Hearing: Access to Information and Media Control in the People’s Republic of China

Hearing Transcript: 

June 18, 2008


Room 418, Russell Senate Office Building
Delaware and Constitution Avenue, NE
Washington, DC  20510


Hearing Co-Chairs: Chairman Larry Wortzel and Commissioner Jeffrey Fiedler

AGENDA

Opening Statements

  • Opening Statement of Chairman Larry Wortzel [Remarks]
  • Opening Statement of Commissioner Jeffrey Fiedler [Remarks]

Panel I: Information Control and Media Influence Associated with the Olympics

  • A general discussion of the ways in which preparations for the Olympics have affected the efforts of the PRC state to control  domestic & international perceptions of China’s domestic situation and foreign engagements  
  • A discussion of the earlier pledges of media freedom made by the PRC state in association with the Olympics, and whether or not they are being honored
  • Dr. Randolph Kluver, Director of the Institute for Pacific Asia, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX [Testimony]
  • Ms. Lucie Morillon, Washington Representative for Reporters Without Borders, Washington, D.C. [Testimony]

Panel II: Information Control and Media Influence Associated with China’s Ethnic Unrest and Outbreaks of Infectious Disease

  • A discussion of how the PRC state seeks to control information about social unrest resulting from social problems (land seizures, pollution, etc.), and the means by which the internet and new technologies are being used as a tool of mobilization by civil society groups
  • A discussion of how the PRC state seeks to control information, both domestically and internationally, about ethnic unrest (in Tibet, Xinjiang, etc.)
  • Mr. Dan Southerland, Vice President of Programming and Executive Editor of Radio Free Asia, Washington, D.C. [Testimony]
  • Col. Susan Puska (USA-R), Defense Group Inc., Washington DC

Panel III: Access to the Internet and the Participation of U.S. & Western Firms in Chinese Internet Controls

  • A discussion of ways and means by which the state controls publicly-available content on the internet
  • A discussion of the role played by U.S. firms in facilitating regime control of the internet
  • Mr.  Xiao Qiang, Director of China Internet Project at University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Ron Deibert, Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario; speaking on behalf of the Open Net Initiative [Testimony]

Panel IV: Popular Chinese Nationalism & Its Relationship to Chinese State Media

  • A discussion of popular Chinese nationalism, the outlets by which it is expressed, and how it effects U.S.-China relations
  • A discussion of how the Chinese government seeks by turns to foster nationalism and xenophobia for purposes of domestic political mobilization, and then to restrain it as a potential threat to social order
  • Dr. Peter Gries, Harold J. & Ruth Newman Chair in US-China Issues, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK [Testimony]
  • Dr. Perry Link, Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ [Testimony]

Panel V: Information Controls as a Potential WTO Violation

  • A discussion of ongoing debates within the U.S. and E.U. as whether or not Chinese government information controls (particularly for financial services sector information) could be considered as a WTO violation
  • Mr. Gilbert Kaplan, Partner at King & Spalding LLP, Washington, D.C.; speaking on behalf of the California First Amendment Coalition [Testimony]