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Chronology: China Program

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2016

May 2016: Program Director Yawei Liu speaks at the College of Business, Hong Kong City University, and the Xian Foreign Languages University on the lack of strategic trust between the U.S. and China. In Hong Kong, Yawei also visits the Tianda Institute, a think tank with close ties to the central leadership in Beijing.

April 2016: Jordan Ryan, vice president of peace programs at the Center, publishes an article in the Global Times newspaper titled “Joint Quest for Global Peace Can Keep Bilateral Relations on Course.” This op-ed is directly related to the outcomes of the Africa-China-U.S. Consultation for Peace held in January at the Center.

Program staff present at Emory University’s East Asia Week. Yawei Liu gives a keynote speech on THAAD missile systems and developments in North Pacific security, and Senior Program Associate Ying Zhu participates in a panel discussion on China’s economic diplomacy.

March 2016: The Carter Center, along with Emory University, co-hosts "What's the Deal with the Climate Deal?" discussion, featuring Emory faculty and students who attended the 2015 Paris U.N. Climate Change Conference.

February 2016: The program invites Ambassador Wu Jianmin, executive vice chairman of the China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy and a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Committee of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, to speak at the inaugural Emory University – The Carter Center Conversations on U.S.-China Relations on “Changes in Chinese Foreign Policy Since 2013.”

January 2016: The Carter Center hosts the second U.S.-China-Africa Consultation for Peace and Development to discuss collaboration between China and the United States on conflict resolution, diplomatic engagement, public health, and development in Africa.

Yawei Liu attends the East-West Philanthropists Summit held at the East-West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.

2015

November 2015: The Carter Center holds the fourth Carter Center Forum on U.S.-China Relations with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The forum is attended by more than 50 influential leaders. The China-United States Exchange Foundation and the Chinese Humanist Association of Guangdong co-sponsor the forum.

October 2015: In collaboration with the Global Times Foundation, the program organizes the second Carter Center U.S.-China Young Scholars Forum at Emory University. Presentations, critiques and the ensuing debate focus on the causes of friction in the bilateral relationship. Scholars from both countries share their research on the topic, “How Will the Future International Order Be Shaped by Past and Current U.S.-China Interactions?” Participating senior scholars also hold a lively dialogue with Professor Lyle Goldstein, author of “Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry.”

September 2015: The Center hosts the documentary “Mr. Deng Goes to Washington” at the Carter Presidential Library. The director, Fu Hongxing, introduces the movie and participates in a discussion after the screening. Mrs. Sharon Woodcock, wife of the late Ambassador Leonard Woodcock, the first U.S. ambassador to China, also participates in the discussion.

President Carter publishes an op-ed titled “Obama and Xi Must Do More than Agree to Disagree” in The Huffington Post. This op-ed is published a week before President Xi Jinping’s official visit to Washington.

August 2015: The U.S.-China Business Association names President Carter an “Outstanding Contribution Award Winner,” and Ambassador Mary Ann Peters accepts the award on his behalf.

May 2015: The China Program co-hosts the World Forum on China Studies with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences — the first time that the biennial event is held outside of China. More than 30 eminent Chinese and American scholars and policy researchers exchange views on China’s domestic and international reforms and their implications for U.S.-China relations.

Program staff travel to Edmonton, Canada, to present the paper “Lost in Transition: A Case Study of Chinese Censorship,” which looks at how the program’s WeChat account was impacted by new censorship policies.

At the invitation of Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Yawei Liu travels to Washington, D.C., to present at a daylong expert workshop. The conference aims to assess China’s relationship with the world and analyze whether China will opt to take a more formative role in the global community.

Liu also travels to Houston, Texas, to attend the George H.W. Bush China-U.S. Relations Conference, focused on “2015 Global Infectious Diseases: Prevention, Preparedness, and Response.”

March 2015: The Carter Center hosts the first U.S.-China-Africa Consultation on Peace to discuss collaboration between China and the United States in Africa, focused on Sudan and South Sudan.

2014

November 2014: A three-person delegation of political science researchers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, led by Dr. Fang Ning, visits Atlanta to learn more about the midterm elections in the U.S.

October 2014: The National Committee of U.S.-China Relations presents China Town Hall 2014 at The Carter Center, featuring a conversation between NCUCR President Steve Orlins and President Carter.

September 2014: The inaugural Forum for Young Chinese and American Scholars, jointly organized by The Carter Center and the Global Times Foundation, convenes at the Xi’an Jiaotong University. President Carter gives the opening remarks, and more than 20 young scholars from both countries present their research on the theme, “How to Build Future U.S.-China Relations in the Context of Turbulent International Relations.”

The program organizes the third Carter Center Forum on U.S.-China Relations in Beijing with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The forum is attended by over 100 influential leaders. The Ash Center of the Harvard Kennedy School and the International Data Group co-sponsor the forum.

President Carter travels to Beijing, Qingdao, Xi’an, and Shanghai to celebrate 35 years of normalized relations between the U.S. and China. In Shanghai, President Carter delivers the annual Barnett-Oksenberg address, which commemorates two of the founding scholars of the U.S.-China relations field. He also gives remarks during a Skype event linking a live audience from a Shanghai school with schools in New York City, Toronto, and Singapore.

August 2014: President Carter meets with Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, Consul General Li Qiangmin, and staffers of the Houston consulate at The Carter Center.

June 2014: Dr. John Hardman and Yawei Liu meet with University of Georgia staff to discuss possible collaboration with UGA on a U.S.-China relations forum.

May 2014: An eight-person delegation from the Nanjing Municipal Department of Propaganda visits the Center. The visitors are interested in collaborating on access to information and open government initiative projects.

The program launches a Chinese-language online publication on U.S.-China relations at www.uscnpm.com.

A four-person delegation from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations visits the Center and Emory University. Delegates express support for the Center’s work in the Sudans and propose that the two organizations coordinate a Track II dialogue on U.S.-China-Africa collaboration.

April 2014: Yawei Liu attends a meeting organized by the Asia Society on Myanmar-U.S.-China relations in Washington, D.C. The meeting is organized by the Asia Society’s Arthur Ross Center on U.S.-China Relations to look for ways for the U.S. and China to work together with Myanmar on issues of common concern.

Professor Zhu Feng of Nanjing University comes to The Carter Center and Emory University to present his talk, “The Endgame of North Korea,” which outlines how the U.S. and China might collaborate on denuclearizing North Korea.

The program’s historical website on advancing democratic awareness in China, www.chinaelections.com, becomes accessible in China.

March 2014: The program supports the Emory Global China Connection’s China Summit 2014. Student teams offer proposals for two modern issues – ghost towns and air pollution.

Yawei Liu moderates a panel at the annual conference co-organized by Sister City International based in Washington, D.C. and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. He also attends a meeting at Harvard University on the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China.

Program representatives travel to China to meet with partners, including several prominent Chinese universities, the American Embassy, the Gates and Ford foundations, and the Friendship Association.

February 2014: President Carter gives an interview on state broadcaster CCTV on U.S.-China relations, the normalization process, and what the two nations can do in the future to deepen ties.

January 2014: President Carter’s remarks from the November 2013 forum on U.S.-China relations are printed in Chinese in the People’s Daily.

Yawei Liu and Sean Ding travel to New York City to visit with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the Asia Society, and the Council on Foreign Relations to discuss potential collaboration.

2013

December 2013: Program staff travel to Beijing and Shanghai to meet with potential partners, including Shanghai Jiaotong University, the IDCPC, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and Peking University.

Because of the lack of support from the mainland government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Carter Center-Hong Kong Baptist University Initiative on International Peace and Development is terminated.

November 2013: The China Program co-hosts a public forum on U.S.-China relations with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Emory University. The forum objectives are to improve U.S.-China relations and to renew the Center’s committed engagement with China.

Dr. John Hardman travels through China and meets with Vice Minister Yu Hongjun of IDCPC and Hugo Shong of IDG.

Gen. Qiao Liang speaks at the Center. Yawei Liu also travels with Qiao to Columbia University in New York and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where Qiao speaks on U.S.-China relations.

At the invitation of the Asia Society, Yawei Liu travels to Myanmar to attend a summit on U.S.-China-Myanmar collaboration.

September 2013: The program launches its U.S.-China relations project website,www.uscnpm.org.

Center staff members present the Weibo monitoring project, which contributes to understanding the Chinese perception of America and current events, at Georgia State University.

August 2013: Program staff members travel to Beijing and Hong Kong to finalize the agenda for the November forum on U.S.-China relations and to discuss with HKBU partners the next phase of the joint initiative.

The China Program releases the first issue of its “U.S.-China Perception Monitor” magazine.

The program receives a grant from the Open Society Foundation to translate a Chinese book, “How the Red Sun Rose,” by Professor Gao Hua. It covers the Yan’an Rectification Movement and will be the first detailed English text on the subject.

A seminar on the basic law of Hong Kong and the challenges to the upcoming direct election of Hong Kong’s chief executive is held at the Hong Kong Baptist University, attended by scholars from both mainland China and Hong Kong.

July 2013: Ambassador Cui Tiankai and Consul General Xu Erwen visit President and Mrs. Carter at their home in Plains to discuss how the Center can improve U.S.-China relations.

May 2013: Vice Minister Yu Hongjun of the International Department of the CPC visits the Center.

The center launches a website on political reform developments in Hong Kong on a trial basis.

China Central Television conducts an interview with President Carter as part of a serial documentary on U.S.-China relations.

The Revs. Jim Moos and Xiao-ling Zhu from the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ visit the Center. They are interested in sponsoring a U.S.-China church-to-church relations forum.

The China Program hosts a project design workshop for the U.S.-China relations initiative.

April 2013: Program staff members travel to Beijing and Shenzhen, China, to meet with program partners, including the Charhar Institute, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and several NGOs. Partners urge The Carter Center to stay engaged in China and encourage the Center to pursue the U.S.-China relations project.

March 2013: Dr. John Hardman and Yawei Liu travel to China with Carter Center donors George and Camilla Smith to meet with the Charhar Institute; NPR reporters Anthony Kuhn and Louisa Lim; Dr. Wang Zhenyao, formerly with the Ministry of Civil Affairs; Madame Li Xiaolin of CPAFFC; and Professor Zhao Kejin of Tsinghua University.

February 2013: Chinese Consul General Xu Erwen meets with President Carter.

People’s Liberation Army Maj. Gen. Zhu Chenghu visits for a discussion titled “The U.S.-China Relationship at a Crossroads.”

The China Program and the University of Denver co-organize a conference on China in Africa at the university.

2012

December 2012: President Carter meets President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang; Xi and Li suggest that The Carter Center dedicate more effort toward improving U.S.-China Relations.

November 2012: The Carter Center organizes a U.S. presidential election observation mission for Chinese scholars and contributors to the www.chinaelections.org website. The group visits Chicago, Indianapolis, and West Lafayette, Indiana. The scholars present their views on political developments in China at the University of Chicago and Purdue University.

The U.S.-China Business Association names President Carter an “Outstanding Contribution Award Winner” for 2012. 

August 2012: Center staff members travel to Hong Kong to hold discussions with Hong Kong Baptist University on the launch of the Carter Center-Hong Kong Baptist University Initiative on International Peace and Development.

April 2012: The signature website of the China Program, www.chinaelections.org, is forced offline inside China.

March 2012: The China Program finalizes the list of Chinese delegation members to observe the U.S. presidential election in November. There are two groups totaling approximately 25 observers.

January 2012: The Carter Center receives an award from the National Association of Chinese-Americans for its role in advancing U.S.-China relations. The Carter Center is the only NGO to win this award. Past winners include corporations such as The Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines, and The Home Depot.

2011

December 2011: President Carter meets with Vice President Xi Jinping, who is expected to become the next top leader in 2012. President Carter also meets Minister Wang Chen of the State Council Information Office. These meetings serve to remind the Chinese leadership of the Center's long history of partnership with China.

Vice President Xi Jinping says it is "entirely possible" for the Center to work with Chinese partners on projects related to China-Africa relations.

December 2011: During President Carter's visit to Hong Kong, a joint initiative between The Carter Center and Hong Kong Baptist University is launched. The collaboration will entail China-Africa related projects and the monitoring of Hong Kong's political development leading up to the 2017 elections, which will mark the implementation of universal suffrage in Hong Kong and is believed to be a test run for higher-level direct elections on mainland China.

September-October 2011: Throughout September and October, the China Program worked to develop a plan for the China-Africa Advisory Group (CAAG), which will be jointly organized by The Carter Center, Emory University's Institute for Developing Nations, and Zhejiang Normal University. The China Program made contact with possible CAAG members and initiated plans to convene a meeting on China-Africa relations in Beijing in December during President Carter's visit. We also hope to engage an institution in Africa and began to explore potential partners.

January 2011: To better assess China's impact in Africa and foster mutual understanding among different stakeholders, The Carter Center develops a bilingual website that brings together perspectives from Africa, China, and the West on the role that China plays in Africa's quest for peace, health, and economic development. In partnership with researchers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of West Asian and African Studies, The Carter Center convenes an editorial group to work on identifying topics and developing content for the new Sinoafrica.org website.

2010

September 2010: President Carter makes his 11th visit to China, speaking on China Open Government Information regulation at a Carter Center-sponsored colloquium at Tsinghua University Law School, participating in the Fourth Annual China Zhijiang Peace and Culture Festival commemorating General Claire Lee Chennault and the American Volunteer Group, giving the keynote address at the Shanghai International Friendship Cities Conference, and addressing students and faculty at Hunan University's Yuelu Academy. The Carter Center and Hunan University sign a Memorandum of Understanding for future partnerships.

May 2010: China Elections and Governance launches the first issue of the 21st Century International Review, a journal focusing on Chinese politics and international affairs published by China's Northwest University Press.

March 2010: The Carter Center convenes back-to-back conferences in Beijing, the first, "China's Political Development and Political Reform," in cooperation with the liberal and reform-minded Department of Political Science at Tsinghua University, and the second, "The Current Status and Future Trends in the Reform of China's Political System," with the conservative Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

March 2010: The Carter Center sends the largest delegation ever, comprised of scholars from Brookings Institute, UC Berkeley, Ohio University, and Boston University, to two villages in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, to assess villager committee elections.

February 2010: The Carter Center holds its 2010 meeting for all full-time and part-time editors to Chinaelections.org.

January 2010: The Carter Center holds trainings in Anhui Province's Xiuning County on the petition system, through which citizens voice complaints to the government, and holds a training for grassroots-level officials in Xiaokou Township, Beijing Municipality.

2009

December 2009: The Carter Center, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries collaborate to mount the traveling photo exhibit celebrating 30 years of relations between China and the United States in the Carter Museum.

The Center convenes a large forum on crisis intervention in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, as well as a forum on "New Media and Democratic Rule of Law" at Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The Carter Center signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Zouping Country, Shangdong Province, agreeing to work with and provide expert advice to Zouping officials in their implementation of the Open Government Information regulation.

November 2009: The Center convenes a forum on Media Legislation at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

September 2009: China Elections and Governance Online (www.chinaelections.org) is overhauled, making it more user friendly and facilitating reader interaction and dialogue.

April 2009: The Center cooperates with the China University for Political Science and Law to convene a series of high-level forums on "Trends in China's Constitutional Politics."

April 2009: The Center begins working with homeowners associations in Beijing to build capacity for the associations.  The project continues through January 2010.

January 2009: President Carter travels to China and meets with high-level officials, including President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Vice President Xi Jinping, and makes a speech from the Great Hall of the People that was televised throughout China.

2008

November 2008: The China Program Access to Information Project launches the China Transparency website (www.chinatransparency.org), a clearinghouse for all articles related to China's transparency issues and recently passed Open Government Information regulation.

The Center invites a delegation of Chinese scholars, Ministry of Civil Affairs officials, heads of NGOs and media reporters to the United States to observe the 2008 U.S. General Election, the third such mission organized by The Carter Center.

June 2008: The Center convenes trainings for members of the standing committee of the county-level people's congress in Hekou County, Yunnan Province.

May-August 2008: The Center holds its second Human Rights Law training in conjunction with the China University of Political Science and Law.

May-June 2008: The Center holds trainings for rural cadres in Zhengmo Town, Shijiazhuang City, Hubei Province. A total of 80 people, comprised of cadres and villager committee representatives, attend the training.

May 2008: The Center holds government reform trainings for rural government workers in Nanzhang County, Hubei Province.

February 2008: The Center holds trainings for local People's Congress representatives in Wenling City, Zhejiang Province.

2007

December 2007: President Carter visits China, meets with Vice President Xi Jinping, and addresses students and faculty at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law.

October 2007: The Center conducts trainings for rural cadres in Nanzhang County, Hubei Province.
The Center begins holding a series of forums on "Civil Society and Local Governance" in partnership with Beijing Normal University's Civil Society and Local Governance Research Center. Between October 2007 and December 2008, 15 forums are held.

June 2007: The Center conducts trainings of People's Congress representatives in Nanzhang County, Hubei Province. 

The Center conducts trainings of People's Congress representatives in Xia County, Shanxi Province.
China Elections and Governance celebrates its fifth anniversary by convening a meeting for all full-time and part-time editors.

April 2007: Xu Xianming, President of Chinese University of Political Science and Law, visits The Carter Center and meets with President Carter.

China Elections and Governance and the Shanxi Institute of Administrative Management jointly convene "Theory and Practical Training in Making People the Focus in Grassroots Government Administration." 50 Civil Servants from Yuci District selected to attend.

2006

December 2006: In cooperation with People's University Department of Political Science, The Carter Center convenes the first in a series of forums on "Political Development." In total, the Center holds 25 forums in the series.

November 2006: The Center invites a Chinese delegation of officials from the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the State Council Development Research Center to observe the U.S. midterm elections.
The Carter Center holds rural self-governance trainings in Hubei's Nanzhang County.

September 2006: The Carter Center convenes the 2006-2007 county-wide forum on the People's Congress general election.

August 2006: The Carter Center holds trainings for county-level people's congress representatives in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

June 2006: In collaboration with BCPR, the China Program conducts a training seminar on rural democratic management at the Beijing Capital Normal University. It is attended by 50 local officials, people's congress deputies and research scholars.
The China Program sends a small team to Vietnam on a fact-finding mission. The team tries to find out the status of political reform in Vietnam and explores the possibility of connecting reform-minded Chinese officials with innovative Vietnamese officials.

May 2006: A Carter delegation visits Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province and examines the experiment of agricultural cooperatives that have begun to appear in Rui'an, a city under the jurisdiction of Wenzhou.
The same group observes a village election in Tianjin and holds discussion with the MCA and Tianjin civil affairs officials on the improvement of village elections.

The group travels to Zigong City, Sichuan and observes a training of elected village committee chairs and local civil affair officials. The training is sponsored by the Center.

April 2006: The essay contest on the revision of the Organic Law is completed. A total of 70 entries are sent to the web site.

The national survey on village elections and villager self-government is completed. 264 interviewers trained by the Center have interviewed 3,500 villagers and urban residents drawn from 524 villages and urban residential committees. Also interviewed are 371 village committee members.

March 2006: Working together with the Duke China Election Study Group and the Guangxi Department of Civil Affairs, the Center sponsors a national meeting on the status of urban residential committee elections and improvement of the election procedures. Suggestions are made to revise the National Measures on Urban Residential Committee Elections compiled jointly by the Center and the Duke group in 2004.

January 2006: In collaboration with the BCPR, a learning center for villagers is established in Mayu Village in Shijingshan District, Beijing.

2005

December 2005: A small delegation led by Dr. John Hardman pays a visit to the MCA and reviews the progress of the second phase of the Joint Project to Standardize Village Elections. The group then travels to Shaanxi, checking upon the use of computers donated by the Center and examining the quality of the elections.

The group meets with Mr. Lu Congmin, vice chairman of FAC of the NPC. Mr. Lu extends invitation to President Carter to visit China at his convenience.

A Letter of Intent is signed with the China University of Political Science and Law to establish the Carter School of Government. According to the Letter of Intent, the Global Leadership Foundation based in Hong Kong will raise the necessary seed fund for the founding of the school.

The Center begins to work with the MCA on amending the Organic Law of the Villager Committees (the Organic Law).

The essay contest on revising the Organic Law begins online at www.chinaelections.org.

November 2005: The Center sponsors a training of elected village committee chairs and local civil affairs officials in Chizhou City, Anhui Province.

October 2005: In cooperation with BCPR, the Center launches a Democracy Information Project (DIP) which includes setting up a small library in Beijing, translating English articles on democratization into Chinese and putting Chinese abstracts of English books and essays on Chinese politics and political reform online.

July 2005: In cooperation with the Beijing Center for Policy Research (BCPR), a learning and empowerment center for villagers is established in Fanshan Town, Zhuolu County, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei.

May 2005: 59 computers supplied by Dell China are installed in all counties in Qinghai Province to collect village election data.

A Center delegation observes village elections in a Tibetan village in Qinghai Province and villager self-government training in Anshun City, Guizhou Province.

The same group meets with Mr. Jiang Enzhu, chairman of FAC of the NPC in Beijing and discusses future collaboration on empowering local people's congress deputies and improving election procedures. The group then observes a training of local people's congress deputies and officials in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province. The training is sponsored by the Center.

April 2005: The cumulative hits to the China Elections & Governance Web site reach 7 million. The website has become a well-known portal on politics and reform in China.

January 2005: In collaborating with the MCA and the Research Institute of Sociology, CASS, the first national survey on village elections and villager self-government is launched.

2004

December 2004: A Center group is invited by the FAC of NPC for a fact-finding trip to China on schistosomiasis (snail fever) issues. Following the meeting with Ministry of Health officials, the four-member group travels to infected areas in Anhui and Jiangsu, receives briefings on fighting schistosomiasis, and visits local clinics and patients.

Part of the group goes to Chongqing to check on collection of village elections information through the use of computers donated by Dell China. The group finds that the computers are helpful to local civil affairs officials in collecting and analyzing the election data.

The China Elections & Governance web site is overhauled with new features.

November 2004: The Center invites a Chinese delegation to observe the U.S. presidential elections in Georgia and Tennessee. The 37-group consists of central and local civil affairs officials, national and local people's congress officials, scholars and NGO officers. The ten-day activities include workshops in campaign headquarters and a lobbying firm, watching rallies, visiting media, and observation at polling stations. The Chinese officials also have a chance to visit University of Chicago, Duke University, and NGOs in D.C., give speeches on Chinese local elections and democratization, and exchange views with the American China specialists.

July 2004: The Center continues to cooperate with Duke China Election Study Group on revising the urban community resident committee elections. A small team works with civil affairs officials in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Jiangsu province and conducts two pilot urban community elections based on the Draft Election Procedures produced in 2003.

With help from the NPC and the Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress, the Center sponsors a training of township people's chairmen and vice chairmen in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province.

June 2004: At the invitation of the MCA, a delegation led by Dr. John Hardman, executive director of The Carter Center, observes village elections in Jilin Province and Beijing Municipality. 

The same group travels to Fanshan Town, Zhuolu County, Zhangjiakou to observe the training of the town people's congress deputies and visits a nearby village to examine the status of villager self-government.
In collaboration with the Renmin University (Beijing), Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou), Jilin University (Changchun), Association of Chinese Political Scientists in the United States (ACPS) and the Association of Chinese Professors in Social Sciences in the United States (ACPSS), the Center organizes a three-day academic conference on "Advancing Political Civilization and Political Modernization in China" on the campus of the Renmin University. About 250 scholars participate in the first ever international conference on China's political reform with over 100 papers presented on such issues as political reforms, grassroots governance, democratization and legal reforms, constitutional theories, political culture and Taiwan Strait relations.

The second book series (eight books) sponsored and edited by the Center on rural governance and elections are published by Northwest University Press. A seminar is held on the publication of the book series in Beijing. Authors, reporters and critics attend the seminar and many reviews on the series are written and published after the seminar.

44 computers are donated by Dell China to the Chongqing Municipal Department of Civil Affairs. The Center sponsors a training of computer operators in Chongqing.

May 2004: The MCA publishes the Elections Measures for the Urban Residential Committees drafted by the staff of the Duke China Election Study Group and the Carter Center China Elections Program.

May 2004: The Center establishes a learning center for township people's deputies in Fanshan Township, Zhangjiakou City, Hebei. The purpose of the learning center is to provide a place for township people's congress deputies to see each other and meet with their constituents on regular basis. It also serves as a library that can be used by both the deputies and common residents in the town.

April 2004: In collaborating with the Department of Political Science of Zhejiang University, a meeting on the status of local people's congress is held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. About 60 scholars and people's congress officials attend the meeting. Officials from the Zhuolu County People's Congress in Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, a Project pilot, present the training of plan of all its township people's congress deputies.

The Center sponsors the training of township people's congress chairmen, vice chairmen, selected deputies and county people's congress officials at Zhuolu County. The trainers are local people's congress officials, model people's congress deputies from other provinces, and scholars. The training is designed to make directly elected people's deputies more aware of their authority and responsibilities, and of the means they can apply to exercise their authority and fulfill their responsibilities.

March 2004: Yawei Liu observes the presidential election in Taiwan.

2003

December 2003: The Center monitors the country & district people's congress deputy election in Beijing and its website, China Elections and Governance, sets up a special column for the elections. Dozens of candidates carry out campaigns in order to become formal candidates. The website publishes the candidates' campaign speeches, election reports from an observer sent by the website, and comments and analyses from readers. The column promotes the elections to be held in a more democratic way and the collection provides a vast resource for researchers on Chinese elections. (For more information on the Beijing elections, visit http://www.chinaelections.org/newslist.asp?classid=184.)

The Center sponsors a high level meeting on the revision of the Election Law of People's Congress Deputies at All Levels in China. The meeting is attended by scholars and election officials from the Chinese research institutions, NPC and provincial people's congresses. Proceedings of the meeting are submitted through our Chinese partners to officials of relevant government agencies and NPC committees.

Dell China agrees to donate a total of 240 computers to the Joint MCA-TCC Project to Standardize Village Elections Procedures.

October 2003: The Center and Duke University launches a three-year project to standardize urban community residential committee election procedures in China. The first-year mission is conducted by a nine-member group consisting of U.S. professors, specialists on China elections and the Center staff. In October the group visits urban communities in Shanghai, Wuhan and Guilin, meeting with officials from local civil affairs bureaus, street offices and urban communities, and scholars of China Central Normal University. In Guilin, it organizes a three-day conference on reforming the current election regulations, attended by some 20 local electoral officials and scholars from other parts of China. A Draft Election Procedures is produced after the meeting, printed and presented to the MCA which gives high evaluation on the project results.

September 2003: At the invitation of Mr. Jiang Enzhu, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC, President Carter visits China. During his stay in China, President Carter meets with President Hu Jintao and top officials from the NPC and MCA. President Hu Jintao discusses grassroots democracy in China with President Carter and thanks him for the Center's advice and assistance in standardization village elections procedures. President Hu also asks the Center to provide assistance at improving election measures and empowering people's congress deputies at the township and county level. President Carter presides over the award ceremony and gives awards to the winners of the national essay contest on village elections and villager self-government. He also gives a speech at Beijing University on the relationship between economic reform and political reform. 

The Center inks another three-year agreement with the MCA to cooperate on standardizing village election procedures. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding is signed between the Center and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC to initiate cooperation on improving local people's congress deputy election regulations, empowering local congresses and training local people's deputies.

August 2003: The Center organizes a conference on election campaigns, self-nomination and independent candidates emerging from district-level people's congress deputy elections in Shenzhen in April/May, in collaboration with School of Public Administration, Shenzhen University. About 50 scholars, officials, candidates, journalists participate in the three-day conference to discuss the origins and legitimacy of unprecedented campaigning of (independent) candidates, the controversial recalling of a newly-elected people's deputy in Shenzhen and the loopholes in the current election law and provincial regulations. A conference proceeding is published. (For transcripts of the conference and reports on the Shenzhen elections, visit http://www.chinaelections.org/newslist.asp?classid=204.) 

The Center organizes a seminar on reform of town/township and county/district level people's congress deputies' election regulations in Beijing. The participants are mainly electoral officials from the NPC and people's congresses in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, etc. A manual on local people's congress deputy election measures is later published by the publishing arm of the NPC, the Democracy & Rule of Law Press. Some of the recommendations raised in the seminar are adopted by the NPC in amending the election law in 2004.

April – May 2003: The Center monitors the sudden outbursts of electoral activism in Shenzhen City.

March – August 2003: The website of "China Elections and Governance" sponsored by the Center, in collaboration with three other websites in China, organizes a national essay contest on village elections and self-government. The other websites are Zhongguo renda xinwenwang (China People's Congress News; www.npcnews.com.cn), Zhongguo cunmin zizhi xinxiwang (China Villager Self-government Information; www.chinarural.org), and Zhongguo nongcun yanjiuwang (China Rural Research; www.ccrs.org.cn). The call-for-paper is sent in March. By the end of July, 1057 articles are received from contesters who are local civil affairs officials, villager cadres, rural teachers, and scholars from various provinces. 70 winning essays are selected by a committee including officials from State Council, the NPC and the MCA and prominent Chinese scholars at an August meeting in Beijing. President Carter visits Beijing in September to attend the awards ceremony and gives awards to the prize-winners. (For more information on the essay contest, visit http://www.chinaelections.org/newslist.asp?classid=165.)

2002

December 2002: At the invitation of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NPC, a Center group observes county/district people's congress deputies elections in Yunnan Province. It is the first time ever a Western organization observes elections at this level. After the election observation, the group files recommendations to the NPC and local election officials on possible improvement in and/or inclusion of primary elections, campaigning and secret ballot.

The MCA and the China Village Elections Project conduct an assessment of the activities of the Joint Project to Standardize Village Election Procedures. Officials from the pilot provinces of Hunan, Jilin and Shaanxi attend the meeting and offer their evaluation. Discussion on the renewal of the Project begins. 
Yawei Liu, together with an NPC official and a CASS scholar, observes a township people's congress election in Baodi County, Tianjin Municipality.

The Project sponsors the publication of two research books on direct and indirect elections of People's Congress deputy elections in China.

November 2002: The Center invites a ten-member Chinese delegation to observe the U.S. mid-term elections in Philadelphia. In the delegation are seven MCA and local civil affairs officials and three NPC officials who are practitioners of village elections and local people's congress elections in China. The observation mission is co-sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations who also invites eight scholars from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

July 2002: The Center launches a website called, "China Elections and Governance" (www.chinaelections.org). The website is aimed to provide as much information as possible on all levels of elections, governance, political reforms and social issues in the China.

June 2002: The first book series on China's rural elections and governance (a total of eight books) sponsored and edited by the Project are published by the Northwest University Press in Xi'an, Shaanxi. A press conference on the book series is held at the Great Hall of the People. It is attended by about 50 authors, commentators, media outlet representatives and officials.

Yawei Liu and a few Project partners from China observe a township people's congress deputy election in Langfang, Hebei province.

May 2002: A total of 65 computers are contributed by the Center to the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Civil Affairs.

A Center group observes a village election in Jining City, Shandong Province. 
The same group travels to Xian, Shaanxi to monitor the Center-sponsored computer training seminar for election officials.

March 2002: The Center conducts a pilot election of town people's congress deputies in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, in collaboration with a research institute of the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The pilot features a primary election, meetings between candidates and voters, use of secret ballot booths, collection of election data and budget planning on elections.

A one-day conference on direct and indirect people's congress deputy elections and the role of local people's congresses is held in Beijing. Scholars from CASS and other research institutions and officials from the NPC and the MCA participate in the meeting.

January 2002: Having convened meetings in Lushan, Jiangxi, Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, and with help from scholars and experts from both the United States and China, the Task Force on the Local Election System in China has designed a total of eight electoral measures (two for the direct election of TPC deputies and six for the indirect election of township/town magistrates and deputy magistrates). These measures have been translated into Chinese. The Task Force is actively seeking Chinese partners and willing officials to apply these measures to real elections.

2001

December 2001: The fourth national seminar on villager committee elections is held by the MCA in Changsha, Hunan with support from the Center. This is the second time that the Center sponsors training of villager committee election officials in Hunan, one of the four provinces that are participating in the Carter Center-MCA joint project to standardize villager committee election procedures. A total of 160 trainees attend the seminar. Most of the trainees come from Hunan's 14 municipalities (prefectures). Representatives from Hubei, Henan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guangxi also participate in the training. Having received intruction on how to conduct villager committee elections, trainees observe a pilot village election in Shantang Village, Pingtang Town, Wangcheng County on the outskirts of Changsha. Trainees then critique and comment on the election, raising various issues that are crucial to the improvement of the quality of villager committee elections. Representatives from the China Rural Governance Project of the European Union, the United Nations Development Program and a Vietnamese delegation also observe the training and the pilot villager committee election. It is agreed by the Center and the MCA that all future training will continue to follow the so-called Yinchuan Model, first introduced in Yinchuan, Ningxia in July 2001.

A Center group observes a town people's congress (TCP) deputies election in Baodi District, Tianjin. Tianjin is one of the first Chinese provinces and municipalities under central administration that has completed its TPC deputies election. China is scheduled to conclude this round of TPC deputies election (which is conducted every three years) by the end of 2002. The group witnesses many problems at the TPC voting district called Xiaoxuanzhuang Village (pop.: 1,270; eligible voters: 820), Dazhongzhuang Town. There is no voter identification verification; many voters carry blank voter IDs; proxy ballots are cast without written authorization; no one uses the secret ballot room; and the roving ballot box is not used according to the requirements of the law. When a voter questions the identity of one of the candidates listed on the ballot (We find out later that this candidate is a deputy town magistrate that has been transferred to Dazhongzhuang from a different town. He is away in South China on the election day.), he is forcefully escorted out of the polling station. During the post election discussion with village and town officials, we are told that villagers are much more interested in the villager committee election than the TPC deputies election because TPC deputies are irrelevant to their life.

A Center group organizes a seminar on the status of local elections in China. The seminar is attended by officials from various departments of the National People's Congress, officials from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei people's congresses and scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Qinghua University and Beijing College of Administrative Management. In addition to evaluating the current status of local elections, primarily the direct election of deputies to township/town and county people's congresses, the seminar devotes much time on revising electoral measures of township/town people's congress deputies designed by the Task Force on the Local Election System in China that consists of members and experts from the Center and Duke University. Many election reform related activities are deliberated and determine at the seminar. The consensus reached at the seminar is that the best and safest way to carry out the election reform is to fully enforce what is already legal and do what is required by the law in the local elections.

November – December 2001: Sponsored by the Center, 50,000 copies of The National Measures on Villager Committee Elections are printed and distributed to provinces that will conduct a new round of villager committee elections in late 2001 and 2002. Agreements are signed between provincial departments of civil affairs and the Ministry of Civil Affairs to distribute these measures in a rapid manner free of charge.

September 2001: The International Symposium on Villager Self-Government and the Development of Rural Society in China is held at the Beijing Eastern Garden International Conference Center. The conference is organized by the MCA and the Center with support from the Ford Foundation and other Western donors. Over 120 Chinese scholars and officials as well as researchers, academics and observers from the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong attend the conference. Representatives from the Ford Foundation, the European Union, the Asia Foundation, the United Nations Development Project, the British Council and other domestic and international NGOs also observe the conference.

At the invitation of Minister Zeng Jianhui, Chairman of the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, President Jimmy Carter leads a delegation to China. The mission of this visit is to promote the Center's China Village Election Project, observe a village election in Jiangsu Province, exchange ideas with top Chinese leaders on issues of common concern, and prod them to apply the improved measures of villager committee elections to township elections in China that are due to be held at the end of 2001 and early 2002. In Beijing, President Carter opens the international symposium on villager self-government and the development of rural society in China and meets with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, NPC Standing Committee Chairman Li Peng, Chairman Zeng Jianhui and MCA Minister Duoji Cairang. In addition to grassroots democratization in China and the Center's effort in offering technical assistance in this endeavor, other subjects are also discussed during these meetings, including Sino-American relations, the situation in the Korean Peninsula, religious freedom in China and the question of Tibet. In Shanghai, the delegation meets with local government and people's congress leaders and travels to Quanwang Village in nearby Suzhou to observe a villager committee election.

August 2001: The first volume of essays on villager self-government is published by China Social Press with support from the Center. The 29 essays included in this volume are selected from a large pool of submissions following a national call for papers at the Chinese web site on China Villager Self-government sponsored by the Center. The volume contains 445,000 Chinese characters and useful appendices such as both Chinese and English bibliographies of recent books and articles on Chinese rural development, political reform and direct village elections.

July 2001: The Carter Center sponsors an Election Information System Training Seminar in Changchun, Jilin. 73 election officials from each and every county, prefecture and municipality in Jilin and the provincial department of civil affairs participate in the training.

The third national seminar on villager committee elections is held by the MCA in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Nationality Autonomous Region with support from The Carter Center. Over 120 trainees attend the seminar. Most of the trainees come from Ningxia, including for the first time, officials from towns and townships. Teams from Shaanxi, Qinghai, Xinjiang Uigur Nationality Autonomous Region and Gansu also participate in the seminar. Trainees observe a pilot village election in Baliqiao Village, Manchun Town on the outskirts of Yinchuan on July 21. The failure of this election to produce a villager committee chair and the subsequent eruption of public anger on electoral irregularities offer a rare lesson to officials from five Northwestern provinces and autonomous regions. The review and critique of this demonstration village election by the trainees and instructors from the MCA last five hours.

Jilin Provincial Department of Civil Affairs launches the first random survey of the result and procedures of villager committee election in Jilin. Faculty members and students of Northeastern China Normal University conduct the survey in 40 randomly selected villages across the province.

June – July 2001: Dr. Yawei Liu, associate director of the China Village Elections Project, works with a Duke University team and a Task Force on the Local Election System in China is formed. The team visits villages and townships in Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces and discusses extensively with local officials on the role of township/town people's congress and how to improve the election measures at the township/town level. A working conference is held in Lushan Mountain, Jiangxi, to design separate electoral procedures for both township/town people's congress deputies election and election of township/town magistrates.

May 2001: 170 computers are purchased and installed by the Project in Jilin Province in order to collect village election data. Jilin's new round of village election ends in June 2001.

March 2001: The second national seminar on villager committee elections is held by the MCA in Beijing with support from The Carter Center. 141 trainees attend the seminar representing 28 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions (only Beijing, Jilin, Hunan and Hainan were unable to send trainees). 10 trainees represent provincial Departments of Civil Affairs, 34 prefecture-level Bureaus of Civil Affairs, 94 county-level Bureaus of Civil Affairs, one a county-level Department of Organization, and one a village-level Civil Affairs assistant. 22 are women (15.6%) and 119 are men (84.4%).

2000

December 2000: With support from The Carter Center, the MCA conducts the first national seminar on villager committee elections in Beijing for election officials at all levels. The 113 trainees attending the first seminar represent 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions (only Zhejiang and Xinjiang were unable to send trainees). 26 trainees represent provincial Departments of Civil Affairs, 41 prefecture-level Bureaus of Civil Affairs, 45 county-level Bureaus of Civil Affairs, and one a village-level Civil Affairs assistant. 22 trainees are women (19.5%) and 91 are men (80.5%)

November 2000: An MCA delegation comes to the United States to observe the presidential election. During its stay, the delegation exchanges ideas with China scholars at Stanford University, talks with the Center's China staff, holds discussions with local and state election officials in Georgia and meets with NGOs in Washington, DC. On the Election Day, the group examines every step of the general election from poll opening to poll closing and observes ballot tabulation and media coverage. Members of the delegation pay particular attention to voter identity verification, secret ballot booth, absentee balloting and management of polling stations.

September 2000: At the invitation of The Carter Center a high-ranking NPC delegation visits Atlanta and meets with President Carter. The NPC delegation is led by Minister Zeng Jianhui, chairman of the NPC's Foreign Affairs Committee. Minister Zeng reaffirms NPC's support for the Center's project in China and discusses with President Carter and the China staff further cooperative activities between the Center and the Bureau of Liaison of the NPC that supervises all Chinese elections above the village level. Minister Zeng extends invitation to President and Mrs. Carter to visit China at their convenience in 2001.

August 2000: A Carter Center delegation observes village elections in Dehua and Xianyou counties, Fujian. The Standing Committee of the Fujian People's Congress approves amended provincial measures for villager committee elections on July 28, 2000. The amended law includes new regulations such as prohibiting proxy voting and limiting the use of roving ballot boxes. This is the third time a Center delegation visits Fujian. On August 2, the delegation observes a sea-election in Qiuban Village in Dehua. No candidates win enough votes to be the chair but the delegates are impressed by the competitiveness of the election and the enthusiasm of the voters. On August 4, the Center group observes two more elections in Xiangling Village and Liuxian Village in Xianyou and talks with election officials from Putian Municipality and Xianyou County.

The Carter Center and the MCA cosponsor a conference in Beijing to discuss how to revise the PRC National Procedures on Villager Committee Elections, an outdated implementation manual published in 1995. 55 officials and scholars attend the conference, representing the Center, the MCA, the NPC, the Tribune on Townships and Villages, the Central Department of Organization, Hong Kong Chinese University, Hong Kong City University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Central Party Academy. Election officials from eight provinces and municipalities are also present at the conference. Participants express their opinions on the revision report submitted by three MCA scholars and exchange ideas on the eligibility of voters, the formation of election commissions, the examination of candidates' qualifications, campaigning and enforcement of the Organic Law.

July – August 2000: 92 computers are installed in all Fujian counties in order to collect village election data. Fujian's new round of village election begins in August and ends in December 2000.

June 2000: The Carter Center sponsors an Election Information System Training Seminar in Fuzhou, Fujian, China. 102 election officials from each and every county, prefecture and municipality in Fujian and the provincial department of civil affairs participate in the training.

April 2000: "The Cooperative Agreement between The Ministry of Civil Affairs and The Carter Center to Standardize Villager Committee Election Procedures" is signed by Dr. John B. Hardman, Director, The Carter Center and Mr. Zhang Mingliang, Director General, Department of Basic-level Governance, the MCA.

This agreement is designed to develop model and replicable electoral practices through the following activities: (1) establish a complete data collection system in Fujian and Jilin provinces and in one third of the counties in Shaanxi province; (2) conduct academic research on standardizing election procedures; (3) print and distribute voter education materials; (4) train provincial and county level election officials in electoral laws, procedures and information delivery techniques; (5) continue dialogue, share experiences and publicize village level election information; and (6) conduct bilateral exchanges between the MCA and The Carter Center.

March – April 2000: Sponsored by The United States Information Agency and The Carter Center, a Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) delegation visits the United States. During its stay in Philadelphia, the delegation observes the presidential primary. In Atlanta, President Carter meets the delegation and discusses with the delegation about establishing a cooperative relationship with the NPC in standardizing election procedures at the township and county people's congress elections. The delegation also visits New Orleans and Los Angeles.

March 2000: Yawei Liu observes the presidential election in Taiwan.

January 2000: At the invitation of the MCA, The Carter Center sends a delegation to observe villager committee (VC) elections in Hebei Province. The delegation is led by Ambassador Gordon L. Streeb, Associate Executive Director of the Center, and made up of nine Center staff members, election experts and China scholars from various universities in the United States and Denmark.

A new three-year cooperative agreement is initialed by Mr. Charles E. Costello, Director, Democracy Program and Mr. Zhang Mingliang, Director-General, Department of Basic-level Governance, the MCA. This new agreement outlines future cooperative activities in three main areas, namely, 1) working together to collect village election data in four provinces and standardize electoral procedures; 2) publicizing village elections both in China and the West; and 3) conducting bilateral exchanges to learn from each other's experiences in conducting and organizing elections.

A Chinese web site on villager self-government (www.chinarural.org), cosponsored by The Carter Center and the MCA, is launched.

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