John Kamm Remembers: Fifty Years in China
From Businessman to Human Rights Activist: 1990 – 1999
John Kamm Remembers: Fifty Years in China is an exciting project charting US-China relations with Dui Hua’s advocacy.
In 1972, then-President Nixon traveled to China, setting in motion a thaw in relations between the United States and China. This timeline charts the development of US-China relations with John Kamm’s journey from teacher and writer to businessperson to human rights activist. Part I of this project was launched in August 2022.
Part II will be launched later in the coming months. Please read below to learn more about this time in history, and subscribe to our publications to receive notification when Part II is launched.
1990 – 1999: An Overview & Related Stories
In the aftermath of June Fourth, US-China relations were an intense subject of debate. The next decade saw the reopening of US-China relations, the return of Hong Kong to China, the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis, a formal delinking of human rights from trade with China, and the establishment of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, among other key events.
During this period, John Kamm testified to Congress on trade with China and Hong Kong, urging both chambers to advocate for the release of political and religious prisoners. He began submitting prisoner lists to the Chinese government, conducted his first visits to Chinese prisons and court rooms, and honed his skills to conduct prisoner advocacy.
Read select John Kamm Remembers stories from this period below.