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January 11, 2022

Recent Articles about NGOs in China, Both Foreign and Domestic

In a two-part series on his blog NGOs in China, Shawn Shieh explores both the potential upsides and downsides of the “14th Five-Year-Plan for the Development of Social Organizations,” which the Ministry of Civil Affairs issued in October. First, Shieh discusses the additional de facto restrictions the plan may put on domestic groups: “It calls for supervision and control to come not only from [existing supervisory entities], but also from the Communist Party, law enforcement agencies, the use of artificial intelligence and big data, and society.” Then, he explains how the plan, while “instill[ing] little optimism for the development of an independent civil society,” may still serve as a guidepost for groups seeking to find areas where they can still meaningfully contribute to the non-profit sector.

Over at the U.S.-China Perception Monitor, Jessica Teets makes the case that people-to-people exchanges are a crucial way to maintain information flows between the U.S. and China, even if the current environment may not be conducive to extensive policy cooperation. Drawing on lessons from the 1990s, Teets makes recommendations to U.S. policymakers, grant-makers, and practitioners aimed at achieving two key goals: “1) create policy access for civil society, and 2) develop civil society capacity.”

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