China Tightens Rules on Foreign Donations to Local NGOs

Chinese non-governmental organizations fear new government rules on foreign donations to local NGOs may leave them cash-strapped, Reuters reports. The regulations require that overseas contributions go into special foreign exchange bank accounts and come with heavy documentation including a notarized donation agreement and translated registration documents from the donor.

“It will be really hard for organisations to get funding, many of them will find it hard to survive” Wan Yanhai, leader of AIDS and gay rights organization Aizhixing, told Reuters. “At present we estimate that with these formalities even if you have applied successfully for money, it will take 3 months to get it. It will be devastating.”

Local civil society groups are also anxious that the move will give the government a hold over activities of NGOs that it disagrees with.

“There will be an impact on NGOs and rights defenders,” said Yao Yao, director of law and public participation at Civil Society Watch in Beijing.”If they want to disrupt these organisations, they can use these rules as an excuse.”

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.