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Publication Title

Washington University Global Studies Law Review

Abstract

Notwithstanding the increasing presence of foreign non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) in China, currently only foreign foundations may register as international NGOs in China. This lag in legislation is largely due to the Chinese government’s concerns about foreign NGOs that try to broach politically sensitive subjects such as democracy, human rights, labor, or religion. Much confusion has resulted from the lack of explicit legal rules, and the situation has blocked foreign NGOs’ access to China and prevented them from carrying out work in the country. In practice, many foreign NGOs have resorted to alternative means of operation. It is time for the Chinese government to revisit this gray area and enact a clear and constructive legal framework for foreign NGOs to follow.

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