New China law to put curbs on charity groups

BEIJING (TIP): China is making a new law that will restrict charity organisations from supporting programmes that threaten public interest or national security.

“Charities shall not carry out or sponsor any activity that endangers national security or public interests,” Li Jianguo, vice-chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, said in an explanation of the law. Li did not explain what might constitute endangering national security. The NPC is in the process of passing the new law.

The new law has evoked mixed feelings in different sections of voluntary organisations. Some fear that the new law can help local officials to check supply of funds to programmes that they do not approve of. Xinhua news agency said that charities found to be undermining national security would be punished or have their registrations revoked in serious cases. The government wants charities to focus on the task of alleviating poverty.

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