The Hudson Institute and Freedom House's Mark Palmer Forum for the Advancement of Democracy invite you to a conference on China’s global challenge to democratic freedom. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will deliver an introductory keynote speech, followed by three panel discussions bringing together experts and activists to analyze recent trends, and consider potential responses.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under General Secretary Xi Jinping has put enormous financial and political resources into expanding its influence abroad. Xi has elevated the importance of United Front activities, which rely on co-opting the Chinese diaspora and building relationships with Western enablers.
In democracies, CCP influence operations target politicians, business people, academia, the media, and the Chinese diaspora. CCP and Chinese government funding has also intruded into the realm of ideas, influencing think tanks, academia, newspapers, and other media outlets. The CCP, by changing how democracies speak and think about China, is attempting to make “the world safe” for its ongoing efforts to deepen its authoritarianism at home and extend its influence internationally.
The Mark Palmer Forum for the Advancement of Democracy honors the legacy of Ambassador Mark Palmer, long-time Freedom House trustee and vice chairman. The Palmer Forum includes an annual conference with leading policymakers and experts, and programs by human rights defenders and leading digital activists, exploring ways to improve global prospects for strengthening human rights and democracy.
Registration and Breakfast
8:30 a.m. — 9:00 a.m.
Introduction by Kenneth R. Weinstein
9:00 a.m. — 9:05 a.m.
Keynote Address by Sen. Marco Rubio
9:05 a.m. — 9:35 a.m.
Welcoming and Framing Remarks by Kenneth R. Weinstein and Michael Abramowitz
9:35 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.
Panel 1: The Chinese Communist Party interference abroad and how to respond
10:00 a.m. — 11:30 p.m.
11:30 a.m. — 11:45 a.m.
Panel 2: The Chinese Communist Party’s influence on media outside China
11:45 a.m. — 1:15 p.m.
1:15 p.m. — 1:30 p.m.
Panel 3: The Chinese Communist Party’s involvement in higher education and on university campuses
1:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks by Michael Pillsbury
3:00 p.m. — 3:20 p.m.
Special Keynote: Senator Marco Rubio
First elected to Congress in 2010, Senator Marco Rubio represents the State of Florida in the United States Senate. He sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Senate Appropriations Committee, and also chairs the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, a bipartisan, bicameral body created by Congress in 2000 to monitor human rights and the rule of law in the People’s Republic of China.
Kenneth R. Weinstein
President and Chief Executive Officer of Hudson Institute. He joined the Institute in 1991, and was appointed CEO in June 2005. Weinstein was named President and CEO in March 2011.
Michael J. Abramowitz
President of Freedom House, which seeks to promote democratic change through research, advocacy and programs. Before joining Freedom House in February 2017, he was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education, which oversees the Museum’s education and exhibition programs, having previously led the museum’s genocide prevention efforts. He spent more than 20 years as a reporter for the Washington Post.
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute. Author of recent report, The Chinese Communist Party's Foreign Interference Operations: How the U.S. and Other Democracies Should Respond.
Senior Research Analyst for East Asia at Freedom House, where she directs the China Media Bulletin, a monthly digest in English and Chinese providing news and analysis on media freedom developments related to China. Cook is also the author of several special reports on China, including The Battle for China’s Spirit (2017), The Politburo’s Predicament (2015), and The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship (2013).
Juan Pablo Cardenal
Researcher at the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America’s Advisory Council (CADAL) and a journalist and writer. For a decade, he has conducted research including more than 1,500 interviews in over 40 countries around the world on the topic of China’s global reach with respect to overseas investments, loans, and infrastructure projects. Cardenal has co-authored several books on this topic, most recently China’s Unstoppable Conquest(2015).
Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before joining GMF, she was foreign policy advisor for Hillary for America, where she coordinated development of the campaign’s national security policies, messaging, and strategy. She has held a range of positions at the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council (NSC) and was chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken.
Vice Chair, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. She was reappointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for a two-year term expiring on December 31, 2019. She previously served as the Commission’s chair for the 2007, 2009, and 2017 report cycles and as vice chair for several cycles. She has worked at senior levels in the U.S. Congress, serving as counsel, legislative director, and chief of staff to House Minority Leader Rep. Pelosi.
An adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California Berkeley and the founder and editor-in-chief of China Digital Times, a bilingual China news website. He served previously as the Executive Director of the New York-based NGO Human Rights in China. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Xiao was named by Foreign Policy magazine in 2015 as one of the 50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
Jan Jekielek is a producer at NTD Television and a senior editor at The Epoch Times. In addition to his work as a journalist and editor, Jan has also played a role in developing strategic partnerships and online dissemination strategies for NTD and The Epoch Times. Jan specializes in China-related issues, as well as disinformation, propaganda, and media bias. He previously represented the International Society for Human Rights in Poland.
Research Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and a contributing editor at War on the Rocks. Previously, he was a Fellow in the China Program at The Jamestown Foundation, where he edited its biweekly China Brief from 2011 to 2013. Mr. Mattis has also worked as an international affairs analyst for the U.S. government.
Executive Editor, Radio Free Asia and a former journalist. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, overseeing public diplomacy and public affairs for Europe and Eurasia and has long-standing China experience in a variety of fields.
Columnist for the Global Opinions section of the Washington Post and a political analyst with CNN. Previously, he covered foreign policy and national security for Bloomberg View, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine, and Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.
Rachelle Peterson is policy director at the National Association of Scholars, where she focuses on American higher education. She is the author of three NAS reports, most recently Outsourced to China: Confucius Institutes and Soft Power in American Higher Education (April 2017). That report investigated the Chinese government’s influence on American college campuses.