Blog


China: Protecting Land Rights and the Environment

China’s top legislature has adopted an amendment to the Administrative Procedure Law, aiming to expand the people’s right to sue the government.

... Continue reading

Contradictions in CSO regulation in China

Contradictions exist because of the Foreign NGO Law and its intersection with the more recently available draft Charity Law released by the government, which I have been invited to comment on. The Charity Law draft

... Continue reading

Karla W Simon starts personal blog on Wordpress

Follow Karla's new blog

... Continue reading

Charity Law in China

Premier Li Keqiang, in the annual Government Work Report to the National People’s Congress, specifically mentioned that the government plans to promote charities in 2015. This is consistent with other developments that have been occurring

... Continue reading

Move to regulate foreign NGOs in China

In China the first attempt to enact a comprehensive legal framework regulating foreign NGOs is being carried out. This event has received a lot of attention from foreign media and will have. a direct impact

... Continue reading

The definition of charity: implications for direct registration

One of the problematic issues that has arisen in the local jurisdictions we at ICCSL are studying with respect to the impact of the new direct registration regulations in China has been an imprecise understanding

... Continue reading

Reflections from China: charities and advocacy

Having completed my latest set of comments for the China Philanthropy Research Institute (CPRI) on its ‘Charity Law’ draft (latest version July 2014; the work was commissioned by the Asia Foundation), I feel it is

... Continue reading

Qualifying a ‘people’s organization’ as a public benefit organization in China

A recent busy visit to Beijing disclosed that much is happening on the ‘charity’ law front, with many other ancillary developments regarding the three regulations (san tiaoli). Beginning first with those, I will analyze where

... Continue reading

Charity and Social Enterprise in China

In mid-May the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) held a conference on Philanthropy in China and released the news that 2013 was indeed a watershed year for CSOs. At the end of the year more than 541,00 CSOs were nationally registered. This is clearly due, as noted at the conference, to the removal of the “dual management” requirement. By the end of the year every province as well as every self-governing municipality had adopted “direct registration” rules. This makes it much easier for citizens and businesses to donate to charity.

... Continue reading

The New ICCSL China Civil Society Blog

Having been asked by Alliance to confine my posts to philanthropy and social enterprise, I am moving the general civil society information to ICCSL’s first blog! For April 2014. Various developments during the month of March caught my eye.

... Continue reading

Civil society in China

February was another very busy month for civil society in China. The developments were in several areas: tax exemption, direct registration, implementing regulations on cancellation of the branch registration requirement for national social organizations, procurement of social services, volunteering, and

... Continue reading

Civil society developments in China

January was a huge month for civil society developments in China and many of them are noteworthy. They involved a variety of issues, including more provinces adopting the direct registration regime, and the recognition by MCA that it cannot manage

... Continue reading

2013 – A year of contradictions

In my previous post I discussed the Third Plenum and the fact that the highest echelons of the Communist Party seem to have taken on board the proposed changes in the registration system for CSOs.

... Continue reading

Conference reports 2013 – Philanthropy and civil society in China

In November three important events related to philanthropy and civil society in China were held in Beijing. The most important of these was the ‘Third Plenum’ of the Communist Party, which among other things highlighted civil society. The others included

... Continue reading

Civil society events make headway but China still needs to develop trust in CSOs

I was honoured to be invited to speak at two events about civil society in China held during the Mid-Autumn Festival this month (when one consumes lots of mooncakes at family gatherings held throughout China to celebrate the harvest moon)

... Continue reading

Loosening of rules for foreign CSOs in China coming

Following up on my March and April posts, I wanted to return to the subject of reforms in the legal framework for CSOs in China. As I noted, there is a special relationship between the proposed reforms and economic restricting

... Continue reading

Reforming CSOs in China

There are not many CSOs in China with good luck in public interest suits. The environmental area is one where there is great success, but other types of suits frequently miss their mark because courts often refuse to hear the

... Continue reading

Good news and bad from the public interest law front in China

There are not many CSOs in China with good luck in public interest suits.

... Continue reading

News from China: roll-out of plan to allow CSOs to directly register, the earthquake response and other developments

Pursuant to the plan announced by the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March and the follow-up decision to create a timeline of the expected changes to be carried out by the State Council,

... Continue reading

Big news from the big meeting of the National People’s Congress in China

While there have been other recent developments that are relevant to this blog, they all pale in comparison with the one part of the Chinese government’s government restructuring plan that affects civil society.

... Continue reading

Trends in Chinese transparency and philanthropy

A report issued in early January dealt with transparency among China’s large foundations. Some of the results are reported in the chart below. Only 182 organizations published financial accounts in their annual reports. Among 240 organizations publicizing their donation information

... Continue reading

‘In the spirit of’ the 18th Party Congress; another accounting scandal in a big charity

Following the close of the 18th Party Congress in mid-November, there were a few developments suggesting that reforms for civil society are in the offing. Indeed, Professor Wang Ming, China’s best-known expert on CSOs, is very upbeat. AIDS CSOs in

... Continue reading

Not much ‘new’ news from China as 18th Party Congress wraps up

Makeup of the new ‘Politburo’ With many tales in the Western and local media of the difficulty of doing anything in Beijing besides merely going to work, the 18th Party Congress was grinding to a halt as the new leaders

... Continue reading

The Forbes 400 Report: how is next-generation philanthropy shaping up?

A recent post from the Chronicle of Philanthropy about restricted gifts led me to download the linked report that was generated as a result of the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. Entitled ‘Next-Generation Philanthropy: Changing the World’, the report (available free

... Continue reading

New policies and issues addressed in the lead-up to the China leadership change in November

Ahead of the long-awaited leadership change during the Party Congress now scheduled for 8 November, there have been a few developments at MCA and with regard to social organization reforms generally. In addition, China Development Brief (English) has published a

... Continue reading

Charity diversity, social management innovation and international CSOs – some recent developments in China

Charity diversity, social management innovation and international CSOs – some recent developments in China

... Continue reading

China takes steps forward in foundation accountability and social innovation

It seems that the summer months, with torrid heat and torrential rains in various places in China, including Beijing and Shanghai etc., have slowed the process of change in the legal and fiscal environment for CSOs in China. One of

... Continue reading

Evaluation of a UNDP/EU/MoCA project and other developments in China

An interesting public event was held on 25 June, where I was a presenter, on the evaluation of the Governance for Equitable Development (GED) project sponsored by the EU and UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA)

... Continue reading

Interesting times for philanthropy and civil society in China

This past month has been an interesting one for civil society in China because there have once again been a large number of developments and press stories that bear on the sector and its needs. Perhaps the most interesting story

... Continue reading

How are the new policies for China’s CSOs developing?

A colleague of mine recently commented that the Chinese government seems to be determined to do all it can for opening space for civil society right here and right now! It is difficult to keep up with everything for this

... Continue reading

Government downsizing and direct registration of social organizations in China

In recent weeks websites and newspapers in China have heated up with news about coming developments regarding government downsizing, civil society, and the easing of restrictions on registration. For example, the influential news outlet Caixin wrote 'in 2010, the Guangzhou

... Continue reading

A round-up of recent civil society developments in China

Guiding Principles for religious organizations’ charitable work The first regulatory development of some note was the issuance in late February of regulations governing the charitable activities of religious organizations. These regulations discuss the ‘Guiding Principles’ for charitable activities of religious

... Continue reading

Fashioning new self-regulatory charity policies for accountability and transparency

As mentioned in an earlier blog, China's 'private' foundations have endeavoured to establish self-regulatory guidelines, which were adopted at the second annual private foundation forum. The principles are based on previously developed self-regulation guidelines of the China NPO Network and

... Continue reading

A look back at developments affecting civil society in China in 2011 (and a sneak peek at 2012/2013)

As I said recently during a workshop in Beijing, 2011 was really a remarkable year with respect to developments affecting civil society. The year began with the propaganda department of the government saying in January that ‘civil society' was a

... Continue reading

Relaxing the registration rules for civil society organizations in China

Instead of blogging this month on self-regulation (a topic to which I will return in 2012), it is important at this juncture to discuss a very significant development. At a party working conference held at the end of November in

... Continue reading

Fashioning new government-mandated charity policies for accountability and transparency

At the present time the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) has a very robust web portal for civil society, both nationally and for the local bureaus. The national web portal www.chinanpo.gov.cn has online application and filing mechanisms for acquiring

... Continue reading

Developing foundation management in China

As I suggested in last month’s blog, major concerns for the new foundations in China include good fund management, human resources and board development – how foundations are seeking to make their giving more effective by enhancing each of these

... Continue reading

Finding resources for social development in China

The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) ‘Five Year Plan for Charity Development’, mentioned in my first blog post, raises the matter of resource development for China’s operating charities. This post looks more closely at the question of how CSOs are

... Continue reading

What impact will China’s Five Year Plan have on philanthropy?

Although I’m an American, I will be blogging on developments in China regarding civil society and philanthropy. I am in the process of finishing a book on civil society in China, which is due to be published in 2012. Thus,

... Continue reading