Nevertheless, Chinese Civil Society Persisted

In an autocracy, atomized individuals, without power or influence, seem to have only two options: willingly serve as “social livestock,” or accept their fate and lie flat. But in a society as large as China’s, with 1.4 billion people, can that really be all there is? In the China presented by the media, the “official” China, yes, that’s all there is. But the strict censorship dictates hide a complex array of feelings and behaviors. Even...Read more
The China NGO Project has created the following visualizations based on data available on the Ministry of Public Security website, as well as on our own research. To analyze foreign NGO representative offices, we looked at organizations’ countries/regions of origin, province and date of registration, fields of work, and number of representative offices per organization. For foreign NGO temporary activities, we looked at organizations’ countries/regions of origin, locations of activity, fields of work, and lengths...Read more
The human rights violations being committed now under the National Security Law only demonstrate China’s decision to drift further away from compliance with international human rights law. Rather, the NSL’s claim to global jurisdiction signals an increased willingness to engage in counterattacks against critics and to undermine the international human rights system. Amnesty’s departure from Hong Kong will have fall-out far beyond the mere absence of the group on the ground. In the fragile, increasingly...Read more

Overseas NGOs and Foundations and COVID in China

Using a Securitized Framework in a Time of Crisis
The COVID crisis that enveloped Wuhan, Hubei province, and some other parts of China in late 2019 and early 2020 might, in another era, have encouraged China to temporarily relax constraints on international aid and engagement. In the current Chinese political environment, such relaxation of constraints wasn’t going to happen. China accepted some overseas aid at the beginning of the COVID crisis, but almost entirely on the restrictive political and legal terms laid down in...Read more

Shielding Corporate Interests, Europe Leaves NGOs Working in China by the Wayside

If ratified, the EU-China investment agreement will shield corporate interests from human rights concerns while effectively deserting European NGOs and foundations trying to work in China.
In late December 2020, at the end of a very turbulent year in Europe-China relations, and after more than seven years of often strenuous negotiations, the European Union (EU) and China agreed on the terms of a “Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.” The European Commission and heads of state and government inked the deal despite vocal warnings from experts across Europe to allow time for further deliberation. Debates over the CAI, however, thus far have ignored...Read more