China Forum

China Forum 2024

China Forum is an annual conference in Washington, D.C. convening scholars, experts, and policymakers in the areas of trade and economics, foreign policy and security, and human rights and political development. The goal of China Forum is to help Americans understand the nature of the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party, and key issues in U.S.-China relations.

China Forum Agenda 2024

Panel and Film Screening

Reception

Welcome

Opening Remarks

Film Screening

Panel Discussion: Beijing’s Ongoing Repression of the Uyghurs

China Forum 2024

Coffee & Registration

Opening Remarks

Remarks from US Congress Members

Keynote Address 

Uyghur Forced Labor: Dissecting Beijing’s Systems of Coercive Work for Ethnic Minorities 

Beijing’s forced labor schemes targeting ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been increasingly well documented, tainting global supply chains in major industries from cotton and tomatoes to auto parts and solar. This panel will discuss new research on forced labor in Xinjiang and how the ILO’s updated forced labor measurement guidelines squarely target Uyghur forced labor.

Human Rights and Diplomacy: Strategies for Holding Beijing Accountable in International Systems

China’s quintennial human rights review at the United Nations in late 2023 and early 2024 illustrated member states’ rising concern about Beijing’s human rights record, lack of transparency, and its co-optation and manipulation of multilateral systems. This panel will discuss prospects for concrete actions by UN bodies and member states in the international system, such as public condemnation, coordinated sanctions, Human Rights Council resolutions, fact-finding missions, increased reporting by the Human Rights Commissioner, commissions of inquiry, and diplomatic isolation. It will also address the role of Muslim-majority countries and faith leaders in pressing Beijing to respect fundamental rights

Luncheon

The Price of Profits: An Assessment of How Western Businesses are Disentangling from Beijing’s Malign Activities

As companies and consumers grapple with Beijing’s growing reputation as a malign actor and serial human rights abuser, businesses are increasingly reviewing their relationships with China to “de-risk” them from rising consumer outrage, tighter enforcement of ethical standards, and a policy shift towards more robust legislation such as forced labor bans. This panel will discuss the duties of responsible business and how to convert rules into realities, from outbound investment into China’s capital markets, to supply chain due diligence, to ensuring credible audits, to surveillance and privacy risks from companies like TikTok. Panelists will explore how policymakers and multinationals can take the lead to ensure “clean commerce,” and protect their citizens and consumers from unwitting complicity in human rights atrocities.

Interview and Q&A Session

Coffee Break

Towards Accountability: Pursuing Legal Action on the Xinjiang Atrocity Through International Mechanisms 

Amid the failure of the United Nations to create an independent mechanism to investigate Beijing’s crimes in Xinjiang, researchers and civil society are increasingly exploring ways to consolidate, preserve, and analyze documentation of ongoing atrocities, and to pursue legal action to hold the perpetrators to account. This panel will discuss strategies for accountability, prospects for legal action such as sanctions and universal jurisdiction cases, and how to lay the groundwork for an eventual international criminal trial. It will also address needs and role of diaspora groups in documentation efforts, including topics such as transnational repression, witness testimony, and psychosocial support.

Closing Remarks

China Forum 2022

In Search of My Sister Film Screening

Filmed in over a dozen countries, “In Search of My Sister” is a story of an American Uyghur Activist whose sister is one of 1.8-3 million Uyghurs taken by the Chinese Communist Party. She embarks on a journey to create awareness and find clues to the whereabouts of her missing sister.

China Forum 2022

Welcome Remarks

Uyghur Forced Labor and Prevention: New Trends in Coercive Labor and the Duties of Business

NOTE: This panel will adhere to Chatham House rules. The discussion will be off-the-record and will not be live-streamed.

In June 2022 the United States banned the import of all goods linked to Xinjiang due to the region’s systematic, state-sponsored forced labor systems, through the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Recently Xinjiang has embarked on a program to deepen the reach of forced labor through increased full employment requirements. Which goods and sectors can be implicated in forced labor? How has enactment of the UFLPA, and the enforcement measures applied to date, impacted US-China supply chains? Can the Act effectively contain the import of goods whose production is linked to Xinjiang, or are Chinese businesses successfully avoiding the ban? Can supply chain regulations catch up with the evidence? This panel will also address business due diligence issues such as how Xinjiang companies may be evading sanctions, supply chain risks related to intermediary countries especially in Asia, and how the business community is responding amid these developments.

Panelists:

Beginning of Public Livestream

Opening Remarks

Keynote Address

Entanglement and Dependencies: Addressing the Challenges of Economic Integration With China

Beijing has leveraged China’s economic power and integration with global markets to expand its global influence and reduce criticism of its human rights violations. Business relationships with China increasingly implicate rights-respecting countries and companies in Beijing’s human rights abuses, military modernization, and surveillance state. This panel will discuss the moral and strategic costs of doing business with China, the challenges of disentangling from problematic financial ties, and explore approaches toward strategic forms of decoupling from related entanglements.

Panelists:

Global Governance: World Order With Chinese Characteristics?

Now more than ever, the CCP appears confident that their system of governance is ascendant. This now poses a serious question for the U.S. and its allies: Does the CCP intend to export this system of governance in the same way that the Soviet Union did? This panel will explore the ways in which the CCP is promoting its authoritarian system overseas, or at least using its growing influence to silence dissent against it.
Panelists:

Luncheon

Chains of Command: Beijing’s Policymaking on Xinjiang and the Direction of Ethnic Policy Under Xi Jinping

Internal documents from the leaked “Xinjiang Papers” and hacked “Xinjiang Police Files” shed unprecedented new light on the nature, scale, and driving forces behind Beijing’s campaign of mass internment. This panel will discuss what the latest evidence reveals about Beijing’s increasingly draconian ethnic policies in particular in Xinjiang, including their genesis and development, their nature and intent, the extent of central government involvement, and their future direction under Xi Jinping. It will discuss the latest developments in ethnic policy for sensitive groups such as Uyghurs or Tibetans, and assess how unprecedented developments in Xinjiang may be influencing policies in other sensitive ethnic regions.

Panelists:

Interview and Q&a Session

Global Ambitions: Beijing’s Foreign Policy and Power Projection

Under Xi Jinping, Beijing’s foreign policy has taken a coercive turn, and its attempts to influence global norms and institutions in line with its global ambitions have become more overt. China’s economic coercion toward other countries, unprecedented military aggression towards Taiwan, and quiet backing of Putin’s land war Ukraine have amplified existing concerns over the ascending superpower’s role within the global community. What are the implications for international relations? What is needed to defend and strengthen a rules-based global order? This panel will assess China’s means of power projection and explore research-driven counter-strategies and responses.

Panelists:

Closing Remarks

China Forum 2021

China Forum Agenda 2021

China Forum 2021

Opening Remarks

Chairman’s Remarks
Keynote Remarks

Technology, Authoritarianism, and Big Tech’s Compliancy

TECHNOLOGY, AUTHORITARIANISM, AND BIG TECH’S COMPLIANCY
The unique pairing of an authoritarian government with highly advanced technology has resulted in the world’s most sophisticated police state, and the CCP is determined to export these measures to regimes around the world. This panel will discuss the extent to which the CCP seeks to disrupt global norms governing the use of technology to repress people both at home and abroad and how Silicon Valley is unwittingly or wittingly complicit. 
Panelists:

Global Governance: World Order With Chinese Characteristics?

Now more than ever, the CCP appears confident that their system of governance is ascendant. This now poses a serious question for the U.S. and its allies: Does the CCP intend to export this system of governance in the same way that the Soviet Union did? This panel will explore the ways in which the CCP is promoting its authoritarian system overseas, or at least using its growing influence to silence dissent against it.
Panelists:

China’s Frontiers: The Ccp and Colonial Legacies

How do we view China – a nation, a civilization, or an empire? In 1949, the CCP inherited a vast landmass that encompassed countless cultures, languages, and ethnic groups. Mao implemented a Leninist system that promised many of these unique groups autonomy within a socialist state. However, under Xi Jinping and his “second-generation ethnic policies,” it seems that the CCP has resurrected the same kind of colonialism that was practiced by the empires of the 19th century. This panel will focus on the crises facing the nations that live along China’s historical frontiers, namely the Turkic peoples, Tibetans, and Mongols, as well as how Hong Kong fits into this discussion.
Panelists:

LUNCHEON

Supply Chain and Forced Labor

Reports published in the past year by VOC have presented new evidence that hundreds of thousands of indigenous laborers in Xinjiang are being forced to pick cotton and attend “vocational training,” and being deported to other parts of the country as part of a coercive, state-mandated labor transfer and “poverty alleviation” scheme, with possibly drastic consequences for global supply chains. This panel will discuss this evidence, its implications, and what can be done to effect change.
 
Panelists:

Finance: The Myth of Chinese Financial Hegemony

FINANCE: THE MYTH OF CHINESE FINANCIAL HEGEMONY
China is home to the largest finance sector in the world, but it may not be as strong as it seems. The Global Magnitsky Act empowered free governments to sanction individuals responsible for human rights abuses. The free world appears to be on the verge of taking the next step, which is to target private companies whose support of governmental actions makes the abuses possible. This panel will highlight the risks run by U.S. and Chinese businesses providing material support for China’s human rights abuses. Additionally, this panel will discuss how multinational corporations are enabling Beijing’s repression and what can be done to hold them to account. 
Panelists:

Closing Remarks