To promote high-level exchange and discussion of law and human rights issues in the United States and China, the National Committee and the China Foundation for Human Rights Development co-organize an annual U.S.-China Track II Dialogue on the Rule of Law & Human Rights. Established in December 2009, this Track II dialogue is the first of its kind to be jointly hosted by U.S. and Chinese non-government organizations.
The dialogue draws in experts from the American and Chinese government, academia, and the legal field, who gather to discuss developments in areas of the law that affect the rule of law and human rights. Some of the institutions represented at the dialogue include China’s National People’s Congress, State Council, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Ministry of Justice as well as provincial and local bureaus; U.S. federal judiciary, Departments of Commerce and Justice; and defense bars and academia of both countries. These experts bring multiple institutional perspectives to each of the issue areas, which add greater focus and depth to the discussions.
Each of the nine iterations of the dialogue has generated significant goodwill, greater mutual understanding and respect among the discussants, and has caused experts from both countries to reflect on their own legal practices and consider alternate approaches to addressing issues in legal reform. Discussants pledge further cooperation on rule of law and human rights issues.
From October 27 to 29, 2019, experts from the American and Chinese governments, the legal field, and academia convened in New York for the National Committee’s U.S.-China Track II Dialogue on the Rule of Law & Human Rights. The sessions covered important and timely issues, including trial and bail system reforms in both countries, government accountability and supervision, legal protections for specific groups, and safeguarding human rights, with a particular focus on China’s governance in Xinjiang. In addition to the dialogue sessions, the Chinese delegation visited the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where they met with Judge Sidney Stein and observed a sentencing in the courtroom of Judge Paul Engelmayer.
Earlier sessions of the dialogue were held December 3-6, 2018 in Beijing; November 13-16, 2017 in New York; December 6-10, 2015 in Beijing; September 10-12, 2013 in Glen Cove, New York; December 3-5, 2012 in Haikou, Hainan Province; September 14-15, 2011, in New York; December 7-8, 2010, in Xiamen, Fujian Province; and December 12-13, 2009, in Nantong, Jiangsu Province.
The National Committee is grateful to The Starr Foundation for its ongoing and generous support of this program.