The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government which monitors human rights and rule of law developments in the People's Republic of China. It was created in October 2001 under Title III of H.R. 4444, which authorizes normal trade relations with the PRC, and establishes a framework for relations between the two countries.[1] The commission was given the mandate by the U.S. Congress to monitor and report on human rights issues with a particular focus on compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its reporting covers developments in freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly, religious freedom, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention or torture, and the right to a fair trial, among others.[1] The commission publishes an annual report to the President of the United States and Congress, typically in the fall of each year. It also maintains a database of prisoners of conscience, holds regular roundtables and hearings, and issues letters to other institutions concerning human rights matters.[2][3]

The commission comprises a staff of researchers and analysts, and is overseen by as many as nine members each from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as senior executive branch officials. Chairmanship of the commission rotates between the majority parties from the House and Senate. The commission is currently chaired by Jim McGovern (D-MA).[4]


Annual report

The CECC publishes an annual report on human rights and rule of law development in China, usually in the fall of each year and covers issues such as freedom of expression, worker rights, religious freedom, ethnic minority rights, population planning, status of women, climate change and the environment, treatment of North Korean refugees, civil society, access to justice, and democratic governance.[5] The reports draw on a variety of sources, including information from human rights groups, media reports, and official government or Communist Party of China documents.

Prisoner database

As part of its mandate from Congress, the CECC maintains a partial database of religious and political prisoners believed to be detained in China. As of 2013, the database contained over 7,300 names. Over 1,300 of these are believed to be detained currently, while the remainder have been released, killed, or escaped. The database was created with the assistance of the Dui Hua Foundation and Tibet Information Network.[6]


Majority Minority
Senate members
House members
Executive branch

Historical leadership

Term start Term end Chair Co-Chair Ranking Member Vice Ranking Member
2001 2003 Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
2003 2005 Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
2005 2007 Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
2007 2009 Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
2009 2011 Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
2011 2013 Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN)
2013 2015 Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
2015 2017 Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN)
2017 2019 Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
2019 2021 Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
2021 present Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

See also


  1. ^ a b H.R. 4444, TITLE III--CONGRESSIONAL-EXECUTIVE COMMISSION ON THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Archived 2011-09-12 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Congressional-Executive Commission on China". Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  3. ^ "Xinjiang: Chairs Ask Whether World Bank Funding Possible "Crimes Against Humanity"". Congressional-Executive Commission on China. August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "Congressional-Executive Commission on China". Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Congressional Executive-Commission on China, 2010 Annual Report, 15 October 2010.
  6. ^ Congressional-Executive Commission on China, CECC political prisoner database Archived 2011-11-14 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 11-13-11.