Rachel Vandenbrink is a program officer for China in the Asia Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace. In this role she develops, coordinates, and implements research and dialogue projects related to China’s impact on peace and conflict dynamics around the world.

Before joining USIP in 2016, Vandenbrink worked as a news editor at Radio Free Asia and interned with International Crisis Group in Beijing and with the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School, with concentrations in security and Asian studies, and a bachelor’s degree in history with honors from the University of Chicago. She is proficient in Chinese and Japanese.

Publications By Rachel

How Documentation Is Critical to Exposing China’s Abuses of the Uyghurs

How Documentation Is Critical to Exposing China’s Abuses of the Uyghurs

Thursday, July 14, 2022

By: Lauren Baillie;  Rachel Vandenbrink

This month, U.S. companies are scrambling to comply with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) that went into effect three weeks ago, ensuring they have no goods in their supply chains made through the forced labor of China’s Muslim Uyghur minority. Here we see an important example of how far efforts have come to document abuses against Uyghurs and other minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Documentation efforts including journalistic reporting, investigative work by human rights researchers, and the collection and preservation of witness testimony by NGOs have each played an important role in exposing abuses and linking them to official responsibility in China, laying the foundation for countries like the United States to respond with concrete policy changes such as the UFLPA.

Type: Analysis

Human RightsJustice, Security & Rule of Law

Biden’s Asia Trip Seeks to Revitalize Alliances, Focus on China

Biden’s Asia Trip Seeks to Revitalize Alliances, Focus on China

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

By: Frank Aum;  Mirna Galic;  Rachel Vandenbrink

President Biden made his first trip to East Asia beginning late last week, visiting South Korea and Japan, where he participated in a leader’s summit of the so-called Quad, which includes Australia, Japan and India. The president’s visit is part of a flurry of Asia-focused diplomatic initiatives in recent weeks including the U.S.-ASEAN summit, the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue and an upcoming speech from Secretary of State Blinken, which is expected to lay out the contours of the administration’s China Policy.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

U.S. Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics: No Longer 'Business as Usual'

U.S. Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics: No Longer 'Business as Usual'

Thursday, December 9, 2021

By: Lauren Baillie;  Mirna Galic;  Rachel Vandenbrink

On Monday the Biden administration announced it would not send an official United States delegation to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games as a statement against China's "ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang," as well as other human rights abuses such as in Hong Kong. U.S. athletes will still be allowed to compete in the Games, which start in February. USIP’s Lauren Baillie, Mirna Galic and Rachel Vandenbrink discuss the rationale behind the decision, how the boycott fits into the U.S. strategy surrounding the Uyghur crisis and how China and U.S. allies are responding.

Type: Analysis

Global PolicyHuman Rights

Why the New U.S.-U.K.-Australia Partnership Is So Significant

Why the New U.S.-U.K.-Australia Partnership Is So Significant

Friday, September 17, 2021

By: Brian Harding;  Carla Freeman, Ph.D.;  Mirna Galic;  Henry Tugendhat;  Rachel Vandenbrink

The United States and the United Kingdom have made the rare decision to share nuclear submarine propulsion technology with Australia in a move seen aimed at China. In a joint statement on September 15, the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia announced the formation of a trilateral partnership — AUKUS — that, among other things, seeks to “strengthen the ability of each to support our security and defense interests.” USIP’s Brian Harding, Carla Freeman, Mirna Galic, Henry Tugendhat and Rachel Vandenbrink discuss the significance of the decision and what to expect next.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

Tribunal Gives Voice to China’s Uyghurs Amid International Gridlock

Tribunal Gives Voice to China’s Uyghurs Amid International Gridlock

Thursday, June 10, 2021

By: Lauren Baillie;  Rachel Vandenbrink

Over the past week, members of China’s ethnic Uyghur minority have provided moving testimony about their persecution to the Uyghur Tribunal, an unofficial, civil society-led investigation into possible genocide and crimes against humanity committed by Beijing. Although the “people’s tribunal” is not backed by any government and its findings will not be binding on any country, the hearings play an important role in providing recognition to victims’ suffering and in strengthening the legal argument for a U.N. Commission of Inquiry or other international accountability mechanisms. As such, the tribunal serves as an important tool for civil society to move atrocity prevention efforts forward when U.N. or international court action is blocked.

Type: Analysis

Human Rights

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