Responding to the Chinese Model: The Case for a Values-Based Economic “NATO”

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Responding to the Chinese Model: The Case for a Values-Based Economic “NATO”

24th July 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

One of the main causes for the worldwide democratic recession is China. With its economic power under one party dictatorship, it offers a real alternative to the previous belief that the only path to modernity is liberal democracy.

China has become increasingly well-versed in leveraging its economic power to coerce democracies on values-related issues. There’s a limit to how much money an individual, a business, or a country is willing or able to spend or lose in order to stand up to China’s economic bullying. The world’s democracies must respond collectively. Security alliances and trade organizations exist, but they do not address economic coercion arising from values-related conflicts. Is it therefore time to consider a values-based economic “NATO” for the world’s democracies?

The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to welcome you to an expert discussion where Tiananmen Square survivor and former political prisoner Dr Jianli Yang will be proposing a values-based economic “NATO”, which could be a fundamental and effective structural response to the grave challenge that China poses to world democracy.



Dr. Jianli (Doc) Yang, founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China, is a world renown human rights activist and scholar, and a major architect and leader for China’s democracy. He was a Tiananmen student leader and a political prisoner of China (2002-2007). Dr. Yang helped found and lead several important organizations including Citizen Power Initiatives for China and Foundation for China in the 21st Century. He has created and organized annual Interethnic/Interfaith Leadership Conferences for 23 years and published the online publication Yibao since 2001. He co-authored a Democratic Constitution for China (1993) and co-chaired The Geneva Internet Freedom Declaration (2010). A recipient of multiple international awards including Harvard Alumni Achievement Award, UN Watch Human Rights Award and Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, Dr. Yang represented Liu Xiaobo at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony. Dr. Yang holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Political Economy from Harvard University. He is a frequent public speaker on various world forums and contributor to various international magazines on topics ranging from human rights in China, China’s democratization, China’s politics, ethnic relations in the PRC, cross-strait relations, and on US China policies. He is author of For Us, The Living: A Journey to Shine the Light on Truth and It’s Time for a Values-Based “Economic NATO”.



Benedict Rogers is a human rights activist specialising in freedom of religion or belief, and is the recipient of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit’s award for Champion of Effective Advocacy, and the International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN)’s St Thomas More Award for advocacy for freedom of religion or belief. For almost 30 years Benedict has been involved with the international human rights organisation CSW, specialising in freedom of religion or belief, and was employed full-time by CSW from 2003-2020, specialising in Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He now serves as CSW’s Senior Analyst for East Asia. He is also the co-founder and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Watch, and served as the Chair of Trustees of Hong Kong Watch from 2017-2020. He is co-founder and Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, a member of the advisory group of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), an advisor to the World Uyghur Congress, Senior Analyst for East Asia at CSW, a trustee of several other charities, author of seven books and a regular contributor to international media. His new book, The China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Around the Chinese Communist Party’s Tyranny, was published by Optimum Publishing International in October 2022. Between 1997 and 2002, he lived and worked as a journalist in Hong Kong, and in 2003 he lived and worked in Washington, DC. He is based in London.



Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading think tank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines.

Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.





The Henry Jackson Society was pleased to welcome Dr Jianli Yang and Benedict Rogers, for a discussion on how a values-based economic “NATO” would be the blueprint model for responding to China’s oppressive autocratic rule. Dr Yang acknowledged the fact that democracies would not always be able to uphold their founding principles and that there was a gap between their professed values and concrete practices of foreign policy. However, a united front between Western allies is necessary to combat China’s human rights abuses that their newfound economic power has facilitated. Dr Yang emphasized the pervasive role that money plays in China and how they have leveraged it to infiltrate democracies and international organizations. After expanding on the economic interdependence China has with Europe, the US, and Taiwan, Dr Yang asserted that it was important that the West used an idealistic, but realistic approach to address China’s imposing threat. As to China’s diplomatic relations, Xi Jinping will have more respect for those who stand up for their values rather than assuming the subservience of a “panting puppy”. Dr. Yang also spoke about what Xi Jinping’s draconian Covid-19 lockdown revealed about China’s dependence on Western democracies, the perceived nuclear threat of China’s growing arsenal, as well as how Putin’s invasion of Ukraine may have informed Xi Jinping’s timeline and agenda for Taiwan.  




Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, England, SW1P 4QP
21-24 Millbank
Westminster, SW1P 4QP United Kingdom
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Dr Jianli Yang, Benedict Rogers, Dr Alan Mendoza


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