China tightens restrictions on NGOs: Report

Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 12:40

Beijing: Chinese government has tightened
restrictions on overseas donations to independent domestic
non-governmental organisations in what is being seen as a move
to impose more controls on them.

Under regulations that came into effect this month,
independent NGOs that accept donations from overseas donors
face more scrutiny than ever, the Hong Kong-based South China
Morning Post said in a report.

Now the State Administration of Foreign Exchange is
requiring NGOs to meet a new set of conditions, among them the
presentation of certificates of registration of the overseas
donor organisations abroad and a notarised donation agreement.

Religious groups are also required to obtain approval
from the authorities before accepting donations worth more
than 1 million yuan, it said. The move has sparked outrage
among independent grass-roots NGO workers, who fear it is the
latest step by the government to restrict their work, it said.

"Obviously this is targeting funding (from abroad) for
independent NGOs," said Wan Yanhai, head of outspoken Aids
organisation Aizhixing.

"This gives the government even more control. The new
policy is a weapon that targets NGOs, it`s a gun in their
hand."

The central government increasingly realises the value
of NGOs` community work but also distrusts their motives,
especially those that receive funding from abroad, he said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 12:40

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