China is set to join a host of countries that discourage or outright ban international NGOs from working, according to The New York Times. The state’s security apparatus would supervise foreign NGOs under the law drafted in May.
The law is the latest in a spate of state attempts to exert greater control over international funders of domestic projects, according to the newspaper. Pakistan recently warned that foreign NGOs would have to follow unspecified laws, or leave the country, and asked Save the Children to wind down its operations, drawing rebuke from the US State Department, the paper reported. India recently placed restrictions on Ford Foundation funding as a part of a wider anti-foreign funding policy affecting other foundations and NGOs as well.
China’s draft law, which is expected to be approved unchanged, requires international groups working in China to obtain a government sponsor; they will also report all activities to police, the paper said.
They will be barred from accepting domestic donations and would have to appoint Chinese citizens to at least half of all staff positions. No international associations would be able to accept Chinese members, closing a fruitful source of collaboration among Chinese artists and scientists with their colleagues overseas. ‘Beijing has long been wary of international groups that campaign for political causes or work to promote rule of law and legal rights in China,’ the newspaper observes. The draft rule also reflects a ‘restrictive approach’ to civil society groups endorsed by President Xi Jinpin, and the fear that external forces are trying to overthrow the government.