- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

Contending Perspectives on the Rule of Law in China


Friday, November 15, 2013


9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a light breakfast and lunch included.


Magnuson/Jackson Trial Courtroom (Room 138)
University of Washington School of Law

CLE Credit Available

Pending approval, the conference will provide attending lawyers with several CLE credit hours in Washington State. This event is free and open to the public; for CLE credit, a modest registration fee may apply.


A detailed agenda will be made available prior to the event.

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, please contact:

Sonia Luthra
Assistant Director, Outreach

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Jonathan Walton at 206-632-7370 or

The National Bureau of Asian Research, in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the University of Washington School of Law, and the Severyns-Ravenholt Seminar in Comparative Politics, and with support from the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program, hosted a conference on “Contending Perspectives on the Rule of Law in China” on Friday, November 15, 2013, on the campus of the University of Washington.

Beneath the surface of its remarkable rise to power, China continues to face profound challenges that could threaten economic growth, internal stability, and U.S.-China relations. At the heart of many of these challenges is China’s ongoing inability to institute the rule of law and the continued use of extralegal practices in all aspects of political, economic, and social life.

From the abuse of power by corrupt officials, environmental disasters, illegal land seizures, and violations of labor rights, to weak enforcement of intellectual property rights, questions about the rule of law are roiling throughout China. Xi Jinping’s time in power has so far seen intense debate on political and legal reforms as well as detention and marginalization of dissenters.

This conference considered key aspects of the rule of law in China, assessed the regime’s ability to manage calls for greater adherence to the rule of law, and ultimately addressed the question of whether the ruling party can be constrained by law. The organizers assembled an array of top scholars, practitioners, and advocates from the United States and China to assess these issues through two critical segments of China’s population: the elite and the general public.

The conference was organized by NBR’s Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies.


Susan H. Whiting
University of Washington


Frank K. Upham
New York University


He Weifang
Peking University


Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University

Stanley B. Lubman
University of California-Berkeley


Mary E. Gallagher
University of Michigan

Keith J. Hand
University of California-Hastings

Li Lingyun
East China University of Politics and Law

Carl F. Minzner
Fordham University

Alex Wang
University of California-Los Angeles

Susan H. Whiting
University of Washington

Dongsheng Zang
University of Washington

Zhu Jingwen
Renmin University

With support from:

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation

The University of Washington School of Law

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program
(funded by The Henry Luce Foundation and The Starr Foundation)

The Severyns-Ravenholt Seminar in Comparative Politics at the University of Washington

The Asian Law Center of the University of Washington School of Law

Banner photo by Thomas Fanghaenel (CC-BY-SA).