Public Intellectuals in China

385 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 | Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Transcript (PDF) (Text)

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China held another in its series of staff-led Issues Roundtables, entitled "Public Intellectuals in China," on Thursday, March 10, at 10:00 AM in Room 385, Russell Senate Office Building.

All CECC hearings and Issues Roundtables are open to the public and the press. Members of the public who wish to attend do not need to respond to this message or otherwise register. News media representatives should see the final paragraph of this announcement.

Throughout the history of modern China, scholars and intellectuals have helped to guide China's political and social development and have served as voices of introspection, reform, and in some cases dissent against the excesses of China's leaders. Some observers had expressed hope that the accession of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to the top leadership posts in the Party and State might usher in a new period of openness for Chinese intellectuals. In recent months, however, government intimidation and harassment of public intellectuals appears to have intensified. Since official newspapers published a series of editorials critical of the concept of "public intellectuals" in November, numerous prominent intellectuals, many of whom have published writings critical of the government, have been detained, demoted, or blacklisted from publishing.

This Roundtable examined the role of public intellectuals in China, their impact on China's political and legal reform process, and the implications of recent detentions and harassment of intellectuals and activists.


Dr. Merle Goldman, Professor Emerita of Chinese History, Boston University; Executive Committee Member, Fairbank Center for East Asia Research, Harvard University

Mr. Hu Ping, Chief Editor, Beijing Spring

Dr. Perry Link, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Princeton University