05.12.17

Beijing Normal University Releases Bilingual Foreign NGO Law FAQ

The Center for Charity Law at Beijing Normal University’s China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI), which runs a Foreign NGO Registration Support Program, issued a bilingual set of FAQs addressing 30 common questions related to foreign NGO...
05.11.17

Which Professional Supervisory Units Are Sponsoring Foreign NGOs?

Following are the Professional Supervisory Units that have sponsored a (or multiple) foreign NGO representative office(s).
05.10.17

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts

The Ministry of Public Security continues to post updates relevant to the Foreign NGO Law on its WeChat account, the most recent of which are translated and summarized below.
05.02.17

German Political Foundations May Be Able to Register as NGOs in China

According to German media reports, China’s Ministry of Public Security has determined that five of Germany’s political foundations—Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Hanns Seidel Foundation, and Rosa...
05.02.17

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts

Since April 2, the Ministry of Public Security’s Office for NGO Management has been posting updates on its work to a WeChat account. The following are translations of some recent posts. We’ll do these translations frequently and post them in our “...
04.23.17

Welcome to The China NGO Project

On January 1, China began enforcement of its Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations’ Activities in the People’s Republic of China. Several weeks later, we initiated The China NGO Project to try to help readers better...
04.23.17

How Many Organizations Have Carried out Temporary Activities in China?

The Ministry of Public Security’s main NGO website lists temporary activities (in Chinese). The China NGO Project also maintains a sortable chart with English translations, including the area and dates of activity and the name of the Chinese Partner...
04.23.17

What Needs to Be in a Foreign NGO Representative Office’s Annual Plan?

The Ministry of Public Security has not offered clear guidance on this point. The China NGO Project hopes to learn from foreign NGOs what level of detail groups included in their successful annual plan submissions.
04.23.17

How Many Foreign NGOs Have Registered Offices in China and Where Are They?

A list of successfully registered NGOs is available here (in Chinese) on the Ministry of Public Security’s main NGO website. The China NGO Project also maintains a map with information about approved NGOs, including their location of registration,...
04.23.17

Can a Chinese Citizen Serve as the Main Representative of a Foreign NGO?

According to an interview the Guangdong MPS gave to NGOCN, a Chinese national may serve as a foreign NGO’s chief representative in China. The individual’s identity card will be required as proof of identity.
04.23.17

I Work for a Foreign NGO Registering a Representative Office in China, What Type of Visa Should I Get?

According to one source, a Ministry of Public Security (MPS) representative said that foreign staff of foreign NGOs seeking to register a representative office may enter China on tourist or short-term business visas. Once the representative office...
04.23.17

What Is a Professional Supervisory Unit’s Role in Terms of Oversight and Management?

A PSU’s precise role vis-a-vis its sponsored foreign NGO remains unclear at this stage in implementation. Many foreign NGOs report uncertainty about the nature of the relationship and have expressed a desire for greater clarity about the parameters...
04.23.17

Can My NGO Carry Out Projects in More Than One Province or Location?

Per information provided at a meeting between Ministry of Public Security representatives and foreign diplomats in 2016, a foreign NGO may have activities in multiple locations as long as the geographic scope of its work is consistent with the...
04.23.17

What Is the Difference Between a Professional Supervisory Unit and a Chinese Partner Unit?

Unlike Professional Supervisory Unites (PSUs), which are paired with foreign NGO representative offices in China and which must be selected from a list provided by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Chinese Partner Units (CPUs) are organizations...
04.23.17

Are NGOs in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau Subject to This Law?

Yes. The term 境外 (jing wai) used in the law, which we translate as “foreign,” is frequently translated as “overseas,” but its literal translation is “outside the borders.” For legal and regulatory purposes, jing wai includes Taiwan, Hong Kong, and...

Books

04.21.17

A New Deal for China’s Workers?

Cynthia Estlund
China’s labor landscape is changing, and it is transforming the global economy in ways that we cannot afford to ignore. Once-silent workers have found their voice, organizing momentous protests, such as the 2010 Honda strikes, and demanding a better deal. China’s leaders have responded not only with repression but with reforms. Are China’s workers on the verge of a breakthrough in industrial relations and labor law reminiscent of the American New Deal?In A New Deal for China’s Workers? Cynthia Estlund views this changing landscape through the comparative lens of America’s twentieth-century experience with industrial unrest. China’s leaders hope to replicate the widely shared prosperity, political legitimacy, and stability that flowed from America’s New Deal, but they are irrevocably opposed to the independent trade unions and mass mobilization that were central to bringing it about. Estlund argues that the specter of an independent labor movement, seen as an existential threat to China’s one-party regime, is both driving and constraining every facet of its response to restless workers.China’s leaders draw on an increasingly sophisticated toolkit in their effort to contain worker activism. The result is a surprising mix of repression and concession, confrontation and cooptation, flaws and functionality, rigidity and pragmatism. If China’s laborers achieve a New Deal, it will be a New Deal with Chinese characteristics, very unlike what workers in the West achieved in the last century. Estlund’s sharp observations and crisp comparative analysis make China’s labor unrest and reform legible to Western readers. —Harvard University Press{chop}

China’s New Civil Code Light on Individual Rights Reforms

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
China’s Communist leaders will this week introduce sweeping new laws that codify social responsibilities for the country’s 1.4 billion citizens while also providing some modest new protections.

Viewpoint

01.31.17

The Origins of China’s New Law on Foreign NGOs

Shawn Shieh
For many years, the vast majority of foreign NGOs operated quietly in China in a legal grey area. Many are unregistered and work in China through local partners, while others are registered as commercial enterprises. That all changed with the...

Conversation

05.05.16

How Should Global Stakeholders Respond to China’s New NGO Management Law?

Sebastian Heilmann , Thomas Kellogg & more
A new law gives broad powers to China’s police in regulating and surveilling the activities of foreign NGOs in China. The law would require foreign groups including foundations, charities, advocacy organizations, and academic exchange programs to...

China Passes New Laws on Foreign NGOs amid International Criticism

Stephen McDonell
BBC
Critics say the laws amount to a crackdown, but China has argued that such regulation is long overdue.

China Drone Maker Says It May Share Data With State

Paul Mozur
New York Times
What should be done with the information those drones gather?

Conversation

05.14.15

The Future of NGOs in China

Isabel Hilton, Carl Minzner & more
Last week, China’s National People’s Congress released the second draft of a new law on “Managing Foreign NGOs.” Many foreign non-profits in China have operated in a legal gray area over the years. The law [full English translation here] establishes...

Features

04.02.15

Frank Talk About Hong Kong’s Future from Margaret Ng

Margaret Ng, Ira Belkin & more
Following is the transcript of a recent ChinaFile Breakfast with Margaret Ng, the former Hong Kong legislator in discussion with Ira Belkin of New York University Law School and Orville Schell, ChinaFile Publisher and Arthur Ross Director of the...

Civic Groups’ Freedom, and Followers, Are Vanishing

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Accepted activities are narrowing, sparking fear that openness in the political landscape may disappear.

China Steps up Political Arrests, Prosecutions

Agence France Presse
Agence France-Presse
A total of 2,318 people were arrested or indicted on charges of “endangering state security”, the US-based Dui Hua Foundation said, citing statistics from China’s central prosecution office. 

Jittery Nation: Link, Maden, and Pickowicz’s “Restless China”

Megan Shank
Los Angeles Review of Books
Thirteen knowledgeable academics trained in diverse disciplines and based around the world explore disquietude surrounding Chinese values and civic life in clusters of essays on “Legacies,” “A New Electronic Community,” “Values,” and “Global...

Prominent Chinese Activist Releases Jail Video

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Supporters of Chinese lawyer Xu Zhiyong have released a video, filmed inside an undisclosed detention center, of the prominent rights activist proclaiming his willingness to pay any price for social progress.

Books

06.25.13

Civil Society in China

Karla W. Simon
This is the definitive book on the legal and fiscal framework for civil society organizations (CSOs) in China from earliest times to the present day. Civil Society in China traces the ways in which laws and regulations have shaped civil society over the 5,000 years of China’s history and looks at ways in which social and economic history have affected the legal changes that have occurred over the millennia.This book provides an historical and current analysis of the legal framework for civil society and citizen participation in China, focusing not merely on legal analysis, but also on the ways in which the legal framework influenced and was influenced in turn by social and economic developments. The principal emphasis is on ways in which the Chinese people—as opposed to high-ranking officials or cadres—have been able to play a part in the social and economic development of China through the associations in which they participateCivil Society in China sums up this rather complex journey through Chinese legal, social, and political history by assessing the ways in which social, economic, and legal system reforms in today’s China are bound to have an impact on civil society. The changes that have occurred in China’s civil society since the late 1980’s and, most especially, since the late 1990’s, are nothing short of remarkable. This volume is an essential guide for lawyers and scholars seeking an in depth understanding of social life in China written by one of its leading experts. —Oxford University Press

Chinese Suggestions For Improving Internet Disappear

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
Thriving microblogging culture has become China’s de facto town square. But as more alleged rumors and critical commenters are quieted or deleted this center of civil society becomes a less interesting place to visit. 

Books

05.02.13

China and the Environment

Sam Geall
Sixteen of the world’s twenty most polluted cities are in China. A serious water pollution incident occurs once every two-to-three days. China’s breakneck growth causes great concern about its global environmental impacts, as others look to China as a source for possible future solutions to climate change. But how are Chinese people really coming to grips with environmental problems? This book provides access to otherwise unknown stories of environmental activism and forms the first real-life account of China and its environmental tensions. China and the Environment provides a unique report on the experiences of participatory politics that have emerged in response to environmental problems, rather than focusing only on macro-level ecological issues and their elite responses. Featuring previously untranslated short interviews, extracts from reports and other translated primary documents, the authors argue that going green in China isn’t just about carbon targets and energy policy; China’s grassroots green defenders are helping to change the country for the better. —Zed Books

Books

04.19.13

The Power of the Internet in China

Guobin Yang
Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionized popular expression in China, enabling users to organize, protest, and influence public opinion in unprecedented ways. Guobin Yang’s pioneering study maps an innovative range of contentious forms and practices linked to Chinese cyberspace, delineating a nuanced and dynamic image of the Chinese Internet as an arena for creativity, community, conflict, and control. Like many other contemporary protest forms in China and the world, Yang argues, Chinese online activism derives its methods and vitality from multiple and intersecting forces, and state efforts to constrain it have only led to more creative acts of subversion. Transnationalism and the tradition of protest in China’s incipient civil society provide cultural and social resources to online activism. Even Internet businesses have encouraged contentious activities, generating an unusual synergy between commerce and activism. Yang’s book weaves these strands together to create a vivid story of immense social change, indicating a new era of informational politics.              —Columbia University Press

Conversation

03.15.13

Is the One Child Policy Finished—And Was It a Failure?

Dorinda Elliott, Alexa Olesen & more
Dorinda Elliott:China’s recent decision to phase out the agency that oversees the one-child policy has raised questions about whether the policy itself will be dropped—and whether it was a success or a failure.Aside from the...

The Uncertain Future of Beijing's Migrant Schools

Josh Rudolph
China Digital Times
As the gap between China’s urban and rural economies continues to expand, the largest rural-urban migration in world history persists. When those from the countryside arrive in the city, the current hukou system blocks their access to the social...

Reports

05.01.10

Seeding Positive Impacts: How Business and Civil Society Can Contribute to the Sustainability of Chinese Agriculture

Laura Ediger, Fengyuan Wang, Stephanie Tian, and Keanu Zhang
Sara Segal-Williams
BSR
From farm-level impacts related to pesticide and fertilizer use, to the processing and packaging of the final product, processes along the agricultural supply chain in China have an adverse environmental health impact. Companies and civil society...

Reports

07.13.09

Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications

Thomas Lum, Hannah Fischer
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
Human rights has been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), particularly since the violent government crackdown on the Tiananmen democracy movement in 1989. Some policy makers contend that the U...

Reports

04.24.09

U.S.-Funded Assistance Programs in China

Thomas Lum
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
U.S. government support of rule of law and civil society programs in the People’s Republic of China constitutes a key component of its efforts to promote democratic change in China. Other related U.S. activities include participation in official...

From the Ming to Deng Xiaoping

John K. Fairbank from New York Review of Books
When I began teaching Chinese history at Harvard in 1936 my first students turned out to be the brightest I would ever have—Theodore White as an undergraduate and Mary Clabaugh as a Ph.D. candidate. Mary Clabaugh was a Vassar graduate from...