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Check here for updates from our editors on new developments in regulation, operation and activities of Foreign NGOs in China as well as updates to the China NGO Project site

No Foreign NGO Representative Offices Registered in May

Last Month Was the First Since January 2017 with No New Registrations
Public security officials did not register any new foreign NGO representative offices in the month of May, marking the first time since the the Foreign NGO Law first took effect in January 2017 that an entire month elapsed without any registrations. During the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, authorities were still reporting new registrations, with three new offices registered in January, three in February, and five in March. The current lack of registrations...Read more

‘I Feel Like I Am Committing Crimes’

A Q&A with Legal Rights Advocate Yang Zhanqing
On July 22 last year, three activists from the public interest NGO Changsha Funeng were detained and later formally arrested for “subversion of state power.” Cheng Yuan, Liu Dazhi, and Wu Gejianxiong, known as the “Changsha Three,” have been detained for about seven months. Established in 2016, Changsha Funeng mainly focused on disability rights and also the rights of disadvantaged groups. To understand more about the arrests, public interest work in China, and the challenges...Read more

Civil Society’s Shifting Role in the Response to Coronavirus

Rule Changes Allowing for More NGOs to Get Involved
In our Analysis section, contributor Holly Snape explains how local and central policies at first hobbled domestic civil society organizations’ ability to respond to the coronavirus, limiting who could receive donations, and, critically, who could disburse them. Subsequent rule changes mean that groups are now freer to play a role in collecting and distributing funds and material goods—a hopeful sign for the management of this epidemic.Read more

‘Address China’s Global Role in a More Strategic and Holistic Way’

The Changing State of Play between International NGOs and China
Bertram Lang discusses the need for internationally-active civil society organizations—even those without an official presence in the Chinese mainland—to develop a “specific, organization-wide, global China strategy.” Lang emphasizes the importance of cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation in this process, recognizing the value of both “insider” and “outsider” organizations, and cautions against “engagement just for engagement’s sake.”Read more

What’s in Store for Foreign NGOs This Year?

In our Analysis section, ChinaFile Senior Editor Jessica Batke looks back at the past three years of the Foreign NGO Law. Find out why our data can’t tell us as much as we’d like to know—and why Batke is not optimistic for the year ahead.Read more