Dr. Teng Biao is a Chinese scholar and prominent human rights lawyer. He co-founded the Open Constitution Initiative, the New Citizens Movement, and the China Against the Death Penalty. He was also a signatory of Charter 08. Dr. Teng holds Ph.D. in law from Peking University. He was a former lecturer at China University of Politics and Law, and recently has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, New York University’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute and School of Social Science, the Institute for Advanced Study.
This public talk aims to illustrate some fundamental problems with rule of law in China, analyze the prospect of Chinese democratization, and discuss the implications to Sino-American relations. While Beijing recognizes the importance of a reliable legal system, it fears the challenge lawyers could pose to the government. The intrinsic tension in the Chinese Constitution and political system generates a profound limitation on legalization and rule of law in China. At the same time, US human rights policy towards China has been based on a series of erroneous theories and it needs to be reexamined to shape a desirable future of Sino-American relations.