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August 9, 2017

What if My Organization Can’t Find a Professional Supervisory Unit Willing to Sponsor Us?

What does my organization do if we are unable to find a Professional Supervisory Unit (PSU) willing to sponsor us? Are PSUs obligated to sponsor a legally-operating foreign NGO that is within its area of responsibility?

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has not offered clear guidance about this apparently common problem. The China NGO Project has learned from several foreign NGOs that many PSUs are either unprepared to or unwilling to sponsor foreign NGOs, sometimes including past partners. Further, there is no guidance as to how to approach a PSU about sponsoring a foreign NGO’s representative office (whether by phone, fax, letter, email, or in-person). (The MPS has, however, issued contact information for national-level PSUs, and some provinces have issued contact information for provincial-level PSUs.) While Article 12 of the law provides a list of documentation a foreign NGO must present in order to register with the Ministry of Public Security, the law does not provide any clarity on what a PSU should use as a standard for acceptance or rejection, nor does it provide a time frame within which PSUs must respond to requests for sponsorship.

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