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February 22, 2018

Ministry of Public Security Hosts Conference for Foreign NGO Representatives

Ministry of Public Security WeChat Posts—January 26, 2018

January 26, 2018:

Today, the Ministry of Public Security Foreign NGO Management Office, together with the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) Foreign NGO Management Office, held a conference with representatives of foreign NGOs in China.

Representatives from Gates Foundation, US-China Business Council, and Ford Foundation—all of whom successfully registered representative offices in 2017—spoke at the event. All three groups praised public security officials for helping them through the registration process while also mentioning hopes for future improvements, including a more complete set of policies and procedures for foreign NGO management, clarifications regarding NGOs’ submission of annual plans and reports, and increased assistance for smaller NGOs seeking to get registered.

Representatives from nine as-yet unregistered groups also addressed those assembled. These groups were: American Heart Association, International Plant Nutrition Institute (Canada) [this NGO registered in Hubei in May 2017, so its lack of registration probably refers to its status in Beijing], International Council on Clean Transportation (United States), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (United Kingdom), The George Institute (Australia) [this group received its Beijing registration in February 2018], World Animal Protection International (United Kingdom) [this group currently has an ongoing temporary activity in Beijing], Clean Air Asia (the Philippines) [this group held a temporary activity in Beijing in November 2017], American Petroleum Institute, and National Geographic Society (United States). The American Heart Association noted that it was difficult to find a Professional Supervisory Unit (PSU) because their work in China crosses many different fields of work, and that they hoped for help in this regard. Clean Air Asia said that foreign NGO laws like China’s are very normal in Europe and that the law will help the development of international non-profits in China.

Representatives from six PSUs also attended the meeting and made remarks:

The Ministry of Education stated that it had created a mechanism for reviewing and approving foreign NGO applications, that it has discussed related issues with colleges and universities under its purview nationwide, and has issued a series of rules regarding university cooperation with foreign NGOs in order to make such work more regularized and efficient.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has established an office specifically to deal with this issue, laying out responsibilities and divisions of labor among its subordinate entities. It has also strengthened training for local branches; held meetings between registration authorities, PSUs, and foreign NGOs; and improved its capacity to serve as a PSU. It will take a more active attitude toward its responsibilities as a PSU to foreign NGOs seeking to play a positive role in China’s environmental protection efforts.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission said it was seeing an increasingly active international non-profit scene relating to health issues in China. It has strengthened its communication with its subordinate branches regarding cooperation with foreign NGOs through measures such as appointing personnel specifically to deal with this issue, and has plans to release related management rules.

The State Forestry Administration, building on its previous mechanisms for foreign cooperation, has issued internal guidance for approving applications, mandating rules, processes, and mechanisms that clarify the rights and responsibilities of the Administration as a PSU and of foreign NGO partners. It has organized internal trainings and improved local branches’ service. It has also set up an annual meeting with foreign NGOs to review the previous year’s work, consult on the coming year’s work, and enhance mutual trust and understanding.

The State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs stated that it has already formulated and formally announced its management measures related to serving as a PSU. With regard to work permits for foreigners employed at China-based foreign NGOs, it will be building upon the notice it issued last year to work with relevant departments to create preferential policies that cover residential and family issues.

The National Energy Administration said that through the process of becoming a PSU, it has drafted related management measures and a registration guide, and that it plans to hold meetings to increase communication with foreign NGOs and establish a cooperation framework.

January 26, 2018:

Today, the Shaanxi PSB Foreign NGO Management Office and the Xi’an city PSB, along with the Shaanxi Women’s Federation, the Shaanxi Commission of Tourism Development, and the Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, carried out a number of publicity activities related to the Foreign NGO Law in 11 different cities and districts across the province. This included handing out informational materials (over 40,000 pamphlets were distributed); erecting display boards; holding trainings and talks, and going onto school campuses to raise awareness. The executive deputy head of the Shaanxi PSB (who is also vice secretary of the Shaanxi PSB Party Committee) was in attendance to offer on-the-spot guidance.

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