Source description last updated: 22 March 2018
In brief: The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), is a governmental organisation created by US Congress in October 2000 in order to monitor human rights and the rule of law in China.
Coverage on
Annual reports, newsletters on human rights and Tibetan self-immolations, transcripts / records of hearings or round-tables, issue papers and commission analysis on human rights, English translations of legal provisions.
Covered monthly on for China.
“The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (the Commission), established by the U.S.-China Relations Act (19 U.S.C. 1307) as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization, is mandated to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, and to submit an annual report to the President and the Congress. The Commission is also mandated to maintain a database of 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 law or under China’s international human rights obligations. The Commission consists of nine Senators, nine Members of the House of Representatives, and five senior Administration officials appointed by the President and representing the Department of State, Department of Labor, and the Department of Commerce.” (CECC: Annual Report 2015, p. (1), 8 October 2015)
According to Section 303 of the China Relations Act of 2000 of the USA, the CECC’s objectives include:
“(a) Monitoring compliance with human rights - The Commission shall monitor the acts of the People's Republic of China which reflect compliance with or violation of human rights, in particular, those contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights […]
(b) Victims lists - The Commission shall compile and maintain lists of persons believed to be imprisoned, detained, or placed under house arrest, tortured, or otherwise persecuted by the Government of the People's Republic of China due to their pursuit of the rights described in subsection (a). In compiling such lists, the Commission shall exercise appropriate discretion, including concerns regarding the safety and security of, and benefit to, the persons who may be included on the lists and their families.
(c) Monitoring development of rule of law – The Commission shall monitor the development of the rule of law in the People’s Republic of China […]
(d) Bilateral cooperation - The Commission shall monitor and encourage the development of programs and activities of the United States Government and private organizations with a view toward increasing the interchange of people and ideas between the United States and the People's Republic of China and expanding cooperation in areas that include, but are not limited to -
(1) increasing enforcement of human rights described in subsection (a); and
(2) developing the rule of law in the People's Republic of China.
(e) Contact with nongovernmental organizations. – In performing the functions described in subsections (a) through (d), the Commission shall, as appropriate, seek out and maintain contacts with nongovernmental organizations, including receiving reports and updates from such organizations and evaluating such reports.
(f) Cooperation with special coordinator. – In performing the functions described in subsections (a) through (d), the Commission shall cooperate with the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues in the Department of State.
(g) Annual reports. – The Commission shall issue a report to the President and the Congress not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and not later than the end of each 12-month period thereafter, setting forth the findings of the Commission during the preceding 12-month period, in carrying out subsections (a) through (c). The Commission's report may contain recommendations for legislative or executive action.
(h) Specific information in annual reports. - The Commission's report under subsection (g) shall include specific information as to the nature and implementation of laws or policies concerning the rights set forth in paragraphs (1) through (12) of subsection (a), and as to restrictions applied to or discrimination against persons exercising any of the rights set forth in such paragraphs.
(i) Congressional hearings on annual reports. - (1) The Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives shall, not later than 30 days after the receipt by the Congress of the report referred to in subsection (g), hold hearings on the contents of the report […].” (US Government, 106th Congress 2D Session: H.R. 4444 An act to authorize extension of nondiscriminatory treatment (normal trade relations treatment) to the People's Republic of China, and to establish a framework for relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, 2000, p.46 - 48)
US government, for further details see Government of the USA: Fiscal Year 2016 Budget of the U.S. Government – Appendix, p. 40 - 41, 2015.
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: China.
Thematic focus: Human rights, rule of law, political prisoners and victims of torture.
“The Commission's professional staff is made up of U.S. experts on China specializing in religious freedom, labor affairs, Tibet and ethnic minorities, the Internet and free-flow of broadcast and print information, and law and legal reform, including commercial law reform. The Commission submits an annual report to the Congressional leadership and the President. To gather information for the report, the CECC holds formal hearings and informal issues roundtables that bring together academics, activists, government officials, business representatives, and other experts on issues related to the Commission's mandate. Staff members also make frequent trips to China to gather information, meet Chinese officials, scholars, and analysts, and consult about the human rights situation and the development of the rule of law in China with U.S. diplomats, and others.” (CECC website: Frequently Asked Questions; undated)
Language of publications:
Further reading:
Law on establishment of the CECC:
Political Prisoner Database
All links accessed 22 March 2018. summary:
All documents available on from this source