2015 Year End Letter from Ira Belkin

Dear Friend,
 
We are writing to wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!  As we prepare to close the books on 2015, we would like to express our gratitude for your continued support and provide a snapshot of our activities over the past year.
 
2015 has been a momentous year here at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute!  This spring we organized workshops in China with Chinese experts and lawyers on overcoming challenges to the implementation of workplace safety laws and employment discrimination prohibitions.  We also brought the founders of the American and Taiwanese Innocence Projects to speak at the Chinese Public Security University and Beijing’s leading law schools. They discussed their experiences securing exonerations and bringing about positive reforms in their respective criminal justice systems. As always, our goal is to foster constructive international legal exchange and our events in China have continued to advance that goal.
 
Throughout the year, we have continued working with colleagues from China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea to learn more about international developments and share our expertise. We also continued our weekly lunch forum, which offers a unique perspective into the careers and ideas of notable figures in the field of Asian Legal studies. Among this year’s guests were Hon. Dennis Tang of the Grand Council of Justices in Taiwan; Professor Carma Hinton, a native Beijinger who came of age during the Cultural Revolution and who screened for us her renowned film, Gate of Heavenly Peace; Steve Orlins, the President of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; and many, many more. 
 
We also recently convened the 21st Annual Timothy A. Gelatt Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia. This year we focused on the question of Due Process for Foreign Businesses in China.  Our guests included U.S. and Chinese experts and practitioners who analyzed several of the high-profile cases, including the Anti-Monopoly case against Qualcomm and the criminal prosecution of ChinaWhys founder Peter Humphrey. Through these programs we play an effective role in helping China and other countries improve their legal systems while serving as a bridge between American and Asian legal experts.
 
Our founder and faculty director, Professor Jerome A. Cohen, published many editorials in leading news outlets in English and Chinese on subjects ranging from cross-strait relations to the disputes in the South and East China Seas, China’s Draft Foreign NGO Law, the Obama-Xi Summit, the situation in Hong Kong, and U.S.-China Cyber Security Perspectives.  Professor Cohen and I also published an op-ed for the New York Times on the draft for China’s foreign NGO Management Law.  The Institute’s Research Scholars have also been busy publishing their work. You can find 2015 highlights here at our website.
 
We have welcomed new Research Scholars Elias Blood-Patterson, Yuan (Amy) Gao, and Alvin Cheung. We are also pleased to have Professor Sida Liu of the University of Wisconsin to support our work on the legal profession in China. We have also welcomed our new Program Coordinator Alexis Agliano Sanborn and Program Assistant Jean Lee.  You can learn more about the USALI team at our website.
 
As we look towards 2016, we remain committed to our mission to promote constructive engagement with Asian partners to advocate for legal reform in Asia and the United States.  These goals are admittedly ambitious and can only be accomplished with the support and active participation of our colleagues and friends around the globe. Please consider making a gift to the U.S.-Asia Law Institute.
 
With your continued support, we look forward to another successful year!
 
Warm regards, 

Ira Belkin
Executive Director
U.S.-Asia Law Institute