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The Chinese Communist Party and the Coronavirus

Video Conference

Click here to read a transcript of Mr. Chen's talk.

What are the most important lessons to learn from the pandemic? Listen as Chen Guangcheng and William Saunders discuss this question in light of the latest information from sources in China.


William Saunders is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, who has been involved in issues of public policy, law and ethics for thirty years. A regular columnist for the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Mr. Saunders has written widely on these topics, as well as on Catholic social teaching. He has given lectures in law schools and colleges throughout the United States and the world. He is the Director of the Program in Human Rights for the Institute for Human Ecology.

Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country. Working in rural communities in China, where he was known as the “barefoot lawyer,” Chen advocated for the rights of disabled people, and organized class-action litigation against the government’s violent enforcement of its one-child policy.

Blind since his childhood, Chen is self-taught in the law. His human rights activism resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese government for four years, beginning in 2006; after his release he remained under house arrest, until his escape from confinement in 2012, whereupon he came to the United States, where he was a scholar at New York University in 2012-13. Mr. Chen is a Distinguished Fellow at the Catholic University of America.