"This report examines U.S. foreign assistance activities in the People's Republic of China (PRC), including U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programming, foreign operations appropriations, policy history, and legislative background. International programs supported by U.S. departments and agencies other than the Department of State and USAID are not covered in this report. U.S. foreign assistance efforts in the PRC aim to promote human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental conservation in China and Tibet and to support Tibetan livelihoods and culture. The United States Congress has played a leading role in initiating programs and determining funding levels for these objectives. Congressionally mandated rule of law, civil society, public participation, and related programs together constitute an important component of U.S. human rights policy towards China. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States is the largest provider of 'government and civil society' programming among major bilateral foreign aid donors. […] Some policy analysts argue that U.S. democracy, rule of law, and related programs have had little effect in China due to political constraints and restrictions on civil society imposed by the PRC government. Furthermore, some policy makers contend that the United States government should not provide assistance to a country, like China, that has significant foreign aid resources of its own. Other observers argue that U.S. assistance activities in China have helped to build social and legal foundations for political change and bolster reform-minded officials in the PRC government. Some experts also propound that U.S. programs have nurtured relationships among governmental and non-governmental actors and educational institutions in the United States and the PRC, which have helped to develop common understandings about democratic norms and principles."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22663