12(1). China signed the ICESCR on 27 October 97 and ratified it on 27 March 01.

36 "State Council Legislative Affairs Office Solicits Opinions on the ‘Mental Health Law (Draft)’ Full Text" [Guowuyuan fazhiban jiu "jingshen weisheng fa (caoan)" zheng yijian], China News Net, reprinted in NetEase, 10 June 11.

37 National People’s Congress, "Mental Health Law (Draft) Text and Explanation of Draft" [Jingshen weisheng fa (caoan) tiaowen ji caoan shuoming], 29 October 11.

38 Wang Shu, "Draft Mental Health Law Second Review: Some of the More Controversial Provisions Have Been Deleted" [Jingshen weisheng fa caoan ershen, shanchu bufen zhengyi jiaoda tiaokuan], Beijing News, 28 August 12.

39 "Call for End to ‘Psychiatric’ Detention," Radio Free Asia, 27 October 11.

40 See, e.g., Calum MacLeod, "Chinese Put in Mental Hospitals To Quiet Dissent," USA Today, 29 December 11. See also "Officials Review Second Draft of Mental Health Law, Final Draft Expected in 2012," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 19 March 12.

41 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution A/61/611 of 6 December 06, arts. 22, 24–28. See also "Officials Review Second Draft of Mental Health Law, Final Draft Expected in 2012," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 19 March 12; Wang Shu, "Draft Mental Health Law Second Review: Some of the More Controversial Provisions Have Been Deleted" [Jingshen weisheng fa caoan ershen, shanchu bufen zhengyi jiaoda tiaokuan], Beijing News, 28 August 12; Zhao Yinan, "Mental Patients May Access Courts," China Daily, 28 August 12; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, " ‘The Darkest Corners’: Abuses of Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment in China," 6 August 12.

42 China signed the Convention on March 30, 2007, and ratified it on August 1, 2008.

43 See "Officials Review Second Draft of Mental Health Law, Final Draft Expected in 2012," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 19 March 12.

44 Chinese Human Rights Defenders, " ‘The Darkest Corners’: Abuses of Involuntary Psychiatric Commitment in China," 6 August 12. Chinese Human Rights Defenders submitted this report to the UN monitoring body of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in advance of China’s session on its compliance scheduled for September 2012.

45 As for unofficial statements, one domestic observer, Huang Xuetao, director of the Equity & Justice Initiative—a Shenzhen-based non-governmental organization that coordinates projects on mental health—was cited in a December 2011 USA Today report saying that the law is expected to be finalized sometime in 2012. See Calum MacLeod, "Chinese Put in Mental Hospitals To Quiet Dissent," USA Today, 29 December 11.

46 "Ministry of Health Promises To Abolish Prisoner Organ Donations" [Weishengbu chengnuo quxiao siqiu qiguan juanxian], Sina, 23 March 12; "China To Abolish Transplanting Organs From Condemned Prisoners Within 3–5 Years," Xinhua, 22 March 12.

47 Regulations on Human Organ Transplants [Renti qiguan yizhi tiaoli], passed 21 March 07, effective 1 May 07.

48 "China Launches Organ Donation System," Xinhua, 25 August 09. See also CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 188.

49 PRC Criminal Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingfa], issued 1 July 79, amended 14 March 97, effective 1 October 97, amended 25 December 99, 31 August 01, 29 December 01, 28 December 02, 28 February 05, 29 June 06, 28 February 09, 25 February 11, art. 234.

50 "Illegal Kidney Trade Trial Concludes in Central China," Xinhua, 10 August 12; Yang Jinghao, "10 Mln Yuan Organ Case Set for Trial in Beijing," Global Times, reprinted in People’s Daily, 1 March 12.

51 Tom Phillips, "Chinese Organ Trafficking Ring Dismantled," Telegraph, 5 August 12; "China Nabs 137 for Organizing Organ Sale," Xinhua, 4 August 12.

52 "Chinese Experts Urge Transparent Organ Donation System," Xinhua, 23 March 12; Guo Jiali, "Lifting the Lid on China’s Illegal Kidney Trade," China Internet Information Center, 27 March 12.

53 "Police Crack Underground Organ-Trade Criminal Ring," Global Times, 27 October 11; Clifford Coonan, "Clampdown on China’s Black Market for Organs," Irish Times, 1 November 11; Xu Kai and Sun Tao, "Caijing Investigates Illegal Organ Transplant Trading Network," Caijing, 14 February 12; Yang Jinghao, "10 Mln Yuan Organ Case Set for Trial in Beijing," Global Times, reprinted in People’s Daily, 1 March 12; Guo Jiali, "Lifting the Lid on China’s Illegal Kidney Trade," China Internet Information Center, 27 March 12.

54 UN Committee against Torture, "Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 19 of the Convention: Concluding Observations of the Committee against Torture—China," 21 November 08, 10; David Matas and David Kilgour, Bloody Harvest: Revised Report Into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China, 31 January 07, 40–44. See also CECC, 2009 Annual Report, 10 October 09, 188.

55 Damien Gayle, "An Organ Is Sold Every Hour, WHO Warns: Brutal Black Market on the Rise Again Thanks to Diseases of Affluence," Daily Mail, 27 May 12. See also Denis Campbell and Nicola Davison, "Illegal Kidney Trade on Rise as Demand Outstrips Supply," Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May 12; Nicola Davison, "In China, Criminals Fill the Kidney Donor Deficit," Guardian, 27 May 12.

56 Damien Gayle, "An Organ Is Sold Every Hour, WHO Warns: Brutal Black Market on the Rise Again Thanks to Diseases of Affluence," Daily Mail, 27 May 12.

 

THE ENVIRONMENT

Environmental Challenges, Legal Developments, and Enforcement Issues | Access to Justice and Suppression of Citizen Demands for a Cleaner Environment | Environmental Transparency and Public Participation | Climate Change: Rule of Law, Public Participation, Transparency, and Rights Infringements

Environmental Challenges, Legal Developments, and Enforcement Issues

SEVERE POLLUTION CHALLENGES

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, despite some progress,1 pollution problems remain a significant challenge,2 and the associated financial costs continue to grow.3 Severe water,4 air,5 and solid waste 6 problems persist. Pollution in rural areas reportedly is surpassing that in urban areas.7 Heavy metal pollution remains severe,8 even as officials prioritize closing or cleaning up related enterprises.9 Environmental accidents sustained high numbers. A China Daily article, citing official statistics, reported 542 environmental accidents handled in China in 2011.10 Water quantity problems also are prominent.11 In addition, officials in many coastal areas tasked with transforming their economies have closed many highly polluting enterprises, which reportedly led to two main problems: factories leaving behind contaminated sites, or "brownfields"; 12 and some polluting industries migrating to less developed areas where environmental protection capacity is weaker.13

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS AND ENFORCEMENT

Authorities continue to develop a regulatory framework to address these environmental problems, although some efforts appear stifled. In late August 2012, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee completed the first reading of the draft amendment to the 1989 PRC Environmental Protection Law (EPL) and released draft revisions for public comment.14 The draft revisions contained some of the incentives for greater transparency and official ac-countability present in previous drafts,15 although revisions do not contain proposed language that specifies stronger support for public participation.16 Efforts to pass technical guidelines regarding public participation in environmental impact assessments appear to have stalled.17 In 2011, in a potentially positive development, the revisions to the PRC Criminal Law expanded the scope of behaviors affecting the environment that could be considered criminal.18 In November 2011, the State Council issued the Opinion Regarding Strengthening Key Environmental Protection Work, which includes provisions intended to improve environmental supervision; 19 and in December, it issued the National 12th Five-Year Plan for Environmental Protection, which states support for transparency, and public participation and supervision.20 Authorities passed several other measures regarding water conservation,21 hydroelectric dams,22 environmental impact assessments,23 environmental damage assessments,24 and company environmental reporting 25 that include provisions relating to accountability, public participation, or transparency. In addition, the 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan issued in June 2012 included a section on "environmental rights." 26

Despite efforts to develop a regulatory framework, significant challenges remain for the development of rule of law in the environmental sector. These challenges include lax enforcement and non-compliance,27 local environmental protection bureau (EPB) dependence on local governments and lack of authority vis-a-vis other departments,28 official evaluation criteria and incentives that overemphasize economic development,29 environmental penalties that are too low to deter polluting behavior,30 and corruption—which reports say is increasing.31

Access to Justice and Suppression of Citizen Demands for a Cleaner Environment

Access to formal legal remedies remains unreliable,32 despite potential advancements in public interest law and growth in the number of specialized environmental court pilot projects, which increased from several in 2009 to at least 61 nationally by July 2012.33 Legal remedies remain unreliable in part because of judges’ reluctance to accept some environmental cases.34 For example, a group of fishermen filed a case in the United States against ConocoPhillips reportedly because a Chinese court would not accept a similar suit.35

ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC INTEREST LAW

In August 2012, Chinese officials passed an amendment to the PRC Civil Procedure Law with an article that, for the first time, allows "agencies and relevant organizations stipulated by law" to initiate lawsuits for "acts that harm the public interest," including environmental pollution.36 According to Chinese media, experts say judicial interpretation or additional laws and regulations are needed to determine what constitutes a public interest (PI) suit and which organizations have standing to file; 37 currently, the vagueness of the article gives considerable discretion to implementing officials. Local officials have already allowed such suits, including a court in Yunnan province, which in October 2011 accepted a lawsuit involving alleged illegal dumping of chromium sludge brought in part by two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) not directly affiliated with government agencies,38 marking the second time independent NGOs have participated in filing a PI lawsuit.39 The NGOs involved reportedly faced challenges in gathering evidence and preparing for the Yunnan case, including being harassed by security guards from one of the suspected companies.40

SUPPRESSION OF OUTSPOKEN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES

Officials continue to harass or in some cases detain environmental advocates. Authorities in Hainan province detained former forestry official Liu Futang in mid-July on suspicion of "illegal business activities." 41 Liu had reportedly posted critical comments about a proposed power plant,42 and his microblog sites were reportedly blocked two months after a large-scale protest in April 2012 over the plant.43 Liu also published a book titled "Hainan’s Tears" in Hong Kong, but did not obtain a PRC publication number.44 He reportedly was critical of other projects and had received threatening phone calls from an unnamed source.45 Police in Yixing city, Jiangsu province, continue to monitor the activities of environmental advocate Wu Lihong.46 One report indicates officials placed security cameras outside of his home, blocked his access to the Internet, routinely followed him, and did not allow him to work.47 The Commission continues to monitor the case of environmental advocate Zhang Changjian in Pingnan county, Fujian province, whom local officials accused of conducting "illegal activities in the name of a social organization" in July 2011 after he held legal education programs for farmers.48 Authorities released him after a brief detention but indicated they would continue to investigate his activities.49 In February 2012, authorities in Sichuan province re-portedly detained four environmental advocates including Lubum, Dragpa, and Dawa, all of whom belonged to the Tawu Environmental Protection Association, a group that had opposed mining, deforestation, fishing in sacred rivers, and smuggling of wildlife products.50 In some cases, citizens who complain about pollution later face retribution from officials. For example, in November 2011, officials in Qingshu village, Hunan province, reportedly retaliated against people who had been filing complaints about pollution from a local coal mine for years.51 Media reports noted other instances of retribution against people complaining about or protesting pollution in Zhejiang 52 and Fujian 53 provinces.

LARGE-SCALE PROTESTS: CHANNEL OF LAST RESORT

Protests regarding pollution are increasing and are often a tool of last resort for citizens seeking remedies from environmental harms. Official and academic estimates of the annual increase in the number of environmental protests range between 20 and 30 percent, although the actual number reportedly remains a well-guarded secret.54

Citizens took to the streets in large numbers to demonstrate against hydroelectric dams and new or expanding sources of pollution. In mid-December 2011, 10,000 to 50,000 people protested for several days regarding expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Haimen town, Shantou city, Guangdong province.55 Plant officials reportedly partially disregarded orders from environmental authorities to halt construction.56 Some protesters reportedly blocked a highway, surrounded government buildings, and burned police cars after authorities refused to meet with them.57 Reports suggest police beat protesters, injuring dozens, and detained five demonstrators for "vandalism." 58 Authorities denied entry to and detained Hong Kong journalists, and erased images from their cameras.59 Officials reportedly warned people not to talk to anyone about the protests or they may face imprisonment.60 In March and April 2012, thousands of people in Yinggehai township, Hainan province, demonstrated against a coal-fired power plant.61 In July, thousands of citizens clashed with police during a protest against a planned molybdenum-copper project in Shifang city, Sichuan province.62 Authorities claimed student participants had been "incited" by "some people" with "ulterior motives," 63 and used tear gas to disperse protesters.64 Officials suspended the project, but warned they would investigate people who allegedly had "spread rumors." 65 Li Chengpeng, a blogger, reported that authorities demanded that he delete his report on the Shifang case.66

Other protests involved citizens seeking redress for longstanding environmental grievances. In September 2011, hundreds of citizens in Haining city, Zhejiang province, protested pollution from a photovoltaic panel producer.67 During the conflict, protesters overturned cars and stormed the factory.68 News reports indicate security officials beat protesters and detained at least 20, including some for speaking with reporters and 1 for "dissemination of false information." 69 In July 2012, in Qidong city, Jiangsu province, thousands protested plans to pipe waste from a paper mill to the ocean because of concerns waste would pollute a fishery.70 Authorities abandoned plans for the project after the protest.71 Officials reportedly censored news of the protest on microblogs,72 pressured students to pledge not to join the "illegal protest," warned residents not to gather or "spread rumors," 73 and police reportedly beat a Japanese reporter.74 In August, police shot and killed a Tibetan named Nyima and detained six others during a protest involving approximately 1,000 people against a mining site in a township in Changdu (Chamdo) prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region.75 Authorities had suspended the project after residents voiced opposition, but reportedly now will move forward.76

Environmental Transparency and Public Participation

Authorities in various locations took steps to improve some aspects of environmental information disclosure, and Premier Wen Jiabao voiced support for greater transparency.77 A joint study by Chinese and international non-governmental organizations on open government information conducted in 113 cities during 2011 noted overall improvements in transparency, including advances in releasing information about official enforcement actions. Some locations, however, have not made much progress and others have fallen further behind.78 The report emphasized the widening gap in information disclosure between more transparent eastern coastal regions and western and central regions.79

During the reporting year, central environmental authorities passed measures to gradually improve air quality information transparency. In February 2012, authorities added fine air particulates (PM2.5),80 ozone, and carbon monoxide to the revised air quality index (AQI).81 The revised AQI will not go into effect until 2016, but select pilot cities will implement the index starting in 2012.82 After an official announcement about impending future revisions to the AQI in September 2011, there was a swell of public pressure to disclose PM2.5 data.83 People utilized social media,84 submitted suggestions to officials regarding legal measures,85 and filed information requests for PM2.5 data, which authorities denied in November and December for a variety of reasons.86 Several cities began to release PM2.5 data to the public in early and mid-2012.87

Despite steps toward greater disclosure, news reports highlighted non-transparency related to environmental accidents and pollution monitoring data. A Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) study indicated only 13 of 26 surveyed provincial-level environmental departments released a list of the enterprises involved in "serious or major" pollution incidents as required by law; 88 and the director of a center at CASS noted ". . . a lot of [pollution] incidents have been concealed." 89 In January 2012, for example, city-level officials in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region did not publicly disclose information about a major cadmium spill for nine days.90 Authorities maintain control over environmental quality data monitoring and publication, and central officials are revising a regulation 91 that, if passed in its current form, may strengthen this control. Environmental groups submitted suggestions regard-ing the draft revisions, including one proposal urging authorities to emphasize citizens’ right to access information.92

Since the passage of the Open Government Information Regulation (OGI) in 2008,93 citizens have become more proactive in making requests for environmental data, but barriers to obtaining information remain. In March 2012, the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) issued its annual report on OGI work. According to the report, the MEP received 334 requests for information in 2011, a 48 percent increase over the previous year.94 The MEP received 111 administrative reconsideration requests.95 After the August 2011 chromium slag dumping case in Yunnan province, a Yunnan environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) filed open government information requests regarding the source of credit for the company implicated in the case.96 The group, along with 23 other organizations, also filed requests with 16 banks.97 Two government ministries and a state-owned bank denied information requests from the Yunnan group.98 In the autumn of 2011, officials from two environmental protection bureaus (EPBs) denied requests by the All-China Environment Federation (ACEF), a quasi-governmental NGO affiliated with the MEP, about water pollution from a milk plant in a city in Guizhou province. The ACEF filed a lawsuit challenging the denial and won.99 One report notes an expert’s opinion that many people cannot obtain the pollution emissions data they need to protect their rights.100 During 2011, local and provincial environmental authorities in Jiangsu province denied resident Xie Yong’s multiple requests for information regarding pollution emissions from a waste incineration power plant on the grounds that the information was a "commercial secret," and the company involved must approve its disclosure.101 Xie plans to sue the provincial EPB for its refusal.102 Xie believes pollution from the power plant is associated with his son’s health problems.103 Reports indicate Xie lost a court case and an appeal against the power plant on the grounds that he could not provide conclusive data.104

Climate Change: Rule of Law, Public Participation, Transparency, and Rights Infringements

China’s efforts to address climate change depend on the development of the rule of law, the incorporation of public participation in policy processes, and transparency. During this reporting year, the International Energy Agency said China made the world’s largest contribution to the global increase of carbon dioxide emissions.105 Chinese authorities reported on past actions and outlined future plans to mitigate and adapt to climate change in a white paper on climate change.106 The State Council also reportedly issued a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control Work Plan (2011 to 2015) that mentioned gradual development of a carbon emissions trading market and a total emissions control system.107 While citizens, environmental groups, professional associations, and mass organizations may participate in activities to address climate change,108 they have little influence in setting national policies toward climate change.109 Some professional associations directly linked to government agencies or the Communist Party, however, purportedly play a role in formulating standards and promoting technology linked to energy conservation.110 Chinese leaders have pledged to improve greenhouse gas data reliability.111 Nevertheless, reports noted challenges in this regard, including reported gaps between national and provincial-level statistics on carbon dioxide emissions 112 and insufficient information provided about data sources used to assess energy efficiency gains.113

Chinese authorities plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase reliance on renewable energy, including constructing nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams.114 Some of the dam projects are reported to involve involuntary relocation practices and arbitrary detention. In February, authorities in Hanyuan county, Sichuan province, detained rights advocate Cao Xianglan, saying they would hold her for one month in administrative detention for petitioning against the demolition of her home, which officials said was necessary to make way for the Pubugou Dam.115 In August 2011, 39 citizen representatives from Hongjiang city, Hunan province, reportedly traveled to Beijing to file complaints about being relocated to make way for the Tongwan and other dams.116 Local authorities purportedly sentenced or administratively detained the representatives upon their return.117

Grassland herder relocation programs, which authorities reportedly conducted to address grassland degradation and to modernize the animal husbandry industry, have in some cases been non-voluntary.118 As noted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, herder relocation programs in China, sometimes labeled "environmental migrations," have involved situations in which herders have no choice but to sell their herds, and in some respects have not adhered to international standards of grasslands science.119 Herder relocation programs reportedly also have diminished citizens’ economic independence, resulting in the loss of land and traditional livelihoods.120

Notes to Section II—The Environment

1 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "2011 Bulletin on China’s Environmental Conditions" [2011 nian zhongguo huanjing zhuangkuang gongbao], 6 June 12. The bulletin notes progressin reducing some pollutants, including carbon oxygen demand (COD) and sulfur dioxide, among others.

2 Yale University Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy et al., "Towards a China Environmental Performance Index (CEPI)," January 2012, 1.

3 "Former Deputy Director of the Ministry of Environmental Protection: Last Year China’s Losses Due to Pollution Exceeded Two Trillion" [Yuan huanbao zongju fujuzhang: qunianzhongguo huanjing wuran sunshi chao 2 wanyi], Xinhua, 13 March 12. According to the Xinhua story, a former deputy minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection estimated that environmental losses had reached 5 to 6 percent of the GDP. He also calculated that environmental pollution caused losses amounting to 2.35 to 2.82 trillion yuan (US$371 to $445 billion) in 2011.

4 Wang Qian and Li Jing, "Groundwater Gets Worse, Land Agency Says," China Daily, 21 October 11. According to the China Daily article, authorities reportedly classified as bad more than 57 percent of the groundwater monitored in 182 cities. Jin Zhu, "Taking Aim on Water Quality Woes," China Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 17 February 12; Gong Jing, "China’s Bohai Sea Drowns in Discharged Waste," Caixin, 14 September 11; "Nearly 80 Pct of China’s Wetlands Poorly Protected: Survey," Xinhua, 2 February 12.

5 Zheng Xin and Li Jing, "Industries Top Cause of Pollution," China Daily, 16 December 11; "Dust and Haze To Become the Leading Cause of Lung Cancer" [Huimai jiang chengwei feiai zhibing touhao yuanxiong], Huashangbao, 27 November 11.

6 Yu Dawei, "Chinese Waste: The Burning Issue," New Century Weekly, reprinted in Chinadialogue, 26 January 12; Wang Jiuliang, "Beijing Besieged by Garbage," Cross-Currents E-Journal, University of California, Berkeley, December 2011.

7 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "2011 Bulletin on China’s Environmental Conditions" [2011 nian zhongguo huanjing zhuangkuang gongbao], 6 June 12; Zhang Fan, "Sweeping Pollution Under the Rug," Caixin, 9 April 12.

8 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "2011 Bulletin on China’s Environmental Conditions" [2011 nian zhongguo huanjing zhuangkuang gongbao], 6 June 12; Tan Siying, "A Heavy-Metal Burden," Chinadialogue, 18 April 12; Ye Tieqiao, "Heavy Metal Pollution Incidents Occur in Succession" [Zhongjinshu wuran shijian pinfa], China Youth Daily, 1 February 12; Friends of Nature et al., "The Other Side of Apple II," 31 August 11, 3.

9 Wu Wencong, "State Sounds Battle Cry Against Pollution," China Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 21 March 12; Li Jing, "China Still Targeting Heavy-Metal Polluters," Xinhua, 4 March 12.

10 Jin Zhu, "Rapid Growth Triggers Environmental Accidents," China Daily (USA), 7 February 12. The article cited Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) statistics.

11 Chen Jia, "Two-thirds of Chinese Cities Face Water Shortages" [Woguo 2/3 chengshi queshui jiang shixing zui yange shui ziyuan guanli], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 17 February 12.

12 Bao Xiaodong and Zhang Xinyuan, "Building on ‘Toxic Land,’ " Southern Weekend, reprinted in Chinadialogue, 12 January 12.

13 Ye Tieqiao, "Heavy Metal Pollution Incidents Occur in Succession" [Zhongjinshu wuran shijian pinfa], China Youth Daily, 1 February 12; Wang Hairong, "Thwarting Dirty Migration," Beijing Review, No. 6, 9 February 12; "Inner Mongolia Halts 467 Mining Projects," Xinhua, reprinted in China Daily, 18 February 12. According to the Xinhua report, expanding mining operations in Inner Mongolia have been part of a mining boom, but have contributed to ecological damages and led to disputes with local populations. "Ministry of Environmental Protection: Rural Pollution Emissions Account for Half of the Country’s Pollution" [Huanbaobu: nongcun wuran paifang yi zhan zhongguo "banbi jiangshan"], China Youth Daily, 3 June 11. According to the June 2011 China Youth Daily article, environmental protection efforts in rural areas lag far behind those in urban areas. Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) and Natural Resources Defense Council, "Open Environmental Information: Taking Stock," 16 January 12, 26–27. The IPE study indicates the level of information disclosure is lower in central and western provinces than it is in eastern areas.

14 National People’s Congress, "Environmental Protection Law Revisions (Draft) Articles" [Huanjing baohufa xiuzheng’an (caoan) tiaowen], 31 August 12.

15 Ibid., item 22. According to the draft revisions, Article 35 says "the State Council and local people’s governments will include completion of environmental protection objectives in evaluations of lower level governments and environmental protection administrative departments at the same level, and other responsible parties. The evaluation results shall be open to the public." Other segments of the Article’s language that had strengthened incentives was previously reported to have been removed. See Xu Chao and Ren Zhongyuan, "Environmental Protection, Endangered," Caixin, 8 December 11; "Wrestling Over Revisions to Environmental Law Transforms Environmental Conditions From Bad to Worse" [Jueli huanbaofa xiuding gaibian huanjing meikuang yuxia jumian], Caixin, reprinted in Tencent, 6 December 11; "Environmental Protection Law Draft Revisions: Authorities Remove Language Regarding Strengthening Public Par-ticipation, Accountability, and Transparency," CECC, China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, No. 2, 18 May 12, 3.

16 National People’s Congress, "Environmental Protection Law Revisions (Draft) Articles" [Huanjing baohufa xiuzheng’an (caoan) tiaowen], 31 August 12. According to the draft revisions, authorities made no changes to Article 6, which in a previous draft contained additional language regarding support for public participation. For more information about the language authorities removed from previous drafts regarding public participation, see the following articles: Xu Chao and Ren Zhongyuan, "Environmental Protection, Endangered," Caixin, 8 December 11; "Wrestling Over Revisions to Environmental Law Transforms Environmental Conditions From Bad to Worse" [Jueli huanbaofa xiuding gaibian huanjing meikuang yuxia jumian], Caixin, reprinted in Tencent, 6 December 11. See also "Environmental Protection Law Draft Revisions:Authorities Remove Language Regarding Strengthening Public Participation, Accountability, and Transparency," CECC, China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, No. 2, 18 May 12, 3.

17 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Letter Regarding Soliciting Comments on Environmental Protection Standards "Environmental Impact Assessment Technical Guidelines on Public Participation (Draft for Comment)" [Guanyu zhengqiu guojia huanjing baohu biaozhun"huanjing yingxiang pingjia jishu daoze gongzhong canyu" (zhengqiu yijiangao) yijian de han], reprinted in China Environmental Standards Net, 16 February 11. As of [June 2012], authorities had not yet passed the guidelines.

18 Wang Wei, "Analysis of ‘Serious Environmental Accident Crime’ Article of Criminal Law 8thRevision" [Xingfa xiuzheng an ba "zhongda huanjing wuran shiguzui" xiuding jiedu], China Environment News, reprinted in Dongfang Fayan, 20 March 11.

19 State Council, Opinion Regarding Strengthening Key Environmental Protection Work [Guowuyuan guanyu jiaqiang huanjing baohu zhongdian gongzuo de yijian], 20 October 11. TheOpinion includes the general directives to improve prominent environmental health problems and reform the environmental protection system and mechanisms.

20 State Council, Circular Regarding Issue of the National "Twelfth Five-Year" Plan for Environmental Protection [Guowuyuan guanyu yinfa guojia huanjing baohu "shierwu" guihua detongzhi], 15 December 11. The 12th Five-Year Plan included language about the establishment of a "social action system" (shehui xingdong tixi) through which "all people" may participate (inenvironmental protection) (section 2.2(4)). Related aims in the Plan include: Establishing mechanisms through which society can participate in emergency management (section 5.1(2)); supporting environmental public interest suits (section 8.11); and strengthening open government information and public supervision, including disclosure of information about polluting enterprises and nuclear safety, as well as the establishment of a mandatory enterprise toxic and hazardous substance disclosure system (section 8.11).

21 "Our Country’s Water Resources Indicators To Be Included in Local Government Officials’ Evaluation System" [Woguo shui ziyuan zhibiao jiang naru difang guanyuan kaohe tixi], Economic Information Report (Xinhua), 17 February 12. The Economic Information Report article cites an official source who indicated that official assessment, and evaluation and accountabilitysystems for county-level and above government officials, will be modified to include indicators related to balanced water resource development, use, conservation, and protection. "State Council Implements Most Stringent Water Resource Management System, Establishes Three Red Lines" [Guowuyuan shixing zui yange shui ziyuan guanli zhidu queli sanhongxian], Huagu Finance and Economics, 16 February 12. According to the Huagu article, the Opinion stipulates "three red lines," or three overarching objectives: Reducing overall water use; decreasing industrial water usage and increasing the efficiency of irrigation; and reducing pollution in rivers and lakes. See also "Most Stringent Water Resource Management System Will Be Implemented,Three Red Lines Will Become Evaluation Criteria" [Zui yange shui ziyuan guanli zhidu jiang zhixing san hongxian cheng kaohe zhibiao], China Youth Daily, reprinted in Xinhua, 21 February 12.

22 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Circular Regarding Further Strengthening Hydroelectric Power Project Environmental Protection Work [Guanyu jinyibu jiaqiang shuidian jianshe huanjing baohu gongzuo de tongzhi], 6 January 12. The Circular prohibits developmentof areas clearly protected by environmental laws and regulations, and it maintains the public’s right to know, to participate, and to derive benefits.

23 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "Environmental Standards Putting Into Effect as of Sept. 1, 2011," 8 September 11. According to this article, the two guidelines are: The TechnicalGuideline for Environmental Impact Assessment—Ecological Impact (HJ 19–2011) and the Guideline for Technical Review of Environmental Impact Assessment on Construction Projects(HJ 616–2011).

24 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Certain Opinions Regarding Initiation of Environmental Pollution Damage Assessment Work [Guanyu kaizhan huanjing wuran sunhai jianding pinggu gongzuo de ruogan yijian], 25 May 11. The Opinions outline steps to establish a systemto estimate pollution damages. (Such a system is useful in environmental tort cases when determining how much compensation citizens should receive.)

25 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Guidelines for Drafting Corporate Environmental Reports [Qiye huanjing baogaoshu bianzhi daoze], issued 24 June 11, effective 1 October 11. TheGuidelines, if implemented, may help improve enterprise pollution information disclosure.

26 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, item 7. The plan stipulates that "China will strengthen its environmental protection work to guarantee the public’s environmental rights focusing on serious environmental pollution affecting the people’s life, like heavy metal pollution, drinking water pollution, and air, soil and marine contamination." It also states authorities will, among other actions, amend the PRC Environmental Protection Law, improve water and air quality in some areas, expand nature reserves and forest coverage, intensify prevention and control of radioactive waste pollution, enforce strict monitoring and control over dangerous chemicals, and improve "environmental monitoring and supervision mechanisms," the "cooperative mechanisms for the enforcement of environmental laws," and the "accountability system for major environmental pollution and accidents."

27 Xia Jun, "China’s Courts Fail the Environment," Chinadialogue, 16 January 12; Wang Hairong, "Thwarting Dirty Migration," Beijing Review, No. 6, 9 February 12. The Beijing Review article discusses local protectionism (leading to lax enforcement). "Decline in Local Green Priorities Warned," China Daily, 6 July 12. The China Daily article notes a warning by a Ministry of Environmental Protection vice minister who said that "pollution worsened and supervision loosened in some regions [in the first half of 2012] as some local authorities relaxed restrictions on emissions." China’s western region reportedly was predominantly affected. "MEP Finds Rampant Violations on Nature Reserves," Caixin, 9 March 12. The March 9 Caixin articleabove notes non-compliance with regulatory measures, i.e., it notes that an official Chinese report found that the boundaries of national nature reserves in 40 of the 303 reserves studiedwere permanently shrunk because of illegal construction projects. The report also detailed the illegal activities occurring in two nature reserves, including unlawful mineral and oil extraction,oil pipelines, logging, and road building. Andrew Jacobs, "China Says It Curbed Spill of Toxic Metal in River," New York Times, 30 January 12; "Cadmium Pollution Exposes Lax Regulations," Xinhua, 3 February 12. The New York Times and Xinhua articles detail companies’ non-compliance with environmental laws in a case linked to a major cadmium spill in the LongjiangRiver in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Prefecture. The Xinhua article notes lax implementation of environmental laws and regulations in the case. "Large Enterprises and Projects UnabashedlyFlout Environmental Laws" [Da qiye da xiangmu huanjing weifa diqi shizu], Legal Daily, 5 June 12. The Legal Daily article notes non-compliance with environmental laws by several central-level enterprises and projects, including airports.

28 Wang Jin and Yan Houfu, "Barriers and Solutions to Better Environmental Enforcementin China," paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement, 20–24 June 2011, 497–98.

29 Ibid., 495–98; Yin Pumin, "Heavy Metal Danger," Beijing Review, No. 8, 23 February 12; Wang Hairong, "Thwarting Dirty Migration," Beijing Review, No. 6, 9 February 12.

30 Wang Jin and Yan Houfu, "Barriers and Solutions to Better Environmental Enforcement in China," paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on Environmental Complianceand Enforcement, 20–24 June 2011, 497–98; Xia Jun, "China’s Courts Fail the Environment," Chinadialogue, 16 January 12; Yang Dazheng et al., "China Deluged by Toxic Sludge," SouthernDaily Group, reprinted and translated in Chinadialogue, 17 August 12.

31 Hou Shasha, "Last Year 4,843 Government Officials at County/Section Level or Above WereInvestigated" [Qunian 4843 ming xianchu ji yishang guanyuan bei chachu], Beijing Daily, 7 January 12.

32 Xia Jun, "China’s Courts Fail the Environment," Chinadialogue, 16 January 12. According to the author, if courts do not accept environmental lawsuits, then citizens reportedly have littlelegal recourse to gain compensation for harms, and companies have fewer incentives to comply with environmental laws.

33 Zhao Yinan, "Draft Limits Scale of Class-Action Lawsuits," China Daily, 25 April 12; Linden Ellis, "Giving the Courts Green Teeth: Current Developments in Environmental Enforcement inChina," Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, China Environment Forum, 22 October 09; Gao Jie, "Yunnan Province Announces Plan To Expand Environmental Protection Courtsand Guide Public Interest Litigation," Greenlaw, 21 May 09.

34 Wang Hairong, "Thwarting Dirty Migration," Beijing Review, No. 6, 9 February 12. According to the Beijing Review article, an official at the All-China Environment Federation noted that most of the public interest suits the group filed were rejected by courts for inappropriate legalstanding. Other reasons for not accepting the cases reportedly include concerns about a flood of environmental litigation, and local protectionism. Xia Jun, "China’s Courts Fail the Environ-ment," Chinadialogue, 16 January 12. According to the Chinadialogue article, other reasons why courts do not accept cases include local government interference, inadequate guidelines for assessing environmental damages, and "social stability."

35 "Chinese Fishermen File Lawsuit in US Court Against ConocoPhillips Over 2011 Oil Spills,"Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 2 July 12.

36 PRC Civil Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], passed 9 April91, amended 28 October 07, 31 August 12, art. 55. For information regarding various drafts of the article and related commentary on the article’s language, see, e.g., Qie Jianrong, "Open Letter Issued Calling on Legislative Entities To Redesign Legal Provisions: Environmental Organizations Say That This May Block Their Entrance to Participating in Environmental Public Interest Lawsuits" [Fa gongkaixin yuqing lifa bumen chongxin sheji falu tiaokuan: huanbao zuzhi cheng qi canyu huanjing gongyi susong damen huo bei fengdu], Legal Daily, 16 August 12. Theprovision states only "organs and relevant social organizations stipulated by law" may file lawsuits. "Civil Procedure Law Draft Receives Consideration, Committee Members Suggest Law Include Language About Public Interest Lawsuits" [Minsufa caoan shou shenyi weiyuan jianyi jiang wen bao naru gongyi susong], Phoenix Net, 28 April 12; "Civil Procedure Law Amendments (Draft) Explanation of Provisions and Draft," National People’s Congress Net, reprinted in Legal Daily, 17 December 11.

37 "At the Start Standing Is Not Obvious, Probably Few Public Interest Lawsuits for the Time Being" [Qidong zhuti buminglang gongyi susong huo zhanshi bu duo], Legal Daily, 4 September 12; "Expert Opinion: Public Interest Lawsuit Procedural System Still Not Independent" [Zhuanjia guandian: gongyi susong chengxu zhidu youdai duli], Legal Daily, 4 September 12; Chen Liping, "Wang Shengming: Standing in Public Interest Lawsuits Could Be Clarified by Relevant Laws" [Wang shengming: gongyi susong zhuti ke you xiangguan falu mingque], Legal Daily, 4 September 12.

38 Qie Jianrong, "Chromium Slag Pollution Case for 10 Million in Damages Already Formally Accepted by Court" [Yin gezha wuran suopei qianwan an yi zhengshi lian], Legal Daily, 20 October 11; "Difficulties With Environmental Public Interest Suits: Hard To Obtain Evidence, Assessment Costs High" [Huanjing gongyi susong zhi kun: quzheng nan pinggu feiyong gao], China Weekly, reprinted in Sina, 16 April 12. In May, the environmental tribunal under the Qujing Intermediate People’s Court presided over pretrial negotiations, and the court reportedly had two meetings about the case in July and August. For more information, see Cao Yin and Guo Anfei, "Talks Begin in Landmark NGO Environment Case," China Daily, 24 May 12; Friends of Nature, "Green Protests on the Rise in China," 14 August 12.

39 Yan Zhijiang, "All-China Environment Federation in Guiyang Wins Environment Public Interest Litigation Case" [Zhonghua huanbao lianhehui guiyang daying huanjing gongyi susong’an], Legal Daily, 4 January 11; "First Local Environmental Public Interest Litigation Case Trial Opened December 30" [Bentu huanjing gongyi susong diyi an 12 yue 30 ri kaitingshenli], Guiyang News Net, reprinted in Guiyang Public Environmental Education Center, 31 December 10; "Guizhou First Non-Governmental Organization Filed Environmental Public Interest Lawsuit Enters Judicial Process" [Guizhou shouli minjian huanbao zuzhi tiqi de huanjing gongyi susong jinru sifa chengxu], Guiyang Public Environmental Education Center, 23 November 10.

40 "Difficulties With Environmental Public Interest Suits: Hard To Obtain Evidence, Assessment Costs High" [Huanjing gongyi susong zhi kun: quzheng nan pinggu feiyong gao], China Weekly, reprinted in Sina, 16 April 12.

41 "Power Plant Activist Detained," Radio Free Asia, 16 August 12.

42 Ibid.

43 "Controversy Surrounding Hainan ‘Environmental Crusader’—Southern Weekend First To Voice Support for Liu Futang" [Zhengyi hainan "huanbao doushi" nanfang zhoumo shou wei liufutang fasheng], Maopu Forum, 11 August 12.

44 Ibid.

45 Ibid.

46 "Chinese Activist Defies Officials in Fight To Save Lake," Agence France-Presse, reprintedin Taipei Times, 3 October 11. Wu Lihong is the environmental advocate who exposed pollution in the Lake Tai area for many years and was later imprisoned for three years on trumped-upcharges for extortion and fraud. Upon his release, Wu reported mistreatment by officials while in detention and in prison. "Environmental Activist Wu Lihong Released, Alleges Abuse," CECCChina Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, 4 June 10, 2; CECC, 2007 Annual Report, 10 October 07, 138; Robert Saiget, "China Environmentalist Alleges Brutal Jail Treatment," AgenceFrance-Presse, 11 May 10.

47 "Chinese Activist Defies Officials in Fight To Save Lake," Agence France-Presse, reprintedin Taipei Times, 3 October 11.

48 "Environmentalist Zhang Changjian Ends Flight" [Huanbao renshi zhang changjian jieshutaowang], Radio Free Asia, 4 August 11. For more information on this incident, see Chinese Human Rights Defenders, reprinted in Blogspot, "Fujian Province, Pingnan Police Return SomeConfiscated Items to Zhang Changjian" [Fujian pingnan jingfang tuihuan zhang changjian bufen bei kouya de wupin], 2 August 11; Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "China Human RightsBriefing July 13–19, 2011," 19 July 11. For more information on Zhang Changjian, his unsuccessful attempts to register the environmental group "Pingnan Green Home," and Zhang’s previous successful efforts to assist more than 1,700 people in several local villages to win an environmental damages tort case against a local polluting chemical plant in 2002, see the August4 Radio Free Asia report above, and "Eight Cases That Mattered," Chinadialogue, 26 July 11.

49 "Environmentalist Zhang Changjian Ends Flight" [Huanbao renshi zhang changjian jieshutaowang], Radio Free Asia, 4 August 11.

50 Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, "Four Tibetan Environmental ActivistsDetained in Tawu," 15 March 12; "Tibetan NGOs Must ‘Register’ or Close," Radio Free Asia, 3 May 12.

51 "Villagers Complain About Hunan Coal Mine Pollution for Ten Years With No Result" [Hunan meikuang wuran cunmin shi duo nian tousu wumen], BBC, 16 November 11.

52 Large-scale demonstrations erupted in Deqing county, Huzhou municipality, Zhejiang province, in June 2011, after years of citizen complaints over pollution from a chemical companythat purportedly was operating without approval from environmental officials. Authorities arrested, charged, and sentenced Song Laifa and Lu Songbai, who represented the citizens in negotiations with the factory, for extortion. Authorities found them guilty but exempted them from punishment and released them. Sun Xuyang, "Villagers Sue Factory, Are Sued for Blackmail,"Southern Metropolitan Daily, reprinted in China Green News, 20 October 11; "No Jail Time for Chemical Plant Protesters," Caixin, 13 December 11. For more information, see also "Publicize Deqing Lu Songbai Environmental Protection Rights Case Indictment" [Gongbu deqing lu songbai huanbao weiquan an qisu shu], Ding Jinkun’s Caixin blog, 29 September 11; "ZhejiangDeqing Chemical Enterprise Pollution, Villager Rights Defender Accused of Extorting Compensation" [Zhejiang deqing huagong qiye wuran cunmin weiquan suopei beikong lesuo], Caixin,20 October 11; "Zhejiang Deqing Villager Rights Defender Found Guilty Without Criminal Punishment" [Zhejiang deqing weiquan cunmin bei mianyu xingshi chufa], Caixin, 9 December 11.

53 In Gutian county, Ningde city, Fujian province, in September 2011, authorities reportedly clashed with more than 1,000 citizens protesting water pollution that citizens believed hadcaused a large fish kill, and during the conflict five villagers were injured. "More Than 1,000 Rural Residents Block Road, Protest Pollution" [Yu qian cunmin dulu kangyi wuran], Mingpao, reprinted in Sina Hong Kong, 5 September 11. For more information, see also "Min River Polluted Resulting in Fish Losses Worth 1.5 Billion Yuan" [Minjiang shuizhi shou wuran yu huo sunshi da 1.5 yi yuan], Radio Free Asia, reprinted in Boxun, 5 September 11; "Officials Claim Large Scale Fish Kill in Min River Due to Lack of Oxygen, Fishermen Suspect Due to Factory Pollution" [Minjiang daguimo si yu guanfang cheng yin queyang yumin yi qiye paiwu], Beijing Morning Post, reprinted in Chinanews.com, 7 September 11.

54 Shi Jiangtao, "Truth About Pollution Still Shrouded by Secrecy," South China Morning Post, 27 January 12. The SCMP article notes an official estimate of a 30 percent increase in pollution-related protests annually. Wang Jin, "China’s Green Laws Are Useless," Chinadialogue, 23 September 10. The Chinadialogue article notes a Peking University professor estimated in 2010 that disputes over pollution had been increasing by 20 to 25 percent annually since 1996.

55 "Shantou Lian River Pollution Serious, Villagers Gather in Protest" [Shantou lianjiang wuran yanzhong, cunmin jizhong kangyi], Shantou Civil Law Net, 31 January 12; "Shantou, Guangdong 50,000 People Demonstrate, ‘Occupy’ Government Building" [Shantou 5 wanren shiwei "zhanling" zhengfulou], Mingpao, reprinted in Sina, 21 December 11. The Mingpao article provides an estimate of 50,000 participants. "More Than 10,000 People Protest Against Construction of Power Plant in Haimen, Guangdong" [Guangdong haimen yu wan minzhong kangyi fandui jian dianchang], BBC, 20 December 11; Gillian Wong, "Thousands Protest China Town’s Planned Coal Plant," Associated Press, reprinted in Guardian, 20 December 11. The Associated Press article presents one citizen’s estimate of participants at 20,000 people. "Chinese Police Fire Tear Gas at Power Station Protesters," Reuters, reprinted in Guardian, 22 December 11.

56 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Department of Environmental Impact Assessment, Circular Regarding Deferment of Examination and Approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the First Stage Construction of Units #3 and #4 of the Huaneng Power Plant in Haimen, Shantou [Guanyu zhanhuan shenpi huaneng shantou haimen dianchang yiqi gongcheng 3 hao, 4 hao jizu huanjing yingxiang baogaoshu de tongzhi], 29 November 11. According to this Circular, the local environmental protection bureau ordered the company to halt construction at two of the units at the station, but the company continued construction on one of the units. The national-level Ministry of Environmental Protection then issued a Circular regarding temporarily deferring the EIA approval.

57 Gillian Wong, "Thousands Protest China Town’s Planned Coal Plant," Associated Press, reprinted in Guardian, 20 December 11; "Haimen Protesters Reveal Inside Story of Protests to BBC" [Haimen shiweizhe xiang BBC jieshi kangyi neimu], BBC, 22 December 11; "More Than 10,000 People Protest Against Construction of Power Plant in Haimen, Guangdong" [Guangdong haimen yu wan minzhong kangyi fandui jian dianchang], BBC, 20 December 11; "Chinese Police Fire Tear Gas at Power Station Protesters," Reuters, reprinted in Guardian, 22 December 11; "Shantou, Guangdong 50,000 People Demonstrate, ‘Occupy’ Government Building" [Shantou 5 wanren shiwei "zhanling" zhengfulou], Mingpao, reprinted in Sina, 21 December 11; "Revolt Spreading in Guangdong," Agence France-Presse, reprinted in Taipei Times, 21 December 11.

58 "Chinese Police Fire Tear Gas at Power Station Protesters," Reuters, reprinted in Guardian, 22 December 11; Gillian Wong, "Thousands Protest China Town’s Planned Coal Plant," Associated Press, reprinted in Guardian, 20 December 11; "Haimen Tensions Persist," Radio Free Asia, 22 December 11; Malcolm Moore, "Reassessing the Wukan ‘Revolution,’ " World Today, Vol. 68, No. 3, April 2012. The World Today article noted that, as of April, officials continued to hold at least three people in detention.

59 International Federation of Journalists, "IFJ Press Freedom in China Campaign Bulletin: January 8 2012," 8 January 12; "China Police Fire Teargas, TV Shows Confessions," Reuters, reprinted in New York Times, 23 December 11.

60 Malcolm Moore, "Reassessing the Wukan ‘Revolution,’ " World Today, Vol. 68, No. 3, April 2012.

61 "10,000 Yinggehai Town Residents Oppose Construction of Factory, Protest to the End for Fear Pollution Will Harm Environment," Radio Free Asia, 11 March 12. According to the March 11 RFA article, the protest erupted after officials moved forward with construction despite a written petition in opposition with 8,000 signatures. "Large Number of Armed Police Fire Tear Gas To Suppress Thousands of People Demonstrating in Hainan" [Hainan wanren shiwei dapi wujing chudong cuileidan zhenya], Apple Daily, reprinted in China Gate, 12 March 12; "Hainan Clash Between Police and Citizens Continues, More Than a Thousand Paramilitary Police Seal Village" [Hainan jingmin chongtu chixu yu qian wujing fengcun], Radio Free Asia, 12 April 12. According to the April RFA article, during the April protest, citizens reportedly stormed government buildings, causing damage. The same report alleges that authorities detained 17 people. One citizen told RFA reporters that tens of residents were injured. Reports have not provided further details about those detained or the reason for their detention. Ning Yuan and Ren Mingchao, "Hainan Yinggehai Township Power Plant ‘Shifted’ to the North 2 Km Because of Residents’ Opposition" [Hainan yinggehai zhen dianchang yin jumin fandui xiang bei "nuo" 2 gongli], China Youth Daily, reprinted in Sohu, 17 April 12. According to the reprinted China Youth Daily article, authorities reportedly planned to move the power plant project two kilometers from its location because of the residents’ "attitude."

62 Tania Branigan, "Anti-Pollution Protesters Halt Construction of Copper Plant in China," Guardian, 3 July 12. The Guardian article notes large differences in the estimated numbers of participants in the demonstration, ranging from thousands to tens of thousands. "Worries Over Industrial Pollution Lead to Large-Scale Clash Between Police and Citizens in Sichuan" [Gongye wuran youlu yinfa sichuan da guimo jingmin chongtu], Voice of America, 3 July 12. The VOA article notes municipal police officials posted a notice prohibiting illegal demonstrations and demanded that people who organized the protest should turn themselves in within three days or face harsh punishment.

63 "China Copper Project Suspended After Protest," Caijing, 3 July 12.

64 Fiona Tam, "Rally of Thousands Forces Factory Halt," South China Morning Post, 3 July 12.

65 Tania Branigan, "Anti-Pollution Protesters Halt Construction of Copper Plant in China," Guardian, 3 July 12.

66 "Gag on Writer Li Chengpeng After Surveying Shifang" [Canyu shifang diaocha zuojia li chengpeng zao jinyan], Deutsche Welle, 5 July 12. For information on how the Chinese media covered the Shifang incident, see David Bandurski, "In China’s Papers, Sichuan Unrest Is Just a Business Story," China Media Project, 5 July 12.

67 "Firm Pledges Clean-Up After Riots," Radio Free Asia, 19 September 11. According to this article, the solar panel factory had apologized for mismanagement leading to pollution problems that triggered the protests. The report noted citizen complaints that Haining authorities ignored the concerns villagers had about the health impacts of pollution linked to the New York-listed Jinko Solar Holding Co. Jonathan Watts, "Solar Panel Factory Protests Tarnish China’s Clean-Tech Efforts," Guardian, 18 September 11. The Guardian article notes an environmental official said the factory had not met pollution standards since April 2011, despite official admonitions.

68 Royston Chan, "China Quells Village Solar Pollution Protests," Reuters, 18 September 11.

69 "Firm Pledges Clean-Up After Riots," Radio Free Asia, 19 September 11; Royston Chan, "Villagers Protest China Plant Pollution," Reuters, 18 September 11; Jonathan Watts, "Solar Panel Factory Protests Tarnish China’s Clean-Tech Efforts," Guardian, 18 September 11.

70 Harold Thibault, "Environmental Activism Gains a Foothold in China," Le Monde, reprinted in Guardian, 21 August 12; "Chinese City Halts Waste Project After Thousands Protest," Bloomberg News, 29 July 12.

71 Mark McDonald, "Taking It to the Street in China," New York Times, 29 July 12.

72 "Chinese City Halts Waste Project After Thousands Protest," Bloomberg News, 29 July 12.

73 Carlos Tejada, "China Move Reflects Sensitivity on Pollution," Wall Street Journal, 30 July 12; Fiona Tam, "Pupils Harassed Over Plant Protest in Qidong," South China Morning Post, 25 July 12.

74 "Asahi Shimbun Correspondent Beaten by Chinese Police," Asahi Shimbun, 29 July 12.

75 "Tibetan Shot Dead in Anti-Mining Protest in Markham," Phayul, 16 August 12; "Tibetan Shot Dead in Protest," Radio Free Asia, 16 August 12.

76 "Tibetan Shot Dead in Protest," Radio Free Asia, 16 August 12.

77 "Disclosure of Environmental Information Is Ice-Breaking Journey That Still Needs Legal ‘Escort’ " [Huanjing xinxi gongkai pobing zhi lu rang xu falu "huhang"], Legal Daily, 27 April 12. Premier Wen said "promote proactive disclosure of environmental impact assessments and other information related to projects, expand efforts to disclose information about monitoring of pollution that exceeds standards, and make public information about the management of large environmental incidents in a timely manner."

78 Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and Natural Resources Defense Council, "Open Environmental Information: Taking Stock," April 2012, 2–3. According to the report, the number of cities with a score of more than 60 points (considered a "passing" score) increased from 11 in 2009–2010 to 19 in 2011 (p. 13). The study noted that "environmental information disclosure has already put pressure on emitting industries in a number of cities . . . " (p. 31). The report notes, however, that 65 out of 113 cities were below the minimum scores for making public company compliance records (p. 16). The report also notes that, while the number of city government agencies responding to and providing information related to citizen requests continued to increase, channels to request information remain obstructed in a number of cities (p. 17).

79 Ibid., 2, 26.

80 For information on PM2.5, see U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Fine Particle (PM2.5) Designations: Basic Information," last visited 14 September 12.

81 Ministry of Environmental Protection, Technical Regulation on Ambient Air Quality Index (Provisional) [Huanjing kongqi zhiliang zhi shu (AQI) jishu guiding (shixing)], issued 29 February 12, effective 1 January 16; "Pollution Measures for Public Feedback," China Daily, reprinted in Xinhua, 17 November 11.

82 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "Circular Regarding Implementation of ‘Environmental Air Quality Standards’ " [Guanyu shishi "huanjing kongqi zhiliang biaozhun" (GB3095– 2012) de tongzhi], 29 February 12. The notice outlines when certain cities will begin to include PM2.5 in environmental monitoring and air quality reports.

83 Angel Hsu, "Clearing the Haze," Chinadialogue, 19 October 11; Jeremy Page, "Under Public Pressure, Beijing Opens Up Air Quality Monitoring Center," Wall Street Journal, 9 November 11; Shi Jiangtao, "Access to Full Smog Data Still Out of Sight," South China Morning Post, 17 November 11.

84 Jeremy Page, "Microbloggers Pressure Beijing To Improve Air Pollution Monitoring," Wall Street Journal, 8 November 11; "PM2.5 in Air Quality Standards, Positive Response to Net Campaign," Xinhua, 1 March 12.

85 Gu Ruizhen, "Environmental Protection Ministry: General Public in Favor of Inclusion of PM2.5 Standards" [Huanbaobu: gongzhong pubian zancheng jiang PM2.5 naru biaozhun], Xinhua, 7 December 11; Gu Ruizhen, "Ministry of Environmental Protection Officials Asked Questions by Reporter in Solicitation of Public Comment on ‘Environmental Air Quality Standards’ " [Huanbaobu guanyan jiu "huanjing kongqi zhiliang biaozhun" gongkai zhengqiu yijian qingkuang da jizhe wen], Xinhua, 16 November 11.

86 "Beijing Officials Mum on Air Quality Readings," Caixin, 6 December 11; Zheng Shuzhou, "Beijing Netizens Application for Disclosure of PM2.5 Data Refused" [Beijing wangyou shenqing gongkai PM2.5 shuju zaoju], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 22 November 11; Wang Xing, "Disclosing PM2.5 Data Application Trials" [Gongkai PM2.5 shuju de shenqing shiyan], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 11 January 12.

87 Te-Ping Chen, "Following Beijing, Hong Kong Releases PM2.5 Pollution Data," Wall Street Journal, 9 March 12. Beijing began to release PM2.5 data in late January, and Guangdong and Hong Kong began releasing data in March. Cai Wenjun, "Release of All PM2.5 Readings Starts Today," Shanghai Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 27 June 12. Shanghai began releasing daily PM2.5 data to the public in June 2012.

88 Wan Jing, "Survey Reveals: Half Provincial-Level Environmental Protection Departments Did Not Provide List of Companies That Caused a Problem" [Diaocha xianshi: banshu shengji huanbaoting bu tigong zhaoshi qiye mingdan], Legal Daily, 20 February 12. For information on the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s survey, see Wan Jing, "China’s Open Government Information Annual Report (2011) Issued" [Zhongguo zhengfu toumingdu niandu baogao (2011) fabu], Legal Daily, 20 February 12.

89 Yin Pumin, "Heavy Metal Danger," Beijing Review, No. 8, 23 February 12.

90 "Pang Hurui: Guangxi Cadmium Pollution Incident Reflects ‘Shortcomings’ in Open Government Information" [Pang hurui: guangxi ge wuran shijian zheshe zhengfu xinxi gongkai "duanban"], People’s Daily, 14 February 12; Andrew Jacobs, "China Fires 7 Officials After Spill," New York Times, 4 February 12. According to the New York Times article, authorities removed an environmental protection official along with at least six other officials from their jobs for not reporting the spill in a timely manner and for making mistakes in the cleanup process.

91 Ministry of Environmental Protection General Office, Letter Regarding Soliciting Suggestions on "Environmental Monitoring Management Regulations" (Draft for Comment) [Guanyuzhengqiu "huanjing jiance guanli tiaoli" (zhengqiu yijian gao) yijian de han], 27 April 09.

92 Qie Jianrong, "Urge Revisions of ‘Environmental Monitoring Management Regulation’ " [Huyu xiugai "huanjing jiance guanli tiaoli"], Legal Daily, 19 February 12.

93 Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Open Government Information [Zhonghuarenmin gongheguo zhengfu xinxi gongkai tiaoli], issued 5 April 07, effective 1 May 08. For more information, see "China Commits to ‘Open Government Information’ Effective May 1, 2008,"CECC China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, May 2008, 2. The State Environmental Protection Administration passed its version of the OGI regulations in April of 2007. State Environmental Protection Administration, Measures on Open Environmental Information (Trial) [Huanjing xinxi gongkai banfa (shixing)], issued 11 April 07, effective 1 May 08. For more information, see "SEPA Issues Measures on Open Environmental Information," CECC China Human Rights and Rule of Law Update, January 2008, 5.

94 Ministry of Environmental Protection, "Ministry of Environmental Protection 2011 Annual Open Government Information Report" [Huanjing baohubu zhengfu xinxi gongkai gongzuo 2011niandu baogao], 23 March 12.

95 Ibid.

96 Lei Cheng, "An Environmental Organization Open Information Request Regarding Financials for Yunnan Company Involved in Chromium Pollution Refused" [Yi huanbao zuzhishenqing gongkai yunnan ge wuran qiye rongzi xinxi bei ju], China Youth Daily, 17 February 12. The environmental organization filed the requests with two government ministries and a bank.

97 Ibid.

98 Ibid. The three organizations discussed in the article refused to grant the Open Government Information requests for three different reasons: The information was a "company secret," the"information requested is not within the scope of the organization," and the information had not been shared first with the company involved (because of "network technology limitations").

99 Liu Xiaoxing, "Open Government Information Impossible? " [Gongkai xinxi fei deng sifa jiuji buke?], China Environmental News, 15 February 12. According to this article, when the localenvironmental protection bureau (EPB) did not provide the information, the All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) filed an administrative reconsideration request with the EPB at thenext highest level, but the county EPB did not respond. The ACEF filed a court case with the Qingzhen City Intermediate People’s Court and won the case.

100 Wang Junxiu, "Enterprise Environmental Monitoring Reports Are Commercial Secrets? " [Qiye huanjing jiance baogao shi shangye mimi?], China Youth Daily, 7 June 12.

101 Ibid.; Elizabeth Balkan, "Dirty Truth About China’s Incinerators," Chinadialogue, 4 July 12.

102 Elizabeth Balkan, "Dirty Truth About China’s Incinerators," Chinadialogue, 4 July 12.

103 Wang Junxiu, "Enterprise Environmental Monitoring Reports Are Commercial Secrets? "[Qiye huanjing jiance baogao shi shangye mimi?], China Youth Daily, 7 June 12; Elizabeth Balkan, "Dirty Truth About China’s Incinerators," Chinadialogue, 4 July 12.

104 Ibid.

105 International Energy Agency, "Global Carbon-Dioxide Emissions Increase by 1.0 Gt in 2011to Record High," 24 May 12.

106 State Council Information Office, "China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing ClimateChange," reprinted in Xinhua, 22 November 11, secs. I and II. In addition to this white paper, the China National Climate Center and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences issued a booktitled "Climate Change Green Paper: Report on Addressing Climate Change (2011)—Durban Dilemma and China’s Strategic Choices." Wang Qian, "Climate Change Green Paper: Report onAddressing Climate Change (2011) Released" [Qihou bianhua lupishu: yingdui qihou bianhua baogao (2011) fabu], Xinhua, reprinted in China Central Government Net, 11 November 11.

107 State Council, "Circular Regarding 12th Five-Year Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control Work Plan" [Guowuyuan guanyu "shier wu" kongzhi wenshi qiti paifang gongzuo fang’an detongzhi], 13 January 12, item 5. For more information on the carbon trading market, including problems already encountered, see Wang Tao, "China’s Carbon Market Challenge,"Chinadialogue, 21 May 12. For more information on the newly established think tank tasked with designing the carbon trading system, see Lan Lan, "China Launches Climate ChangeThink Tank," China Daily, 11 June 12.

108 State Council Information Office, "China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing ClimateChange," reprinted in Xinhua, 22 November 11, sec. IV (1–2, 4). The white paper listed numerous lifestyle choices made by individuals. According to the white paper, the actions by non-governmental organizations (here the paper refers to professional organizations and associations, and social organizations directly affiliated with government agencies) include experiments, contests, media forums, training, information provision, and education campaigns.

109 Renmin University, "China Human Development Report 2009/10, China and a Sustainable Future: Towards a Low Carbon Economy and Society," Commissioned by the United Nations Development Program, April 2010, 86. "Where public participation does exist, it is often on inequitable terms or does not provide adequate opportunity for public inputs. Little information on procedures and timing for public participation is available." Bruce Gilley, "Authoritarian Environmentalism and China’s Response to Climate Change," Environmental Politics, Vol. 21, No. 2 (March 2012), 291–92.

110 State Council Information Office, "China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change," reprinted in Xinhua, 22 November 11, sec. IV(2). According to the white paper, the organizations engaging in these types of activities include the China Energy Conservation Association and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. For information about the direct links between these two organizations and government agencies or the Party, see China Energy Conservation Association, "Instructions on Becoming a Member" [Ruhui shuoming], 8 October 11 (this article notes the China Energy Conservation Association is "directed" by the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Quality Inspection Administration); All-China Federation of Trade Unions, "Main Duties of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions" [Zhonghua quanguo zong gonghui zhuyao zhize], last visited 20 March 12 (this article notes that the All-China Federation of Trade Unions is a "mass organization" "led" by the Chinese Communist Party).

111 Barbara Finamore, Natural Resources Defense Council, "China’s Domestic Climate Commitments Reach a Global Audience in Tianjin," Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard Blog, 7 October 10. Vice Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua reportedly said that China would do its utmost to "increase the transparency of its actions in terms of tackling climate change and integrating our measure into global efforts."

112 Melissa M. Chan, "Are China’s Carbon Emissions Understated? " China Digital Times, 12 June 12. The China Digital Times cited a Washington Post article based on a study in the journal Nature Climate Change, noting that researchers postulated two reasons for the discrepancies, both related to coal consumption data.

113 Axel Michaelowa and Perspectives GmbH, "Rule Consistency of Grid Emission Factors Published by CDM Host Country Authorities," 14 February 11, 7–10, 16. According to this international report, Chinese authorities do not provide sufficient information about the sources of data they use to assess increased energy efficiency that may result from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. (CDM projects involve investments by developed countries for which the investing country would receive certified emission credits toward national greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets.)

114 Wenran Jiang and Zining Liu, Jamestown Foundation, "Energy Security in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan," China Brief, Vol. 11, No. 11 (17 June 11); National Development and Reform Commission, "Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy in China (Abbreviated Version)," China Net, September 2007, secs. 3.2, 4, 4.1.

115 "Dam Eviction Activist Detained," Radio Free Asia, 20 February 12. For more information on previous major protests in 2010 and 2004 related to the construction of the Pubugou dam, see CECC, 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 152.

116 "Large-Scale Protest Brewing With 100,000 People in the Huaihua Dam Area After 6 Years of Unsuccessful Rights Defense Work" [Huaihua kuqu 10 wan minzhong 6 nian weiquan buguo yunliang da guimo kanyi youxing], Radio Free Asia, 2 February 12.

117 Ibid.

118 UN Human Rights Council, reprinted in UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, Addendum, Mission to China, A/HRC/19/59/Add.1, 20 January 12.

119 Ibid. According to the report, the Special Rapporteur urged Chinese authorities to suspend non-voluntary resettlement of nomadic herders and "allow for meaningful consultations" with impacted communities. In addition, according to the report, the reasoning behind the "return grazing land to grassland" (tuimu huancao) campaign "puts much more emphasis on the role of overgrazing than do the internationally accepted standards in grasslands science," possibly contributing to an overemphasis on herder relocation programs.

120 Ibid.

 

III. Development of the Rule of Law

CIVIL SOCIETY

Government and Party Control | Regulatory and Legislative Developments

Government and Party Control

Chinese civil society organizations continue to grow in number and engage in valuable educational work, social welfare service provision, and issue advocacy. A restrictive regulatory environment, however, limits the development of an independent civil society. Official policy is to control the development of civil society by expanding and bringing under government control groups that promote Chinese government and Communist Party objectives, while marginalizing groups that seek to operate more independently.1 Chinese law does not provide for a positive right to establish a civil society organization, and authorities have considerable discretion in determining which groups attain legal recognition.2 This broad discretion contravenes Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that: "No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of [the freedom of association] other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety . . . ." 3

Chinese law recognizes three main types of civil society organizations—social organizations (SOs), non-governmental and non-commercial enterprises (NGNCEs), and foundations—and requires those wishing to establish one of these groups to register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs or its provincial or local counterpart.4 An important prerequisite to registering is securing the backing of a sponsor organization.5 Sponsor organizations are government and Party departments, or mass organizations (the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, for example) approved by the government or Party.6 Sponsor organizations must agree to assume the burden of actively supervising the civil society organizations they sponsor.7 According to the authors of a comprehensive paper on Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the sponsor organization’s role in the establishment and day-to-day running of Chinese civil society organizations "effectively prevents any political activity or other activities by [non-profit organizations] which in the view of the Chinese government pose a challenge to its own power or the unity of the country." 8

The government imposes additional restrictions on groups wishing to register. Both the SO and NGNCE regulations prevent the establishment of two organizations with similar mandates in the same administrative region.9 The SO regulation requires a minimum of 50 members and 30,000 yuan (US$4,735) in funds.10 Organizations that try to carry out activities independently without registration are considered illegal.11 This past year, the government continued to crack down on unregistered groups, including campaigns in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province,12 and Hebei province.13

Once registered, groups remain subject to numerous restrictions. They must undergo an annual inspection,14 which groups that offend authorities reportedly face difficulties passing.15 In recent years, authorities have tightened restrictions on foreign funding, which had been a main source of support for some groups.16 A 2009 State Administration of Foreign Exchange circular requires, among other things, that the non-governmental organization (NGO) present authorities with a notarized donation agreement stating the purpose of the donation, and that the foreign donation goes into a special foreign exchange bank account.17 Authorities remain suspicious of foreign-funded groups.18

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, Chinese officials, scholars, state-controlled media, and NGO leaders continued to criticize the regulatory environment for NGOs as unnecessarily restrictive. A May 2012 China Newsweek article featured proponents of reform, including a Tsinghua University professor who singled out the sponsorship requirement as the main reason why, according to his estimates, 3 to 4 million groups operate without registration in China (compared to about 460,000 groups that are reg-istered).19 In the same article, top officials at the Ministry of Civil Affairs’ Civil Organization Management Bureau expressed concern with the government’s heavy influence over most registered groups and the slow pace of growth (2 to 3 percent) of registered groups in recent years.20 These officials noted that the system, originally designed to ensure that social organizations were "politically reliable," was now "completely blocking [groups] that should not be blocked." 21 In March 2012, the Beijing News profiled the experience of a group helping disabled persons, Beijing Huiling, which had been unable to secure registration for 12 years.22 The report highlighted numerous difficulties Beijing Huiling faced, from the inability to find a sponsor organization to officials deeming the group unnecessary because another organization was already meeting the "needs of all the disabled" in that jurisdiction.23 A member of an HIV/AIDS advocacy group, commenting on the crackdown on unregistered groups in Hebei province, told Radio Free Asia in March that most of the country’s 118 HIV/AIDS organizations were unregistered because they could not find a sponsor organization or were too small to meet legal requirements.24

Some civil society organizations choose to register as businesses and they, along with unregistered groups, struggle to survive without the advantages afforded to registered civil society organizations. Unregistered groups and those registered as businesses do not enjoy certain tax benefits, are ineligible for government projects, and cannot solicit public donations.25 The head of Beijing Huiling, which is registered as a business, noted in March 2012 that the organization was in debt last year and was having difficulty paying employee salaries. "Without a legal identity as a charity organization, we cannot enjoy tax exemption, and it’s difficult for us to raise funds from enterprises or the public as we cannot even provide a formal receipt to our donors," she said.26 In April 2012, the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued draft regulations intended to improve transparency of foundations 27 but which would also bar them from giving funds to for-profit businesses, further marginalizing civil society organizations registered as businesses.28 Chinese foundation leaders criticized this aspect of the draft during the public comment period.29 In the officially promulgated regulations released on July 29, 2012, as "Certain Regulations Concerning Standards of Foundation Behavior," the provision that had barred the funding of for-profit organizations in the draft version was revised to "foundations should not financially support profit-seeking activities." 30

Harassment of NGOs engaged in advocacy on issues the Chinese government and Communist Party deem politically sensitive continued this past year. The government reportedly remains wary of advocacy, religious, and policy-oriented groups.31 A crackdown on NGOs advocating for workers in the manufacturing center of Guangdong province was reported to have started in early 2012 and has continued throughout the summer. According to media reports, several worker services NGOs encountered surveillance, tax audits, inspections from multiple government agencies, and harassment from landlords who evicted them or cut off their water and electricity, leading many of the NGOs to close.32 Ten Shenzhen-based worker services NGOs reportedly have been targeted.33 In the case of the Times Female Workers Service Center, officials reportedly ordered it to relocate or stop operations because of its unregistered status.34

Regulatory and Legislative Developments

In recent years, officials have considered limited measures to make it simpler for groups to register, including removing the sponsor organization requirement and allowing groups to directly register with the government. At the national level, such proposals reportedly have stalled. In March 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao told a national meeting of civil affairs officials to "speed up reform of the registration and management system for social organizations," including allowing certain organizations to register directly with the government without needing a sponsor organization.35 Civil affairs officials cited in a May 2012 China Newsweek article noted, however, that little progress had been made with proposed amendments to the three main national regulations governing social orga-nizations, non-governmental and non-commercial enterprises, and foundations. The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) submitted the amendments to the State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO) in March 2011.36 According to officials from the MCA Social Organizations Management Department, the SCLAO has not yet submitted the draft for review during a State Council executive meeting.37 An SCLAO official told China Newsweek that, barring special circumstances, he did not expect the "three regulations" to appear (on the agenda) in 2012.38

Limited reforms continue at the provincial and local level but do not fundamentally alter the government’s role in approving and overseeing all groups. The MCA has entered into cooperative agreements with select localities in recent years, and reportedly will assess local-level experiments for possible national expansion.39 In recent years, the governments of Beijing municipality,40 Shanghai municipality,41 and Shenzhen Special Economic Zone 42 have passed measures aimed at streamlining the registration process, including allowing certain categories of groups to register directly with civil affairs departments without a sponsor organization. This trend continued in the past year. In February, Yunnan province announced plans to allow "philanthropic, social welfare, and social service" groups to apply directly with civil affairs departments later in 2012 and to "launch a provincial-level pilot project" on shifting sponsor organizations to a more advisory role.43

A social management regulation 44 took effect in March 2012 in Shenzhen that reportedly expands the types of organizations that can register directly with the civil affairs bureau to include "culture, ecology, social service and sports organizations," 45 in addition to the "econom[ic], social welfare, and public welfare" groups that have been permitted to register directly since 2008.46 A direct registration program took effect in Guangdong province in July 2012,47 reportedly leading to an initial marked increase in registration applications. Moreover, the Guangdong Province Department of Finance released in early August a catalogue for government procurement of services from social organizations.48 Yet, according to a Guangdong NGO worker, the crackdown on worker services NGOs "has raised a lot of questions about whether this is a real opening or just a new series of social management policies." 49 A prominent activist has warned that government contract work may co-opt civil society organizations (CSOs) in that these organizations would be less likely to criticize the government (from which they aim to win contracts), thus diminishing their "vitality," "function," and "mission." 50 CSO leaders in Guangdong and a Tsinghua University scholar also have expressed concern that the government is not planning for longer term sustainability, transparency, or the fair distribution of resources among social organizations with respect to registration and procurement policies.51

While removing entry barriers to some groups’ registration, officials continued to tighten controls over registered groups’ activities. In June 2012, an MCA working group issued the Measures for the Administration of Seminar and Forum Activities by Social Organizations, which places certain restrictions on civil society organizations’ hosting of seminars and forums.52 For example, Article 4 of the measures requires CSOs to notify their sponsor organizations of the purpose, content, and scope of the activity, as well as names of participants, time and location of the activity, and its source of funding.53

This past year, authorities also made symbolic gestures to signal a more accommodating stance toward human rights, political, and religious groups. These gestures were limited, however, and intended not to guarantee the independence of organizations but rather to co-opt their usefulness in pursuing overarching state aims. In May 2012, Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo reportedly said that human rights and political organizations would be treated equally in the registration and review process.54 He noted, however, the government’s considerable discretion to approve such groups based on vague criteria such as an organization’s "founding conditions, necessity of establishment, activity objective and their roles in social and economic development." 55 In February 2012, the State Administration for Religious Affairs, MCA, and four other government departments issued an opinion to "encourage and standardize" religious communities’ participation in public service activities.56 The opinion, which notes that "some localities and departments did not adequately recognize the positive significance of religious communities participating in charitable activities," 57 calls for, among other things, "equal treatment" of religious groups in es-tablishing charitable organizations.58 The opinion emphasizes, however, consistency with the Party’s basic policy on religion and the potential that religious communities can play in "promoting economic development and social harmony," rather than guaranteeing the independence of such groups from government intervention.59 The government’s emphasis on controlling the development of civil society to serve state aims was also reflected in the government’s 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, which calls for "encouraging orderly participation by social organizations in social construction." 60

Revisions to the PRC Civil Procedure Law that authorities passed in August 2012 anticipate a role for environmental protection and consumer rights groups, among other organizations, in public interest litigation.61 Early drafts of an article in the amendment to the law led groups to submit suggestions advocating for revision of language that potentially would limit the kinds of organizations able to act as parties in public interest litigation.62 Following passage of the revised law,63 the Deputy Director of the National People’s Congress Legislative Affairs Commission, Wang Shengming, stated that the terminology chosen for the final version of the article in question substituted "relevant organizations" (youguan zuzhi) for "relevant social groups" (youguan shehui tuanti) because this would "expand the scope of those organizations eligible to be plaintiffs in public interest litigation." 64 The amendment, however, does not make clear which organizations, including non-governmental ones, will be able to file.65 [See Section II—The Environment for more information on developments in environmental public interest litigation.]

Notes to Section III—Civil Society

1 Shawn Shieh, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, "NGO Law Monitor: China," last visited 30 August 12.

2 Thomas von Hippel and Knut Benjamin Pissler, "Nonprofit Organizations in the People’s Republic of China," in Comparative Corporate Governance of Non-Profit Organizations, eds. Klaus J. Hopt and Thomas von Hippel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 14, 22.

3 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 22.

4 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 3; Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Non-Governmental, Non-Commercial Enterprises [Minban fei qiye danwei dengji guanli zanxing tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 3; Regulations on the Management of Foundations [Jijinhui guanli tiaoli], issued 8 March 04, effective 1 June 04, art. 9. Social organizations (SOs) are voluntary organizations; they include academic, professional, or trade organizations, as well as voluntary associations of individuals with a common interest. Non-governmental, non-commercial enterprises (NGNCEs) are non-governmental service providers, including schools, hospitals, sports organizations, or employment service organizations. Foundations are non-profit and non-governmental organizations managed through the use of funds voluntarily donated by foreign and domestic social organizations. Foundations often promote the development of scientific research, culture, education, social welfare, and social services. For more information, see "Chinese Civil Society Organizations," Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 12 August 05. For a comprehensive overview of the legal framework for civil society organizations in China, see Thomas von Hippel and Knut Benjamin Pissler, "Nonprofit Organizations in the People’s Republic of China," in Comparative Corporate Governance of Non-Profit Organizations, eds. Klaus J. Hopt and Thomas von Hippel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 428–77.

5 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 3; Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Non-Governmental, Non-Commercial Enterprises [Minban fei qiye danwei dengji guanli zanxing tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 3; Regulations on the Management of Foundations [Jijinhui guanli tiaoli], issued 8 March 04, effective 1 June 04, art. 9.

6 Ministry of Civil Affairs, Circular Regarding Who May Serve as a Sponsor Organization [Guanyu chongxin queren shehui tuanti yewu zhuguan danwei de tongzhi], issued February 00, arts. 2–4. A review of national social organizations (SOs) approved in 2011 shows that sponsor organizations continue to be government or Party bureaus and mass organizations. The review was conducted on the chinanpo.gov.cn Web site set up by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. The Web site allows users to access the annual review results for approved national organizations, including SOs; non-governmental, non-commercial enterprises; and foundations for 2011. The list of corresponding sponsor organizations includes many government ministries, such as the Ministry of Culture, and mass organizations, such as the All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

7 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 28; Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Non-Governmental, Non-Commercial Enterprises [Minban fei qiye danwei dengji guanli zanxing tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 20; Regulations on the Management of Foundations [Jijinhui guanli tiaoli], issued 8 March 04, effective 1 June 04, art. 35.

8 Thomas von Hippel and Knut Benjamin Pissler, "Nonprofit Organizations in the People’s Republic of China," in Comparative Corporate Governance of Non-Profit Organizations, eds. Klaus J. Hopt and Thomas von Hippel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 84.

9 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 13(2); Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Non-Governmental, Non-Commercial Enterprises [Minban fei qiye danwei dengji guanli zanxing tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 11(3).

10 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, arts. 10(1), (5).

11 Temporary Measures on the Suppression of Illegal Civil Society Organizations [Qudi feifa minjian zuzhi zanxing banfa], issued and effective 6 April 00, art. 2.

12 "Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Civil Affairs Bureau Announcement on Unregistered Social Organizations and the Launch of Annual Inspection Activities" [Ganzi zangzu zizhizhou minzheng ju guanyu dui shehui zuzhi weijing dengji zhuce he niandu jiancha kaizhan huodong xiangguan shixiang de gonggao], Ganzi Daily, 27 April 12; "Sichuan Ganzi Prefectural Government To Conduct a Thorough Investigation of Civil Society Organizations, Tibetan Autonomous Region Implements Real-Name Internet System" [Sichuan ganzi zhou zhengfu yancha minjian zuzhi, xizang zizhiqu shixing hulian wang shiming zhi], Radio Free Asia, 6 May 12.

13 "Hebei Demands Civil Society Groups Register With Civil Affairs Bureau or Face Prohibition" [Hebei yaoqiu ge shehui zuzhi dao minzheng bumen zhuce fouze jiang bei qudi], Radio Free Asia, 30 March 12.

14 Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations [Shehui tuanti dengji guanli tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 31; Temporary Regulations on the Registration and Management of Non-Governmental, Non-Commercial Enterprises [Minban fei qiye danwei dengji guanli zanxing tiaoli], issued and effective 25 October 98, art. 23; Regulations on the Management of Foundations [Jijinhui guanli tiaoli], issued 8 March 04, effective 1 June 04, art. 36.

15 Fiona Tam, "NGOs Say Easing of Registration Rules Is Limited," South China Morning Post, 2 April 12.

16 Shen Tingting, "Opportunities and Challenges—Women’s NGOs in China," Asia Catalyst, 3 May 12; Liu Haiyang, "As Foreign Funding Dries Up, Gansu NGOs Find It Harder To Survive," China Development Brief, No. 51 (2011), 12 June 12.

17 State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning the Administration of Donations in Foreign Exchange by Domestic Institutions [Guojia waihui guanliju guanyu jingnei jigou juanzeng waihui guanli youguan wenti de tongzhi], issued 25 December 09, effective 1 March 10, arts. 3, 5(3). For a discussion of these rules, see CECC, 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 163.

18 Fiona Tam, "NGOs Say Easing of Registration Rules Is Limited," South China Morning Post, 2 April 12.

19 Shen Xinwang, "Ministry of Civil Affairs Official: There Have Been No Instances of ‘Social Organizations Opposing the Government’ " [Minzheng bu guanyuan: "shehui zuzhi duikang zhengfu" qingkuang meiyou chuxian], China News Net, 21 May 12.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 Wang Kala and Di Dongnuo, "Beijing Huiling Applies for ‘Regularization’; Refused Three Times in One Day" [Beijing huiling shenqing "zhuanzheng" yiri bei ju san ci]," Beijing News, 29 February 12.

23 Ibid.

24 "Hebei Demands Civil Society Groups Register With Civil Affairs Bureau or Face Prohibition" [Hebei yaoqiu ge shehui zuzhi dao minzheng bumen zhuce fouze jiang bei qudi], Radio Free Asia, 30 March 12.

25 Shen Tingting, "Opportunities and Challenges—Women’s NGOs in China," Asia Catalyst, 3 May 12.

26 He Dan and Guo Rui, "Charity Law ‘Vital’ for Sector To Grow," China Daily, reprinted in People’s Daily, 14 March 12.

27 "China Demands More Transparency From Charity Foundations," Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily, 25 April 12.

28 Ministry of Civil Affairs, Solicitation for Public Comment of "Certain Regulations Concerning Standards of Foundation Behavior (Trial)" [Guanyu guifan jijinhui xingwei de ruogan guiding (shixing) gongkai zhengqiu yijian], 24 April 12; Shawn Shieh, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, "NGO Law Monitor: China," last visited 30 August 12.

29 Narada Foundation, "Feedback From Some Foundations for ‘Certain Regulations Concerning Standards of Foundation Behavior (Trial)’ " [Bufen jijinhui dui "guanyu guifan jijinhui xingwei de ruogan guiding (shixing)" de fankui yijian], 4 May 12.

30 Ministry of Civil Affairs, Certain Regulations Concerning Standards of Foundation Behavior (Trial) [Guanyu guifan jijinhui xingwei de ruogan guiding (shixing)], art. 1(11).

31 Shawn Shieh, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, "NGO Law Monitor: China," last visited 30 August 12.

32 "Guangdong Labor NGOs Cleared Out, Social ‘Spring Breeze’ Has Brought Forth a Severe Winter" [Yue laogong NGO zao qingsuan "shegai chunfeng chuilai handong"], Mingpao, 9 June 12; Zhang Zhiru, "Guangdong Labor NGOs Face Big Purge, Government Equally Incorporates With One Hand and Suppresses With the Other" [Guangdong laogong NGO mianlin dazhengsu, zhengfu shoubian he daya liang shou bingzhong], China Worker Rights Net, 8 June 12; Deng Jingyin, "Forced To Close, NGOs Win Sympathy," Global Times, 10 September 12; "Many Shenzhen Labor Rights NGOs Are Forced To Move Following Inspections" [Shenzhen duojia laogong weiquan jigou zao jiancha hou bei qiangzhi yaoqiu banqian], Radio Free Asia, 10 September 12.

33 Deng Jingyin, "Forced To Close, NGOs Win Sympathy," Global Times, 10 September 12; "Many Shenzhen Labor Rights NGOs Are Forced To Move Following Inspections" [Shenzhen duojia laogong weiquan jigou zao jiancha hou bei qiangzhi yaoqiu banqian], Radio Free Asia, 10 September 12.

34 Zhang Zhiru, "Guangdong Labor NGOs Face Big Purge, Government Equally Incorporates With One Hand and Suppresses With the Other" [Guangdong laogong NGO mianlin dazhengsu, zhengfu shoubian he daya liang shou bingzhong], China Worker Rights Net, 8 June 12.

35 Shen Xinwang, "Ministry of Civil Affairs Official: There Have Been No Instances of ‘Social Organizations Opposing the Government’ " [Minzheng bu guanyuan: "shehui zuzhi duikang zhengfu" qingkuang meiyou chuxian], China News Net, 21 May 12.

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.; Shawn Shieh, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, "NGO Law Monitor: China," last visited 30 August 12.

40 Beijing Municipal People’s Congress Standing Committee, Zhongguancun National Innovation Demonstration Zone Ordinance [Zhongguancun guojia zizhu chuangxin shifan qu tiaoli], issued and effective 23 December 10, art. 16; Tong Shuquan, "Four Major Types of Social Organizations Registration About To Be Completely Open" [Si dalei shehui zuzhi dengji shenpi jiang quanbu fangkai], Beijing Daily, 26 February 11.

41 Hunan Province, Changde City, Jinshi District Bureau of Civil Affairs, "Civil Affairs Ministry and Shanghai City Signed Cooperative Agreement To Formally Initiate the Building of a National Model Modern Civil Administration" [Minzhengbu yu shanghai shi qianshu hezuo xieyi zhengshi qidong guojia xiandai minzheng shifan qu jianshe], 5 July 10.

42 Ministry of Civil Affairs and Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, Cooperative Agreement on Pushing Forward With Integrated Reforms of Civil Affairs Undertakings [Tuijin minzheng shiye zonghe peitao gaige hezou xieyi], 25 August 11, art. 11; CECC, 2010 Annual Report, 10 October 10, 163–64.

43 Lian Huiling, "Yunnan CSOs Will Be Able To Apply for Direct Registration With MCA This Year" [Yunnan shehui zuzhi jinnian ke zhijie xiang minzheng shenqing dengji], Yunnan Net, 26 February 12.

44 Fifth People’s Congress Standing Committee of Shenzhen City, Ordinance for the Promotion of Social Construction in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone [Shenzhen jingji tequ shehui jianshe cujin tiaoli], issued 12 January 12, effective 1 March 12, art. 43.

45 Huang Yuli, "Shenzhen Tests Reforms of Social Organizations," China Daily, 29 February 12.

46 Shenzhen Municipal Communist Party Committee and Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government General Office, Opinion Concerning the Further Development and Standardization of Local Civil Society Organizations [Guanyu jinyibu fazhan he guifan wo shi shehui zuzhi de yijian], issued 24 September 08, reprinted in Shenzhen Ministry of Civil Affairs, 28 September 11, art. 5.

47 Li Qiang, "Guangdong Civil Society Organizations Can Directly Apply To Be Established" [Yue shehui zuzhi ke zhijie shenqing chengli], Nanfang Daily, reprinted in Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province, 2 July 12; Xiang Songyang, "Guangdong Opens Gates for Civil Society Organization Registration, Loosening Restrictions Anticipate Stricter Controls" [Guangdong shehui zuzhi dengji kaizha kuanjin zhihou geng dai yanguan], Nanfang Daily, 5 July 12.

48 Lu Yi et al., "Guangdong Publicly Issues First Government Catalogue for the Procurement of Services, Includes Aid to the Elderly and Disabled, Among Others" [Guangdong gongbu shoupi zhengfu goumai fuwu mulu, baohan zhu lao zhu can deng], Southern Daily, reprinted in China Law Info, 15 August 12.

49 Michael Standaert, "Government Crackdown on Labor Groups Worsens in South China," Global Post, 2 September 12.

50 Wan Yanhai, "New Guangdong Civil Society Law Falls Back on Convention" [Wan yanhai pinglun: guangdong shehui zuzhi xin zheng luoru sutao], Radio Free Asia, 13 June 12.

51 Zhu Fengjun, "When Will Government Procurement of Services Extend to Ordinary NGOs?" [Zhengfu caigou fuwu, he shi luoru xunchang NGO jia?], Southern Metropolitan Daily, 11 June 12.

52 Ministry of Civil Affairs Working Group on Regulating Seminar and Forum Activities, Circular Concerning the Issuance of "Measures for the Administration of Seminar and Forum Activities by Social Organizations" [Guanyu yinfa "shehui zuzhi juban yantaohui luntan huodong guanli banfa" de tongzhi], 23 March 12, arts. 4, 8, 9(2); Chen Qiao, "Beijing Regulation Prohibits Posing as ‘Social Organization’ in Order To Hold Seminars and Charge Fees" [Beijing guiding shehui zuzhi yanjin zhi guaming heban luntan huo shouqu feiyong], Jinghua Times, 9 June 12.

53 Ministry of Civil Affairs Working Group on Regulating Seminar and Forum Activities, Circular Concerning the Issuance of "Measures for the Administration of Seminar and Forum Activities by Social Organizations" [Guanyu yinfa "shehui zuzhi juban yantaohui luntan huodong guanli banfa" de tongzhi], 23 March 12, art. 4.

54 Zheng Jinran and Xu Jingxi, "Govt Plans To Give All NGOs Equal Treatment," China Daily, 8 May 12.

55 Ibid.

56 State Administration for Religious Affairs, Chinese Communist Party Central Committee United Front Work Department, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and State Administration of Taxation, Opinion Encouraging and Standardizing Involvement by Religious Organizations in Charitable Activities [Guanyu guli he guifan zongjiaojie congshi gongyi cishan huodong de yijian], 16 February 12, art. 1.

57 Ibid.

58 Ibid., art. 2, para. 2(2).

59 Ibid., arts. 1, 2(1).

60 State Council Information Office, "National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2012– 2015)," 11 June 12, sec. II, art. 6.

61 "China Amends Civil Procedure Law Following Third Reading," Xinhua, 31 August 12; Jin Jianyu, "Experts Call for Clarity on Lawsuit Amendment," Global Times, 1 September 12; Wu Jiang, " ‘Relevant Organizations’ Can Raise Public Interest Litigation" ["Youguan zuzhi" ke ti gongyi susong], Beijing News, 1 September 12.

62 Qie Jianrong, "Open Letter Issued Calling on Legislative Entities To Redesign Legal Provisions: Environmental Organizations Say That This May Block Their Entrance to Participating in Environmental Public Interest Lawsuits" [Fa gongkaixin yuqing lifa bumen chongxin sheji falu tiaokuan: huanbao zuzhi cheng qi canyu huanjing gongyi susong damen huo bei fengdu], Legal Daily, 16 August 12.

63 PRC Civil Procedure Law [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xingshi susong fa], passed 4 April 91, amended 28 October 07, 31 August 12, art. 55. For information regarding various drafts of the article and related commentary on the article’s language, see, e.g., Qie Jianrong, "Open Letter Issued Calling on Legislative Entities To Redesign Legal Provisions: Environmental Organizations Say That This May Block Their Entrance to Participating in Environmental Public Interest Lawsuits" [Fa gongkaixin yuqing lifa bumen chongxin sheji falu tiaokuan: huanbao zuzhi cheng qi canyu huanjing gongyi susong damen huo bei fengdu], Legal Daily, 16 August 12. The draft article stated that only "organs and relevant social groups stipulated by law" may file lawsuits. Shang Xi, "Civil Procedure Law Draft Receives Consideration, Committee Members Suggest Law Include Language About Public Interest Lawsuits" [Minsufa caoan shou shenyi weiyuan jianyi jiang wen bao naru gongyi susong], Beijing Times, reprinted in Phoenix Net, 28 April 12; "Civil Procedure Law Amendments (Draft) Explanation of Provisions and Draft," National People’s Congress Net, reprinted in Legal Daily, 17 December 11.

64 Wu Jiang, " ‘Relevant Organizations’ Can Raise Public Interest Litigation" ["Youguan zuzhi" ke ti gongyi susong], Beijing News, 1 September 12; Chen Liping, "Wang Shengming: Standing in Public Interest Lawsuits Could Be Clarified by Relevant Laws" [Wang shengming: gongyi susong zhuti ke you xiangguan falu mingque], Legal Daily, 4 September 12.

65 Jin Jianyu, "Experts Call for Clarity on Lawsuit Amendment," Global Times, 1 September 12. National People’s Congress Standing Committee Legislative Affairs Commission Deputy Director Wang Shengming notes that, "according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there were 462,000 ‘social organizations’ (shehui zuzhi) registered in 2011; among them, 250,000 were designated as ‘social groups’ (shehui tuanti) and 200,000 as ‘non-governmental and non-commercial enterprises’ (minban feiqiye danwei)." Wu Jiang, " ‘Relevant Organizations’ Can Raise Public Interest Litigation" ["Youguan zuzhi" ke ti gongyi susong], Beijing News, 1 September 12.

 

INSTITUTIONS OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

Context for Institutions of Democratic Governance: Party Control | Official Actions Against Democracy Advocates | Elections and High-Level Debate Regarding Reform | Party and Government Accountability and Transparency | Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai, and Gu Kailai

Context for Institutions of Democratic Governance: Party Control

REACH OF THE STATE UNDER ONE-PARTY RULE

During the Commission’s 2012 reporting year, the Chinese Communist Party continued to dominate China’s authoritarian political system, and Party authorities stepped up efforts to expand Party organizations into and exert influence over every sector of society. An August 2012 article noted the Party had more than 82 million members and 4 million Party organizations.1 Party organizations penetrate every level of society, including villages and urban neighborhoods,2 public service organizations (including hospitals, schools, and research institutes),3 government departments, and quasi-governmental organizations.4 Chinese leaders continued to impose Party leadership over the Internet and through the media by limiting the media’s role and by exerting control over content,5 as well as through the promotion of "socialist culture with Chinese characteristics." 6 In addition, to strengthen the Party’s reach, Party officials this year focused Party-building and Party-loyalty campaigns on grassroots organizations,7 the legal profession,8 universities,9 non-state-owned businesses,10 social organizations,11 and the military.12 China’s political institutions continue to be out of compliance with the standards defined in Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,13 which China has signed and declared an intention to ratify.14 Nor have Chinese officials complied with the standards outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.15 The Communist Party continues to dominate government and allows only limited independent political participation.16

STRENGTHENING POLITICAL CONTROL BY EXTENDING REACH INTO SOCIAL AFFAIRS: PRIORITY TASKS OF "SOCIAL MANAGEMENT" AND "SOCIAL STABILITY"

The Party strengthens its legitimacy and control in the political realm by intensifying and extending its reach into citizens’ social lives through institutions at all levels in the name of "social management" and maintaining "social stability." President and Party General Secretary Hu Jintao has said that "social stability" is "an important prerequisite for reform and development." 17 In September 2011, the top Party-government body 18 that leads work in "maintaining social order," first established in 1991,19 expanded from 29 Party organizations and government agencies to 40 agencies, and it changed its name to the Central Committee for Comprehensive Administration of Social Management.20 Provincial committees have begun to follow suit.21 With the thematic shift from "social order" to "social management," the central-level committee’s scope of operations reportedly has expanded.22

Zhou Yongkang, Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee Political and Legal Affairs Commission and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee, has stated that "social management" is the "foremost duty and task" of Party and government organizations.23 "Social management" is a broad term that authorities first articulated in 1998 24 and have emphasized in the Party’s agenda at least since 2007.25 One scholar explained that "social management" is a basic function of government,26 and that it connotes the government "manages and regulates social affairs, social organizations, and social life." 27 He noted that, in addition to public security and "social stability," "social management" encompasses other issues including interest coordination, food safety, and emergency management.28 He also explained that the "ultimate purpose of social governance reform lies in mitigating the threat of social conflicts and safeguarding social order and stability." 29

Party and government leaders plan to establish "social management structures" "under the leadership of the Party, with responsibilities delegated to the government, with coordination by society, and with participation from the public." 30 Some provinces, municipalities, and cities have already established "social management work departments" or "social affairs committees." 31 "Coordination by society" 32 and "participation from the public" mean that authorities will involve mass organizations,33 residence committees,34 workplace personnel,35 students,36 and ordinary citizens,37 among others, in "social management" work, including monitoring of citizens.38

During the reporting year, senior Party and government leaders emphasized strengthening "innovations in social management" at the grassroots level.39 As part of these efforts, central and local Party and government leaders initiated campaigns to send tens of thousands of Party and government cadres in work teams down to rural grassroots areas and into households.40 These campaign activities allow officials to monitor and gauge if citizens are a threat to "stability," while simultaneously managing social welfare issues.41 In the Tibet Autonomous Region 42 and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,43 this year’s campaigns were invasive, long term, and tasked with preventing "incidents." [For more information, see Sections IV—Xinjiang and V—Tibet.]

Under the banner of "social management" and "social stability," authorities expanded the scope of efforts to "manage" "critical" personnel, including rights defenders, petitioners, former prisoners, and labor activists.44 One international rights group reportedly estimated that Chinese officials might be targeting 1 in every 1,000 citizens for control measures, which would equate to "managing" 1.3 million people nationwide.45 These efforts have been financially lucrative for some.46 In addition, some "management" efforts have become increasingly repressive, as illustrated in the cases of Chen Guangcheng, Yao Lifa, and other democracy and rights advocates.47

Official Actions Against Democracy Advocates

Authorities continued to detain, arrest, and impose sentences on democracy advocates who exercise their rights to freedoms of assembly, speech, movement, and association. During the reporting year, authorities imposed particularly harsh sentences. In December 2011, authorities sentenced democracy advocate Chen Wei to nine years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power" in connection with political essays he wrote that were posted on overseas Web sites.48 Also in December, authorities in Guiyang city, Guizhou province, sentenced democracy advocate and rights defender Chen Xi to 10 years in prison for "inciting subversion" for 36 essays he posted online.49 Chen was also involved in the "Guizhou Human Rights Forum" network and had tried to run for a local people’s congress seat.50 In January 2012, authorities sentenced Li Tie to 10 years’ imprisonment for "subversion of state power." 51 Li has written about democracy, constitutional government, and direct elections at the local level and organized activities to honor Lin Zhao, a well-known activist.52 In February, authorities sentenced Zhu Yufu to seven years in prison for "inciting subversion of state power" for his alleged association with the China Democracy Party and for his writings, including a poem that allegedly "incited" people to "subvert state power" during the time of on-line calls for "Jasmine" protest rallies.53 In addition, March reports indicate that court officials sentenced democracy advocate Xue Mingkai to four years in prison for "subversion of state power." 54 Other democracy advocates remained in prison or reeducation through labor (RTL) facilities including: Liu Xiaobo (11 years), Liu Xianbin (10 years),55 Guo Quan (10 years),56 Zhou Yongjun (9 years),57 Xie Changfa (13 years),58 and Huang Chengcheng (2 years).59 Authorities ordered Huang to serve two years of RTL for "inciting subversion of state power" for posting messages on the Internet in February and March 2011.60 In addition, authorities in Qianjiang city, Hubei province, continued to restrict elections expert Yao Lifa’s freedoms.61 Local officials and school staff from Yao’s place of employment continued to escort him to work and back daily and even follow him to the bathroom.62 He reported that officials have also not let him teach or interact with other people.63

Elections and High-Level Debate Regarding Reform

Some leaders continued to voice support for vaguely defined political and government reforms, but proposed reforms would only take place within the framework of the one-party system.64 In March 2012, at the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (Two Sessions), Premier Wen Jiabao said, "We must press ahead with both economic structural reform and political structural reform in particular reform in the leadership system of our Party and country," according to Al Jazeera.65 Wen, however, did not provide details regarding reforms and emphasized that China must "develop our socialist democracy in a step-by-step manner." 66 A Caijing report noted Wen said "[we] need to change the Party substituting for the government" and the "overconcentration of government power." 67 Along these lines, the Beijing municipal government issued an opinion noting a plan to reorganize governmental authority over the next five years with the two main goals of preventing corruption and decentralizing the concentration of power within and among government organizations.68 Echoing Wen’s statements, the 2012–2015 National Human Rights Action Plan, issued in June 2012, outlined the government’s plans to "strengthen restraints on and supervision over the exercise of power, and earnestly guarantee citizens’ right of democratic supervision." 69

LOCAL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS ELECTIONS AND HARASSMENT OF "INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES"

During the reporting year, authorities held local people’s congress elections, which began in May 2011 and will be completed prior to the end of 2012.70 At the lowest administrative levels, including the county and township levels, citizens, in theory, directly vote for people’s congress delegates.71 Above this level, people’s congresses elect delegates for congresses at the next highest level.72 Ten or more citizens may nominate "independent candidates," otherwise known as "voter-nominated" candidates.73 Reports surfaced, however, noting authorities in some locations did not accept the nomination of some of these "voter-nominated" candidates.74 In this election period, as in past cycles, large numbers of "independent candidates" were winnowed out, leaving few to compete in elections.75 Higher level Party officials exerted influence over elections by sending Party investigative groups to lower levels during elections not only to prevent corruption, but also to complete "control and supervision tasks," 76 including:

  • "Preventing internal or external hostile forces from having a hand in ruining elections, organized crime or evil forces from manipulating elections, clans and religious forces from interfering in elections";
  • "Investigating candidates’ qualifications" to "prevent ‘problem individuals’ from becoming nominees or representatives." 77

In some locations, authorities "optimized" people’s congresses to make sure certain populations, such as workers and farmers, had a number of representatives that they deemed appropriate.78

Prior to and during elections in some locations, local officials reportedly arrested,79 detained, and monitored potential "independent candidates," 80 as well as pressured their families, employers, and nominators.81 Officials also obstructed nomination processes and campaign or voter education activities.82 Reports indicate officials employed censorship tactics to minimize information about "independent candidates" and elections.83 In addition, in some cases, officials detained newly elected deputies,84 "guided" voters at the polls,85 hindered secret ballots,86 prevented voters from going to the polls,87 removed ballot boxes, or did not count votes in public.88

VILLAGE AUTONOMY AND VILLAGE COMMITTEE ELECTIONS

Village elections for "village committees" 89 have spread throughout China; their implementation, however, remains problematic. During the reporting period, ongoing problems with village elections included instances of vote buying, interference from township and town officials, stuffing ballot boxes, cancelled elections, and higher level officials removing recently elected officials.90 Authorities in some areas reportedly "optimized" the mix of personnel on villager committees.91 Some township cadres apparently have cited rampant vote buying as a reason to call for dismantling village committee elections and allowing township officials to appoint village leaders.92

During the reporting period, authorities continued to take steps to improve "grassroots autonomy," including village elections, as well as promote "stability" and economic development. Authorities continued seeking to improve the caliber of village officials. The Party Central Organization Department sent over 26,000 university students to serve as village committee and village Party committee officials in a three-year program.93 The trend toward electing officials with higher education and experience levels continued.94 There reportedly continues to be an increase in the number of women cadres assuming leadership roles.95 To "maintain stability" and improve transparency of village finances, authorities reportedly are also continuing to set up "supervisory committees" or similar organizations in villages as stipulated in the revised 2010 PRC Organic Law of the Villagers’ Committees.96 Nationally, 514,000 villages have established village affairs supervisory mechanisms.97 In some areas, officials claimed that "supervisory committees" reduced the frequency of complaints villagers lodged at higher levels against local officials.98

The village elections in Wukan village, Lufeng city, Shanwei municipality, Guangdong province,99 widely touted as innovative, are unlikely to be replicated. The Party Secretary of Guangdong, Wang Yang, said the elections were not "innovations" and noted "[w]hat made the Wukan election special was that the Organic Law and election rules were fully observed and implemented in detail this time, unlike previous pro forma elections." 100 What made the elections in Wukan unique was that relevant laws 101 did not provide for some of the procedures the villagers initiated. For example, authorities allowed Wukan citizens to vote for the election committee that oversaw village elections, through modified procedures not provided for by law.102

Party and Government Accountability and Transparency

TRANSPARENCY AND OPEN PARTY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Central authorities seemed to encourage the strengthening of open government information (OGI) institutions 103 and policies at the national,104 local, and grassroots levels.105 During 2011, central-level government departments issued 81 OGI-related provisions,106 and provincial-level authorities issued 98.107 The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) drafted a new measure, opening it for public comment in early November 2011,108 which clarifies six conditions under which officials should not disclose information, including if disclosure would be harmful to national security or "social stability." 109 In April 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao called on provincial governments to disclose expenditures fully on overseas trips, food and entertainment, and vehicles (sangong); he also promoted disclosure of government department budgets within two years.110 In May 2012, the State Council issued a circular that emphasized promotion of transparency in eight areas, including food safety, environmental protection, government finances, and safe production.111

Proactive official disclosure of information remained sporadic, despite stated support for transparency from high-level leaders. The National People’s Congress’ compliance with the commitment to post drafts of all trade and economic rules and regulations for public comment for 30 days deteriorated during the period between mid-March 2011 and mid-March 2012; it only released three of nine laws passed for public comment during the drafting or revi-sion process.112 The State Council has complied inconsistently during the same period, but compliance has improved since 2008.113 In February, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) reportedly issued the results of a study examining the implementation of OGI Regulations,114 which noted some improvement in the proactive disclosure of information by government departments.115 Results also indicated that only 25 out of 59 central departments and commissions posted draft regulatory documents online and provided channels for feedback.116 According to an academic report, provincial governments were more willing to disclose information than central departments.117 A different academic report noted that only 7 out of 81 city governments surveyed met set requirements for fiscal transparency.118 The first academic report on judicial transparency found that some provincial- and city-level court Web sites lagged "far behind" government department Web sites in information disclosure.119

Citizens continued to be proactive in making open government information requests,120 but challenges to accessing information and bringing OGI cases to court remained. The CASS transparency study reportedly asserted that authorities sometimes refused to disclose information for several reasons, including:

  • The information is in "internal documents"; 121
  • The "information requested is not within the scope of the organization"; 122
  • The information could be found online (even though it could not be found); 123
  • The information "involved company secrets." 124

In addition, authorities apparently more often demanded citizens provide information about how they would utilize the information requested, and denied requests on that basis.125 In some cases where government officials declined information requests, citizens have taken their cases to court.126 While some citizens have won cases, courts reportedly were unwilling to hear or "refused to handle" half of the open government information cases submitted.127

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY

Central and provincial authorities encouraged policies intended to enhance government accountability at the local 128 and grass-roots 129 levels. In December 2011, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee announced that they suggested the revision of the PRC Administrative Procedure Law be included in the 2012 legislative plan.130 Many scholars reportedly believe the scope of allowable lawsuits citizens may file against government departments is too narrow.131 In February, central authorities announced a decision to tighten top-down supervision over officials in rural areas and investigate social issues that might lead to mass incidents.132

Despite efforts to improve supervision measures, accountability remains elusive. One Chinese scholar reportedly asserted that 50 to 60 percent of Chinese villages encounter problems with non-accountable officials.133 A Xinhua article noted the prevalence of "selective governance" at the grassroots level in some areas.134 A Human Rights Watch report detailed 150 cases of rights abuses between July 2010 and March 2012 linked to chengguan, officials who enforce urban administrative regulations.135 The abuses include disappearances, mistreatment in detention, lack of due process, arbitrary fines for confiscated items, and forced evictions from homes.136 Many chengguan engaged in abuses with impunity.137 A February People’s Daily editorial quoted in a Xinhua article criticized local leaders for unethical or illegal behaviors: "[I]n some regions or public organizations, leaders are engaged in lying, empty talk, fabricating statistics, or trumping up political achievements." 138 During the reporting period, the press covered calls to reform the official "responsibility system" 139 (wenze zhidu) and public dissatisfaction regarding officials resuming public office after having been dismissed from former posts.140 One article asserted the cadre responsibility system faced a "crisis of trust" because the phenomenon of dismissed officials resuming office is so pervasive.141 The Chinese media examined numerous specific related cases.142

Wang Lijun, Bo Xilai, and Gu Kailai

The cases of former Chongqing vice mayor and public security chief Wang Lijun, and ousted Party leader Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai (also referred to in the Chinese press as Bogu Kailai)— who was sentenced for the homicide of British citizen Neil Heywood—raise issues of official lack of accountability, abuse of power, and non-transparency. On September 24, 2012, the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu municipality, Sichuan province, sentenced Wang Lijun to 15 years in prison with deprivation of political rights for one year for "bending the law for selfish ends," "defection," "abuse of power," and "accepting bribes." 143 Authorities charged Wang in part for allegedly neglecting his duty and bending the law to shield Gu Kailai from criminal investigation, for leaving his post on his own accord and defecting to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, and for utilizing "technical reconnaissance measures" without approval.144 Chinese media reported on Gu’s case and her court sentence of death with a two-year reprieve for intentional homicide, which a judge handed down on August 20, 2012.145 International media, however, noted issues with Internet censorship 146 and procedural fairness,147 and called the proceedings a "show trial" 148 or mentioned questions about the politics behind the case.149 On March 14, central Party authorities removed Bo Xilai from his posts as Chongqing Party Committee member, secretary, and standing committee member.150 In early April, central authorities suspended Bo Xilai from the Party Central Committee and Politburo.151 In late September 2012, Politburo authorities expelled Bo Xilai from the Party and dismissed him from his public posts in the Party Central Committee and Politburo, indicating his case would be transferred to judicial authorities for a number of suspected legal violations including abuse of power, improper affairs with women, and bribery.152 After Bo’s removal from office and his wife’s detention, central authorities used the occasion to showcase "socialist rule of law," 153 asserted that the public supported the decisions,154 and utilized the media to call for stability and unity.155

OFFICIAL CORRUPTION

Official corruption reportedly remains high, despite anti-corruption measures. Corruption in state-owned enterprises and public institutions increased.156 High levels of corruption continued to concern Chinese leaders, and Premier Wen Jiabao said, "[C]orruption is the most crucial threat to the ruling party." 157 Wen asserted that, when authority is overly concentrated in various departments that are impervious to supervision, corruption occurs easily and often.158 Central-level authorities continued to build institutions and issued plans to address growing corruption problems. The drive to establish anticorruption bureaus at the provincial, autonomous prefecture, and municipal levels continued.159 The Supreme People’s Procuratorate began a two-year anticorruption campaign in rural areas.160 Party and government authorities jointly issued a regulation seeking to control nepotism and corruption among civil servants.161

Protections for whistleblowers remained insufficient, and authorities continued to have little tolerance for non-governmental anticorruption efforts. Authorities in Shenzhen city, Guangdong province, continued to harass anticorruption advocate Guo Yongfeng.162 In June 2012, Hengshui city, Hebei province authorities ordered Liu Ruisheng to serve one year and three months of reeducation through labor for petitioning against alleged corruption among local officials.163 In April, People’s Armed Police reportedly injured approximately 100 Tibetans during a protest against allegedly corrupt officials, and police may have detained some of the protesters.164 Nearly 1,000 residents in Ya’an city, Sichuan province, protested alleged corruption associated with reconstruction efforts after the Wenquan earthquake, and a news report noted some beatings.165 In July, authorities in Xi’an municipality, Shaanxi province, suspended journalist Shi Junrong reportedly for writing an article about local officials smoking luxury cigarettes.166

Notes to Section III—Institutions of Democratic Governance

1 "Xi Jinping, Continuously Adhere to and Bring Into Full Play the Party’s Unique Advantage" [Xi Jinping: shizhong jianchi he chongfen fahui dang de dute youshi], Seeking Truth, reprintedin Communist Party of China News Net, 1 August 12.

2 "At the End of 2009 Total Number of Party Members Reaches 77,995,000 Nationally" [Jiezhi2009 niandi quanguo dangyuan zongshu da 7799.5 wan ming], Chinese Communist Party News Net, 28 June 10. There are 6,629 urban street Communist Party organizations, 34,224 town organizations, 80,000 residential committees, and 598,000 village committees.

3 Ibid. At the end of 2009, out of the country’s 570,000 public service organizations, 471,000have Party organizations.

4 Ibid. At the end of 2009, the breakdown of the number of Party members in various organizations is as follows: Out of 13,000 eligible "social organizations" (shehui tuanti), 12,000 have Party organizations, and out of 16,000 eligible "nonprofit enterprises" (minban feiqiye), 15,000 have Party organizations.

5 J. David Goodman, "Journalists Should Be Government Mouthpieces, Chinese Media Leader Says," New York Times, 5 December 11. The President of state broadcaster China Central Television, Hu Zhanfan reportedly said, "[t]he first social responsibility and professional ethic of media staff should be understanding their role clearly and be a good mouthpiece." "Beijing Issues Microblog Management Regulation: Announces 11 Types of Illegal Content" [Beijingshi chutai weibo guanli guiding: fabu shiyi lei neirong weifa], Beijing Evening News, reprinted in Xinhua blog, 16 December 11. According to the Xinhua report above, Beijing issued a regulation outlawing 11 types of content. "China Wants To Ban Movie Content That Disturbs Social Stability in Latest Tightening of Media," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 14 December 11. According to the AP article above, a State Council draft law would ban 13 types of content in films.

6 Lester Ross et al., "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Tightens Controls on Cultural Industry," WilmerHale Law Firm, 28 October 11. Authorities reportedly took measures to safeguard "national cultural security" and develop "socialist culture with Chinese Characteristics" by strengthening political education and traditional Chinese culture.

7 Du Rong, "Launch the Year of Grassroots Development While Striving for Excellence and Innovation in Activities—Central Organization Department Spokesperson Answers Journalists’ Questions" [Zai chuangxian zhengyou huodong zhong kaizhan jiceng zuzhi jianshe nian— zhongyang zuzhibu fuzeren da jizhe wen], 8 February 12.

8 Zhao Yang, "To Obtain a License To Practice, a Lawyer Must Take an Oath Within Three Months" [Huo lushi zhiye xuke sange yue nei ying xuanshi], Legal Daily, 21 March 12. According to the Legal Daily, the Ministry of Justice is requiring that new applicants or lawyers renewing their license take an oath of loyalty to the Party, the country, and the people of China within three months of obtaining a lawyers’ license. Ministry of Justice, "Ministry of Justice Issues Notice of Decision To Establish Lawyer’s Oath of Allegiance System" [Sifabu xiafa jianli lushi xuanshi zhidu jueding de tongzhi], 21 March 12; "China Says Lawyers Must Take Oath of Loyalty to Communist Party To Raise Their Moral Quality," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 21 March 12.

9 Peter Simpson, "China’s Vice President Orders More Thought Control Over Students," Telegraph, 5 January 12; Tang Jingli et al., "The 20th National University Party Building Work Meeting Closes" [Di ershici quanguo gaoxiao dangjian gongzuo huiyi bimu], Ministry of Education, 6 January 12. According to the Ministry of Education article above, in January, education ministry Party officials told university Party members that Party building in institutions of higher education was of great significance this year, and called on them to strengthen development of ideological and political theory curriculum.

10 "Make Effort To Fill the Three Gaps in Party Building in Private Businesses" [Nuli tianbu feigong dangjian sange kongbai dian], Xinhua, reprinted in United Front Work Department, 25 May 12; "Chinese VP Stresses Party Role in Non-Public Sector," Xinhua, 21 March 12; Zhongshan City People’s Government, Zhongshan City Communist Party Committee and Zhongshan City People’s Government, Implementing Opinion Regarding Strengthening Social Construction and Innovation in Social Management [Zhonggong zhongshan shiwei zhongshanshi renmin zhengfu guanyu jiaqiang shehui jianshe chuangxin shehui guanli de shishi yijian], 1 September 11, art. 19.

11 "Chinese Official Urges Greater Social Management Efforts To Foster Cultural Construction," Xinhua, 25 October 11. According to the Xinhua article, Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee, stated that authorities needed to deepen research and management of social organizations to promote their healthy development. Numerous local governments issued opinions stipulating authorities should strengthen Party building within social organizations. See, e.g., Zhongshan City People’s Government, Zhongshan City Communist Party Committee, Zhongshan City People’s Government Implementing Opinion Regarding Strengthening Social Construction and Innovation in Social Management [Zhonggong zhongshan shiwei zhongshanshi renmin zhengfu guanyu jiaqiang shehui jianshe chuangxin shehui guanli de shishi yijian], 1 September 11, art. 19; "Changde Of-fice Issues Document (2011) No. 6, Changde Communist Party Committee Office and Changde City People’s Government Office Opinion Regarding Strengthening Social Organization Development and Management" [Changban fa (2011) 6 hao zhonggong changde shiwei bangongshi changdeshi renmin zhengfu bangongshi guanyu jiaqiang shehui zuzhi jianshe guanli de yijian], 9 January 12, art. 3.

12 "Chinese President Hu Jintao Stresses Communist Party Control Over Fast-Modernizing Military," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 28 January 12; Minnie Chan, "Party Steps Up Efforts To Keep Generals in Line," South China Morning Post, 22 March 12. According to the SCMP, two newspapers published a series of commentaries reminding the army to remain loyal to Hu Jintao. "Chinese Premier Wen Reasserts Communist Party Control Over Military in Speech to Legislature," Associated Press, reprinted in Washington Post, 5 March 12. See also Michael S. Chase, "Army Day Coverage Stresses PLA’s Contributions and Party Control," ChinaBrief, Vol. XII, No. 16, Jamestown Foundation, 17 August 12, 3–6.

13 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76, art. 25; UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, General Comment No. 25: The Right ToParticipate in Public Affairs, Voting Rights and the Right of Equal Access to Public Service, CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.7, 7 December 96. Under General Comment 25 to the ICCPR, this language requires that: "Where citizens participate in the conduct of public affairs through freely chosen representatives, it is implicit in article 25 that those representatives do in fact exercisegovernmental power and that they are accountable through the electoral process for their exercise of that power" (Item 7); "The right to vote at elections and referenda must be establishedby law and may be subject only to reasonable restrictions . . . . [p]arty membership should not be a condition of eligibility to vote, nor a ground of disqualification" (Item 10); "Freedom of expression, assembly and association are essential conditions for the effective exercise of the right to vote and must be fully protected . . ." (Item 12); "The right of persons to stand for electionshould not be limited unreasonably by requiring candidates to be members of parties or of specific parties . . ." (Item 17); An "independent electoral authority should be established to supervise the electoral process and to ensure that it is conducted fairly, impartially and in accordance with established laws which are compatible with the Covenant . . . ." (Item 20).

14 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 66, entry into force 23 March 76. China hassigned, but has not yet ratified, the ICCPR. In the 2009–2010 National Human Rights Action Plan issued by the Chinese government in April 2009, officials stated that the ICCPR was oneof the "fundamental principles" on which the plan was framed, and that the government "will continue legislative, judicial and administrative reforms to make domestic laws better linkedwith this Covenant, and prepare the ground for approval of the ICCPR." State Council Information Office, National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009–2010), reprinted in Xinhua, 13 April 09, Introduction, sec. V(1).

15 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by UN General Assemblyresolution 217A(III) of 10 December 48, art. 21. "Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives . . . . The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government, this shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secretvote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

16 "Chinese Communist Party Issues Document Requiring Strengthening Dynamics of OfficialPositions for Non-Party Members" [Zhonggong fawen yaoqiu jiaqiang dangwai ganbu zhuren lidu], Caixin, 16 April 12. For example, as of June 2012, only 2 central-level ministry directorsand 10 vice-directors were non-Communist Party members.

17 "Hu Jintao’s Report at the Chinese Communist Party 17th Party Congress Meeting" [HuJintao zai zhongguo gongchandang di shiqici quanguo daibiao dahuishang de baogao], People’s Daily, 15 October 07.

18 "Central Committee on Comprehensive Order Adds 11 Member Units, Will Engage in Special Security Work" [Zhongyang zongzhiwei zeng 11 chengyuan danwei, jiang zuohao zhian dengzhuanxiang gongzuo], Xinhua, reprinted in China Economic Net, 9 October 11. The original organization was called the Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Social Order.(This organization also has been referred to as the Central Committee for Comprehensive Man-agement of Public Security.)

19 "Peaceful Road With Chinese Characteristics Out of 20 Years of Comprehensive Management" [Zongzhi 20 nian zouchu yitiao zhongguo tese pingan zhilu], Legal Daily, 1 March 11.For more information, see "Resolving Social Management Risks: Social Strata Mobility Maintains Balance in Society" [Jiesi fengxian shehui guanli: jieceng liudong shi shehui baochipingheng], Outlook Weekly, 8 January 11.

20 "Central Committee on Comprehensive Order Adds 11 Member Units, Will Engage in Special Security Work" [Zhongyang zongzhiwei zeng 11 chengyuan danwei jiang zuohao zhian deng zhuanxiang gongzuo], Xinhua, reprinted in China Economic Net, 9 October 11; "The ChineseCommunist Party Maintains Stability With Innovative Thinking: Control Through a Strong Shift to Multi-Management" [Zhonggong weiwen siwei yu shi chuangxin: you qiangli kongzhixiang duoyuan guanli zhuanbian], China News Net, reprinted in People’s Daily, 27 September 11.

21 Chen Baocheng, "18 Provinces Complete Provincial-Level Comprehensive Order Name Change" [18 sheng fen wancheng shengji zongzhi wei gengming], Caixin, 11 April 12.

22 "The Chinese Communist Party Maintains Stability With Innovative Thinking: Control Through a Strong Shift to Multi-Management" [Zhonggong weiwen siwei yu shi chuangxin: you qiangli kongzhi xiang duoyuan guanli zhuanbian] China News Net, reprinted in People’s Daily, 27 September 11; "Central Committee on Comprehensive Order Adds 11 Member Departments, Will Engage in Special Security Work" [Zhongyang zongzhiwei zeng 11 chengyuan danwei jiang zuohao zhian deng zhuanxiang gongzuo], Xinhua, reprinted in China Economic Net, 9 October 11. According to the Xinhua article, the Committee will conduct research, coordinate actions, and promote policies and mechanisms in eight main areas: One, specialized population management work; two, service management work for new types of economic and social organizations; three, management work of "special populations" (which includes released prisoners, targets of community corrections, and drug addicts); four, specialized work in maintaining social order (which includes cracking down on organized crime and eliminating "evil" elements, and investigating and remediating social order in key areas and prominent security problems); five, specialized work in preventing juvenile delinquency; six, specialized work in keeping social order in and around schools; seven, specialized work in jointly protecting roads, railways, communication and electric power transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, and telecommunications, radio, and television facilities; eight, specialized work in perfecting and strengthening social management laws, regulations, and policies.

23 Ed Zhang, " ‘Social Management’ Unlikely To Offer Much in the Way of Justice," South China Morning Post, 16 October 11.

24 Yu Keping, "A Shift Towards Social Governance in China," East Asia Forum, 9 September 11.

25 "Hu Jintao’s Report at the Chinese Communist Party 17th Party Congress Meeting" [Hu jintao zai zhongguo gongchandang di shiqici quanguo daibiao dahuishang de baogao], People’sDaily, 15 October 07, item 8.6. Regarding "social management" and "social stability," President Hu Jintao said the following: "[We should] improve social management and safeguard social stability and unity. Social stability is the common aspiration of the people and an important prerequisite for reform and development. [We should] improve the structure of social managementcomprising Party committee leadership, government responsibility, nongovernmental support, and public participation, and improve the system of social management at the primary level.[We should] . . . maximize factors conducive to harmony, and minimize those detrimental to it. We should properly handle contradictions among the people, improve the system for handlingcomplaints in the form of letters and visits from the public, and strengthen the mechanism for safeguarding the rights and interests of the people in which the Party and government play theleading role."

26 Yu Keping, "A Shift Towards Social Governance in China," East Asia Forum, 9 September 11.

27 Ibid.

28 Ibid.

29 Ibid. According to the article by Yu Keping, the Party seeks to improve "social management" and improve government capacity to deliver public services by improving laws and regulations.

30 "Hu Jintao: Solidly Improve Scientific Social Management, 8 Comments on How To ImproveSocial Management" [Hu jintao: zhazhashishi tigao shehui guanli kexuehua shuiping tichu 8 tiao yijian gaishan shehui guanli], People’s Daily, 19 February 11. The phrase "under the leadership of the Party, with responsibilities delegated to the government, with coordination by society, and with participation from the public" is repeated in many other documents. See, e.g., "TheOutline of the People’s Republic of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development" [Zhonghua renmin gongheguo guomin jingji he shehui fazhan di shier gewunian guihua gangyao], issued 16 March 11, chap. 37 (1); Yu Keping, "A Shift Towards Social Governance in China," East Asia Forum, 9 September 11; "Guangdong Central Party Committeeand the Guangdong People’s Government Decision Regarding Strengthening Social Construction (Summary)" [Zhonggong guangdong shengwei guangdong sheng renmin zhengfu guanyu jiaqiangshehui jianshe de jueding (gangyao)], Southern Net, 20 July 11.

31 Xu Lin and Zhao Yang, "Understanding the Riddle of Guangdong’s Social Affairs Committees" [Jiemi guangdong shehui gongzuo weiyuanhui], Southern Daily, 9 August 11. According to the Southern Daily article, the social affairs committee in Guangdong province is comprisedof members of 24 Party and government organizations. The committee reportedly is the "working department" for the provincial Party committee and the "functional mechanism" for the provincial government. The committee is responsible for researching and handling the major problems in social affairs work. All cities and counties (including county-level cities and districts)in Guangdong are to establish similar social affairs mechanisms at the local level.

32 Joseph Fewsmith, " ‘Social Management’ as a Way of Coping With Heightened Social Tensions," China Leadership Monitor, No. 36 (Winter 2012), 1. Fewsmith discusses Zhou Yongkang’s statements about "social coordination." See also Wang Hongru, "China Social Innovation and Management Opinion Issued, Limits Readership to County and Group-Level Officials or Higher" [Zhongguo shehui chuangxin guanli yijian chutai xian xian tuanji yishang ganbuyuedu], China Net, 20 September 11. According to the China Net article, "social coordination" (shehui xietong) also refers to nurturing and managing social organizations. Zhao Yimei, "Shanghai Pudong: Professionalized ‘Stability Preservation Mothers’ " [Shanghai pudong: zhuanyehua de "weiwen mama"], Southern Weekend, 4 January 12. The Southern Weekend article indicatesthat authorities will delegate some "social stability" tasks to mass organizations or social groups.

33 Zhao Yimei, "Shanghai Pudong: Professionalized ‘Stability Preservation Mothers’ " [Shanghai pudong: zhuanyehua de "weiwen mama"], Southern Weekend, 4 January 12. The article describes some of the All-China Women’s Federation work maintaining "social stability," includingconvincing petitioners to abandon their petitioning activities.

34 The CPC Central Committee General Office, Office of the State Council, Opinion RegardingStrengthening and Improving Development of Urban Residence Committees [Guanyu jiaqiang he gaijin chengshi shechu jumin weiyuanhui jianshe de yijian], issued 9 November 10. The preface of this Opinion emphasized the "more prominent [residence committee] function of safeguarding social stability, the increasing importance of community residence committees to take on social management tasks, and the more urgent service demands of community resident committees by citizens."

35 Charles Hutzler, "Watching Dissidents Is a Booming Business in China," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 28 May 12. According to the Associated Press article, local authorities in conjunction with school employees monitored and restricted the movements of democracy advocate Yao Lifa on a day-to-day basis.

36 "China: Student Informant System To Expand, Limiting School Autonomy, Free Expression," Open Source Works, reprinted in Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Intelligence, 23 November 10.

37 "Beijing Addresses New Challenges in Social Management, Makes Innovations in Comprehensive Management Work Mechanisms" [Beijing yingdui shehui guanli xin tiaozhan chuangxin zongzhi gongzuo xin tizhi], Xinhua, 18 June 10.

38 Zhao Yimei, "Shanghai Pudong: Professionalized ‘Stability Preservation Mothers’ " [Shanghai pudong: zhuanyehua de "weiwen mama"], Southern Weekend, 4 January 12. In one example, in one area of Pudong district in Shanghai municipality, over 5,000 All-China Women’s Federation members and volunteers from society reportedly would contact every household as part of "5-level network" to conduct "rights defense and stability maintenance" tasks. See also Charles Hutzler, "Watching Dissidents Is a Booming Business in China," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 28 May 12.

39 See, e.g., "Zhou Yongkang Emphasized: To Strengthen and Innovate Social Management, It Must Be Implemented at the Grassroots Level" [Zhou yongkang qiangdiao: jiaqiang he chuangxin shehui guanli yao luoshi dao jiceng], Xinhua, 2 November 11; "Thoroughly Advance Comprehensive Pilot Projects for Social Management Innovations and as a Whole Raise the Scientific Level of Social Management Standards" [Shenru tuijin shehui guanli chuangxin zonghe shidian cong zhengti shang tigao shehui guanli kexuehua shuiping], Xinhua, 7 February 12 (Open Source Center, 7 February 12). The February Xinhua article notes 37 pilot projects in "innovating social management" at the local level. "Communities Half Full, Should Organize a Residents’ Committee Election" [Shequ ruzhu guoban, ying zuzhi juweihui xuanju], People’s Daily, 5 September 11. According to the People’s Daily article, Beijing authorities consider communities the "first line of defense" in maintaining social harmony and stability. "China Trains Grassroots Party Officials To Boost Social Management," Xinhua, 4 June 11. According to the June Xinhua article, Party secretaries from 40,000 township and neighborhood committees and 680,000 village and community Party organizations began to attend training sessions in Beijing in May 2011. The sessions will last for a year.

40 "Summary of National Activities Launched To Send Party Cadres Down to the Grassroots Across the Country" [Quanguo gedi kaizhan dangyuan ganbu xia jiceng huodong zongshu], Xinhua, 25 March 12. According to the March 25 Xinhua article, authorities sent cadres to remote areas, places where citizens needed assistance, places with large-scale problems, and areas with many conflicts. See also "From the Center to the Local, National Widespread Activities To Send Party Cadres to Grassroots" [Cong zhongyang dao difang quanguo guangfan kaizhan dangyuan ganbu xia jiceng huodong], China News Net, 9 April 12. According to the China News Net article, authorities sent approximately 20,000 cadres to the countryside in Tibet, and in Hebei, they sent 14,000. "Zhou Yongkang’s Instructions and Requirements Regarding Ministry of Public Security Launch of ‘Three Visits Three Appraisals’ To Deepen the ‘Big Visits’ Activities" [Zhou yongkang jiu gong’anbu bushu kaizhan "sanfang sanping" shenhua "dazoufang" huodong pishi yaoqiu], China Police Net, 10 January 12. According to the China Police Net arti-cle, the current "Three Appraisals" activities are a deepening of the previous "Big Visits" campaign. Song Zhijing, "Hebei 15,000 Cadres Sent Down to Countryside" [Hebei 15,000 ganbu xiaxiang], Beijing News, 29 February 12. According to the Beijing News article, Hebei provincial Party authorities sent down 15,000 cadres to 5,010 villages. The cadres reportedly will live in the villages for eight months to assist with economic development and at the same time conduct work on maintaining stability to ensure that no large-scale mass incidents occur prior to October 2012 when the program concludes. According to the article, if the cadres do not complete their tasks, they cannot return home.

41 "Focus on Social Management’s Difficult Problems, Really Resolving Contradictions Requires Putting People First" [Jujiao shehui guanli nanti yiren weiben caineng zhenzheng huajie maodun], Xinhua, reprinted in People’s Daily, 19 February 11. According to the Xinhua article, in an economic development zone in Hefei city, Anhui province, 119 responsible personnel would "learn about the affairs of 100 households" in the city’s 21 communities, engaging in "face-to-face" service provision and coordinating social management work. In Dongcheng district, Beijing municipality, "network management" personnel work to set up a database with information on "people, land, property, matters, and sentiments."

42 "From the Center to the Local, National Widespread Activities To Send Party Cadres to Grassroots" [Cong zhongyang dao difang quanguo guangfan kaizhan dangyuan ganbu xia jiceng huodong], China News Net, 9 April 12. See also "Tibet Supervision Head: For the First Time in Tibet’s History Work Teams Are Stationed in Every Village" [Xizang jianchazhang: xizang lishishang shouci suoyou cun dou paizhu gongzuodui], China Net, reprinted in Phoenix Net, 8 March 12. According to the China Net article, the work teams went door to door to carry out surveys to discover the needs of households and to do research. The teams conducted stability maintenance work, resolved some disputes over resources, and worked on historical problems, especially focusing on rural anti-splittism. Tian Zhilin, "Qi Zhala Visits Cadres Stationed in Curpu Monastery and Nenang Monastery Emphasizing Vigorous Implementation and Good Innovative Monastery Management Work" [Qi zhala zai kanwang weiwen chubusi nailangsi zhusi ganbu shi qiangdiao], China Tibet News, 31 January 12 (Open Source Center, 15 February 12). According to the China Tibet News article, the Party also stationed work groups in monasteries and strove for the objective of "no major, moderate, or even minor incidents," and to enhance and make innovations in monastery management. "Tibet Issues Emergency Notification: Cadres Absent or Shirking Responsibilities Will Be Terminated on the Spot" [Xizang fa jinji tongzhi: ganbu lin zhen tuisuo yilu jiudi mianzhi], Tibet Daily, reprinted in Auyi News.com, 6 February 12. According to the Tibet Daily report, officials in the Tibetan Autonomous Region Party Discipline Inspection Commission reportedly issued two "urgent" circulars calling upon officials at all levels to strengthen political awareness and social stability work. One announcement indicated cadres who fail to maintain social stability would be punished.

43 "China Boosts Police Presence in Xinjiang Region Amid Concern Over Religious Extremism," Associated Press, 30 January 12. According to the AP article, a regional official urged local authorities to "further improve their capabilities for maintaining social stability and amplify the crackdown on religious extremist activities."

44 CECC, 2011 Annual Report, 10 October 11, 159.

45 Charles Hutzler, "Watching Dissidents Is a Booming Business in China," Associated Press, reprinted in Huffington Post, 28 May 12.

46 Ibid.

47 Ibid.; Michael Wines, "Prominent Chinese Dissident Hu Jia Is Released From Jail," New York Times, 26 June 11; United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, "4/27/2011: USCIRF: Easter Detentions Show Need