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China’s NGO Law Aims to Stifle ‘Foreign’ Influence, Basic Rights
In response to China’s approval of a law severely limiting the work of foreign NGOs and their local partners, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The NGO law gives non-profit groups working in China the choice of working under close police supervision or closing their doors,” said Mark P. Lagon, president. “The law shows China’s rulers to be desperate to assert control over every aspect of society and insecure about their ability to do so, to the point of trying to stifle groups focused on basic rights, public health, education, and the environment.”
On Thursday, April 28 the National People’s Congress passed the foreign NGO management law, requiring foreign NGOs wishing to operate within China to register with the government, and restricting registration to only those groups whose objectives are “beneficial to the development of social welfare.” It also requires NGOs to submit program plans and details of their finances.
Activities must not “endanger China's national unity, security, or ethnic unity,” “harm China's national [or] societal public interests,” “create rumors,” “subvert national sovereignty,” or engage in political or religious activities, the law says. The law also requires all foreign NGOs to “accept supervision and management by the public security.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.