Home Contact Us  
   

China - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#4163, 4 November 2013
 
China’s NGO Sector: Reality or Illusion?
Namrata Hasija
Senior Research Officer, CRP, IPCS
Email: namrata@ipcs.org
 

Post the reform era in 1978, the NGO sector in China mushroomed greatly. According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Civil Society, the number of NGOs rose from 6,000 before 1978, to 186,000 by 2006. Private NGOs that had previously been absent in China before 1978 also came into existence. In 2006, there were around 159,000 private NGOs in the country.

What aspects of Chinese law are stemming the independent growth of NGOs in China? What is the role of NGOs in China? What impact have they had on Chinese society? What has this impact been on?

NGOs are officially called ‘popular organisations’ in China. There are two broad categories under which the NGOs are divided in China i.e. officially organised, and popular NGOs. The first category are initiated and operated by the Chinese government. The staff is mostly on government payroll. Popular NGOs are initiated by private individuals and they receive no subsidies from the government.

Problems
According to its internal policies, the Civil Affairs department does not approve applications from any ‘specific social group’ like migrant workers, laid off workers, ex-servicemen, religious groups and so on. This clause is in place in order to safeguard the Chinese government from the formation of any political, social or religious organisation in the guise of a NGO that that may lead to a movement challenging the party or the state. Apart from this, the government also does not want any NGO to grow in size and infrastructure that will allow it to have networks all over the country. This would help in avoiding a movement in one part of the country to have an impact elsewhere. Thus a clause restricts the NGOs from opening regional branches i.e. national NGOs are restricted to Beijing, and provincial and county level NGOs are restricted to provincial capitals or county seats. This has curtailed their growth potential. The third controversial clause is restricting new NGOs from opening if there is already a NGO doing similar work in the same administrative area. Thus, if there is an official NGO working for the welfare of disabled persons, a popular NGO cannot work for the same cause in that area.

These clauses not only restrict their growth but also limit their resources. Thus, popular NGOs have to look to the government for support. This in turn means collaborating with government agencies for projects and relying on government administrative networks to implement projects. The heavy dependency on the government hinders their work and also restricts their direction of work which does not go beyond the interests and values of the government. This also reflects the attitude of the NGOs who feel that officials and government policies are more important than the citizens that they are actually working for.

Sectors most impacted by NGOs in China
Due to these clauses, a very strong NGO sector in China has not developed. The Chinese government initiated this sector to share its growing social responsibility. It wanted NGOs to share and provide for China’s social sector. In recent years, Chinese NGOs have impacted certain sectors like natural resource management, protection of environmental rights, public advocacy and education etc. Moreover, since 2007, they have endeavoured to make an impact in a more challenging and promising area - China’s clean energy policy. The working of these NGOs is closely entwined with the government and therefore most of their work has been on ‘softer issues’ related to environment. For example, Friends of Nature works with environmental education, mainly in elementary schools. In addition, the NGO sponsors wildlife conservation campaigns, with a special focus on the Tibetan antelope.

Pesticide Eco-Alternative Centre (PEAC) provides training and information on pesticide issues and ecological alternatives to pesticides, consumer advocacy, gender equity, and indigenous pest reduction practices. NGOs like this educate farmers who in their haste to produce more do not pay heed to the ill effects of pesticides. By imparting education, this NGO has provided an alternative to the government in Kunming by reducing chemical farming and engaging the farmers in organic farming.

Certain NGOs have taken up women issues although they cannot touch issues like forced abortions and the one child policy. They are however educating women on domestic violence and HIV/AIDS, and counselling rural women to control the growing suicides among them.

Although NGOs in China are so heavily dependent on party funds and are expected to toe the party line, they have impacted many sectors of Chinese society to a greater extent under this control. With growing international pressure on China to commit to a clean environment, the NGOs working on this issue have greatly impacted society.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.