From passive to positive: opening up to foreign NGOs in China

Zhao Liqing

China’s opening up to the outside world, which began in the late 1970s, has embraced not only diplomatic relations and the economy but also many other aspects of Chinese society. Foreign NGOs working in China have a real contribution to make to the country’s continued social and economic development, but only if their activities are put on a firm and appropriate footing. At present, the attitude of the Chinese authorities towards them is ambivalent. The result is an unsatisfactory regulatory structure which does not allow the country to reap the full benefits that foreign NGOs can bring nor to guard against the possible negative effects of their activities.

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