Promoting Cooperation and Solidarity in the Asia-Pacific

NED President and CEO Damon Wilson and Deputy Director for Asia Lynn Lee met with leaders from across the region at the Sunnylands Initiative retreat in Odawara, Japan. (Photo courtesy of JCIE).

In 2022, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worked with partners across Asia to strengthen democratic unity, promote human rights and civil liberties, and raise awareness about rising authoritarianism and transnational repression.

  • NED and the Center for Strategic and International Studies organized the second summit of the Sunnylands Initiative on Enhancing Democratic Partnership in the Indo-Pacific. The retreat brought together prominent practitioners, scholars, political leaders, and former government officials from Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the United States to discuss the state of democracy in the region and common challenges including resurgent authoritarianism, the rollback of democratic gains in Hong Kong, Burma and Afghanistan, and illiberal domestic forces that undermine confidence in government even in established democracies. At the conclusion of the summit, members issued a joint statement with recommendations to strengthen democratic governance, foster solidarity among democratic stakeholders, and work toward establishing a regional democratic architecture.  [Read the statement here.]
  • NED hosted the newly elected President (Sikyong) of the Tibetan government-in-exile for a discussion about his first year in office, geopolitical developments in the region, and lessons that the Tibetan struggle may offer for other democracy movements in exile. [Watch the discussion here.]
  • The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) hosted a discussion with Nury Turkelabout his book No Escape: The True Story of China’s Genocide of the Uyghurs. The conversation focused on violence, repression, and targeted efforts by the authorities in Beijing to erase the Uyghur population in East Turkistan. [Watch the event here.]
  • Leading human rights activists including Benedict Rogers, co-founder and chief executive of Hong Kong Watch; Alex Chow from the Hong Kong Democracy Council; and Rushan Abbas from Campaign for Uyghurs discussed the human rights movement in China, the threats their communities are facing from Chinese Communist Party oppression. [Watch here.]
  • NED published a video about the use of surveillance technology, using the example of China. The video shows how surveillance technology can be used to repress Chinese citizens, especially oppressed ethnic groups such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans, human rights defenders, and political dissidents.  In the absence of clear international standards and regulations on surveillance technology, China has also taken steps to steer international norms in a direction that legitimizes censorship and surveillance, paving the way for democratic backsliding in other countries. Watch below: