Posted by: mulrickillion | November 11, 2011

Hearing: "China’s Censorship of the Internet and Social Media: The Human Toll and Trade Impact," Thurs., Nov. 17, 2011, 10 a.m.

Representative Christopher Smith, Chairman and Senator Sherrod Brown, Cochairman

of the

Congressional-Executive Commission on China

announce a hearing on

“China’s Censorship of the Internet and Social Media: The Human Toll and Trade Impact ”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Washington, DC, Location TBA

China’s tightening censorship amidst a boom in the popularity of social media and the Internet raises important questions regarding both the human dimension and the trade impact of these trends. Chinese citizens are increasingly criticizing the government and Party while accessing greater information online, but face imprisonment and harassment for their actions. This hearing will first examine the human toll from online censorship.

The U.S. Trade Representative is also seeking greater transparency on China’s Internet censorship at the World Trade Organization. The second panel will look at the growth of China’s Internet and the role that trade remedies can play in combating China’s Internet censorship and ensuring U.S. companies have access to China’s market. U.S. companies, from leading tech firms to small businesses, are shut out of China, while Chinese versions of these companies flourish and raise millions of dollars overseas, including in the United States.

Witnesses:

Panel 1:

Alex Li, college student and son of Li Yuanlong, who served two years in prison for commenting on the Communist Party online

Pastor John Zhang,Christian political dissident who was imprisoned for two years following the 1989 Tiananmen protests and who currently assists families of Chinese political prisoners

Panel 2:

Xiao Qiang, Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley; Founder and Editor-in-Chief of China Digital Times

Gil Kaplan, Partner, King & Spalding; President of the Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws

Edward Black, President and CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association

Click here to download a copy of the Commission’s full 2011 Annual Report.

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China, established by the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000 as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization, is mandated by law to monitor human rights, including worker rights, and the development of the rule of law in China. The Commission by mandate also maintains a database of information on political prisoners in China-individuals who have been imprisoned by the Chinese government for exercising their civil and political rights under China’s Constitution and laws or under China’s international human rights obligations. All of the Commission’s reporting and its Political Prisoner Database are available to the public online via the Commission’s Web site, http://www.cecc.gov.

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