April 28, FNGO Law Press Conference

by China Law Translate | 2016/05/04 8:35 PM

 Many thanks to user Siodhbhra for allowing us to use her completed copy of this translation, which has been and will continue to be modified during the regular use of this site. Siodhbhra is in no way responsible for any changes, and her original work is available here  


[NPC Website](2016-04-28 15:31:37)

This afternoon, the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress held a press conference in the Great Hall of the people. Chinese National People's Congress website broadcast live from the scene.

[He Shaoren, director general of the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (2016-04-28 16:03:43)

Friends from the press, good afternoon! We welcome everyone's participation in this press conference of the General Office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. This afternoon marked the end of the 20th Session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee with 149 of 166 total members present, which constituted a quorum under Chinese law. A vote was held on the passage of the People’s Republic of China Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations’ Activities within Mainland China [“FNGO law”]. The law passed with 147 votes in favor, 1 in opposition, and 1 abstention; A vote was also held on the People's Republic of China 7th five-year Resolution on Rule of Law Publicity and Education, which was passed with 143 votes in favor, 1 in opposition and 4 abstentions. The session also voted to pass other matters.

[He Shaoren](2016-04-28 16:04:34)

This press conference is a special press conference on the passage of the new law and resolution. We have invited four guests to attend. They are: Mr Liu Zhenyu, Deputy Minister of Justice. Minister Liu is responsible for answering questions regarding the 7th five-year resolution on popularizing the law. Mr. Zhang Yong, Deputy Director of the NPC Stading Committee's Legislative Affairs Commission; Mr. Guo Linmao, a member of the social law office of the Legislative Affairs Commission, and Mr. Hao Yunhong, Head of the Foreign NGO Management Office of the Ministry of Public Security The three of them will jointly answer questions raised regarding the FNGO Law

[He Shaoren] (2016-04-28 16:05:10)

Following previous practices, the press conference has no special arrangements for translation,so please asks question in standard Mandarin. Please inform us of what media you represent before you ask a question, ask questions as concisely as possible, and, in principle, only one question per person. And now, Everyone please ask your questions.

[China Daily reporter](2016-04-28 16:06:23)

I would like to ask about the version of the Law on Management of Foreign NGOs' Activities in Mainland China that just passed, we've seen that there are major changes from the the second deliberation draft, why is that? Also, what are the main content and highlights of the changes? Thank you.

[Zhang Yong] (2016-04-28 16:07:12)

Indeed, there were some relatively large changes between the version of the FNGO law just passed and the second deliberation draft, and I want to say here that these changes are not merely modifications to the legal articles or language in the clauses, but more importantly, they reflect the legislative principles and the desired legislative objectives of the legislative organs responsible for drafting the law.

[Zhang Yong](2016-04-28 16:08:11)

First, in the drafting process itself, an open and democratic lawmaking process was implemented, and opinions from all quarters were fully heard. As everyone knows, the draft for the second reading of the law was released in April 2015, so it’s taken a full year to pass this law. In this process, the legislative and other relevant organs conducted thorough investigation and research, listening to a broad range of opinions from the public and all social spheres, holding many conferences throughout the country, and in particular, going to listen to the opinions and suggestions of many foreign NGOs conducting activities in China.

[Zhang Yong] (2016-04-28 16:11:12)

These included, for example, the Secretariat of the International Union of Geological Sciences; the Beijing office of the Energy Foundation, an American organization; the Beijing representative office of Save the Children, an international British organization; the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the China-Britain Business Council; and others. In the course of listening to these opinions, a number of foreign NGOs expressed their hope that China might have laws that would clarify their legal position in China, and at the same time expressed hope that such laws would both safeguard and make more convenient the processes of hiring employees and obtaining tax benefits.

[Zhang Yong](2016-04-28 16:12:44)

As to the substance of the law, [we] strove to implement scientific legislative methods, and were pragmatic and open, in order to facilitate the activities of foreign NGOs in China. In comparison with the second reading draft of a year ago, as everyone can see, the body of the law changed from being nine chapters and 67 articles to seven chapters and 54 articles; and relatively large revisions were also made, including many important systemic changes. I trust that everyone has noticed that the media performed detailed reporting on the important changes of the bill on April 25 -- so I won’t repeat that specific introduction here.

[Zhang Yong] (2016-04-28 16:13:59)

At the same time, this law also makes some requirements for the work of relevant organs, for example, requiring registration management organs to quickly draft a catalog of subject areas and programs foreign NGOs work in, a directory of professional supervisory units, and publish online the processes for foreign NGOs to follow when registering a representative office and applying for the filing of temporary activities. These are all requirements of the law, and the law further requires relevant organs to provide policy consultations and activity guidance to foreign NGOs, prohibits any fees from being collected in the course of annual inspections, and so forth. These are all examples of how the law facilitates foreign NGOs lawfully and orderly carrying out activities in China.

[Zhang Yong](2016-04-28 16:15:27)

Third, in the implementation of the law, we will strive to strengthen of regulatory guidance, with particular attention to be paid to practical effects. The law leaves an absolutely sufficient period to prepare for implementation. As everyone can see, this law will begin to be implemented on January 1, 2017, eight months from now. The is a reason for this preparatory period: First is so as to give foreign NGOs enough time to learn about the law and become familiar with the law’s content, to understand their own rights and responsibilities. Second is to promote the relevant organs responsible for implementing this law, including the registration management organs and professional supervisory units and other relevant organs, to draft detailed and comprehensive implementing guidelines, and at the same time conduct the necessary training of relevant staff, to make them better understand their responsibilities, provide better services, and to achieve better implementation effects. Thank you, everyone.

[Financial Times reporter] (2016-04-28 16:16:02)

On the subject of this law, foreign media have focused primarily on funding from foreign sources being channeled to domestic NGOs; I want to ask, can you speak in detail about what the public security organs are concerned about with regards to this foreign money and its relationship to Chinese NGOs? Thank you.

[Hao Yunhong](2016-04-28 16:18:54)

I am very glad to be attending today’s press conference, and very glad to be able to respond to the related questions. The FNGO Law has provisions relevant the supervision and management of funds; foreign NGO activities primarily go through funding domestic social organizations to implement program activities and carry out exchange and cooperation. We are not concerned about any issues in this regard. The government of China welcomes foreign NGOs to come to China to carry out exchanges and cooperation. It should be said that in the last few years, especially since the Reform and Opening, foreign NGOs have come to China for development, and have implemented a great amount of exchange and cooperation in fields such as the economy, education, culture, technology, health, sports, and environmental protection, bringing new ideas, new technology, funds, and experience, promoting our country’s economic and social development, including the development of the public welfare and made many active contributions. The Chinese government praises the active role of foreign NGOs, so ours is a very welcoming attitude. However we have also noticed there have been an extremely small number of foreign NGOs that have used funding channels and methods to engage in illegal actions, such as those that have harmed China’s national security and interests, and increasing the strength of management in this area, including the handling of illegal activities, is something that needs to be done.

[A question regarding the 7th 5-year resolution on popularizing the legal system and its related responses were omitted]

[People's Daily reporter] (2016-04-28 16:28:44)

My question also has to do with the FNGO law. The process of drafting this law has attracted a great deal of attention from overseas, as well as some concerns, and my question is what is the purpose of China’s creation of this law? Does the drafting of this law mean that China will be tightening restrictions in the policies regarding foreign NGOs’ activities in China? Thank you.

[Zhang Yong](2016-04-28 16:30:17)

There is absolutely no need to worry about this. Actually, as everyone can see, since Reform and Opening over 30 years ago, the activities of foreign NGOs conducted in China have gone from none to some, from some to many, up until today, when according to incomplete statistics there are nearly 10,000 foreign NGOs organizing activities in China. It should be said, the absolute majority of foreign NGOs have made many active contributions to the promotion of people-to-people exchanges, communication, and cooperation between China and the rest of the world, and to the promotion of China’s several decades of reform and social development. It cannot be disputed that China has always maintained an active, open, and welcoming attitude to foreign NGOs seeking to come to China to carry out friendly exchanges, communication, and cooperation. However, and I do not want to mince words, there are indeed an extremely small number of foreign NGOs that have or are attempting to endanger Chinese social stability and national security. Thus, putting foreign NGOs onto a path towards legal governance, this is part of a general push to govern China in accordance with the law, and a necessary part of building a rule of law society. This journalist’s question is very good, and I can say here, I believe that by passing this law, it is definitely possible to make carrying out foreign NGO activities in China more convenient and more orderly; and foreign NGOs’ lawful rights and interests will also receive more comprehensive and powerful protections under the standardized guidance of this law. Thank you.

[Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter] (2016-04-28 16:30:55)

This question is for the Ministry of Public Security leader. Regarding the concerns of the FNGO law, [such as] harming national security, harming national interests, inciting separatist activities - these are all quite vague ideas, and there has never been a more detailed definition. You’ve said that there have already been foreign NGOs that have undertaken activities that harm the Chinese national interest, could you please give a more detailed introduction? What are these NGO? What have they done? Further, is harming national security and harming national interests considered to be the same thing as harming the security of the Chinese Communist Party?

[Hao Yunhong](2016-04-28 16:34:37)

I already responded to this when answering the previous reporter’s question. Actually, I want to say more in response to your question. We welcome and support foreign NGOs coming to China to carry out friendly exchanges and cooperation, and as the NPC Vice-chairman Zhang already mentioned, there are increasingly more foreign NGOs coming to China to cooperate, bringing many good things and playing a positive role; and we maintain an open, active, and tolerant attitude to realize mutually profitable objectives, and this law will provide powerful legal protections for the lawful rights and interests of an absolute majority of foreign NGOs in China. We, the Ministry of Public Security, will also follow the regulations of the law, and after this promulgation of the law, will earnestly do preparatory work, to provide necessary service and convenience measures to foreign NGOs carrying out activities in China, truly ensuring the orderly implementation of lawful activities, and truly safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of the foreign NGOs.

[Hao Yunhong] (2016-04-28 16:37:35)

China is a country with rule of law, foreign NGOs carrying out activities in China must do so within the scope permitted by law. We have also noticed that the police departments are responsible for some national registries, and managed by internal affairs departments. So long as an incident is harmful to the national security, harmful to the national interests, harmful to the social public good, or harmful to the interest of other organizations and legal persons, it is not permitted. No country allows any organization or individual to undertake activities that harm the national security.

[Beijing Youth Daily reporter](2016-04-28 16:38:06)

My question also has to do with the FNGO law: The registration management organ for domestic Chinese social groups is the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and we have questions about why the Ministry of Public Security is responsible for the establishment of foreign NGO representative offices. Thank you.

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 16:39:02)

I'll respond to this question. After the draft FNGO law was opened made public for comments, everyone focused on this point, namely, why China’s Ministry of Public Security became the registration organ for foreign NGOs? In contrast, China's social organizations are registered at the Ministry of Civil Affairs. I want to say three points about this issue:

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 16:40:13)

First, all countries have different management system for the management of foreign NGOs. For example French law provides that foreign NGOs coming to France to implement activities should submit an application to the French police station, to obtain French internal government permission. Our management system has Chinese characteristics, and also complies with the Chinese national situation. One is dual management, the second is that the Ministry of Public Security is the registration management organ, and the third is that the Ministry of Public Security is primarily responsible for supervising and managing foreign NGOs.

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 16:42:23)

Second, China’s public security organs are responsible for protecting national security, protecting social order, stopping and punishing illegal behavior, and, at the same time, China's public security organs are also responsible for managing household registration, citizenship, entry and exit procedures, and other procedures related to foreign individuals conducting activities or business in China. They have extensive experience in handling foreign organizations and individuals conducting activities in China. We drafted the FNGO law to give this authority to the public security to facilitate their provision of fast and convenient services to foreign NGOs conducting activities in China. We started from a positive place.

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 16:46:39)

Third, the naming of the Ministry of Public Security as the registration management organ has sparked different responses internationally and domestically. We did not draft this law to prohibit or restrict foreign NGOs from implementing activities in China. We also have recently seen that some foreign media have reported that this law grants three powers to the public security, namely: to conduct interviews, to halt temporary activities, and to promulgate an unwelcome list; and feel that we are restricting the activities of foreign NGOs in China, but this is not actually the case. Public security organs must execute their duties of supervising, managing, and providing services to foreign NGOs in accordance with the law, and there are provisions in the FNGO law to ensure the public security organs lawfully execute their duties. Giving them three powers, as the foreign media has said, has preconditions, and only when the public security organs suspect illegal behavior may they employ the related measures. Moreover, there are provisions on legal responsibility, and should the public security organs and relevant organs, in the course of performing their supervision and management functions, be derelict in their duties or engage in bribery and fraud or abuse their powers, they will bear legal responsibility. So everyone need not worry about our public security bureau as though it were some tiger. To put it in the common vernacular, ‘If there’s a problem, find the police; if you’re not breaking the law, what are you afraid of?’” ”. Thank you.

[Hong Kong South China Morning Post reporter] (2016-04-28 16:47:28)

It was just mentioned that the registration management organs will quickly draft a directory of the activities and programs of foreign NGO activities conducted in China, and I want to ask Bureau Chief Hao, does this mean that the Ministry of Public Security will create a directory as soon as possible, and will it be the case that projects not in this catalog cannot be applied for? In other words, it will allow some programs to enter China, and some programs not to enter China? Previously some Public Security University professors mentioned some examples during interviews, and in the past few days the public security has also published some so-called illegalities, for example that some labor organizations in Guangdong had been incited by foreign labor organizations, and also mentioned some gender equality organizations -- I want to ask, is it possible that these organizations will become ‘unwelcome’ NGOs? Thank you.

[Hao Yunhong](2016-04-28 16:49:23)

After promulgation of the law, there is still some time before implementation, and as the registration management organs for foreign NGOs, we will faithfully execute our lawful duty and all of the large amount of work necessary, including the duty you mentioned, which is only one part of this work. First, we will quickly work to research the formulation of applications for foreign NGOs to establish representative offices, including the a set of processes and procedures for carrying out temporary activities; and we will promptly release a guide to the procedures and handling of affairs, to provide them with guidance and make things convenient. Second, we will with all speed work to coordinate with relevant organs to draft a catalog of program work areas and a directory of professional supervisory units, which will be published following a reasonable period of research. These will all be provided to foreign NGOs before the law comes into effect.

[Hao Yunhong] (2016-04-28 16:50:49)

You also just mentioned some other issues. Although the law specifies a few areas [ that foreign NGOs may work in], it also has a 'such as' [meaning the list in non-exclusive] ; .he fields for foreign NGOs' activities are expansive, and we will reasonably provide for many of these activities in the relevant catalog, there is no need to worry. At the same time you brought up an example, and I want to emphasize that although we are very open, accepting, active, and supportive of foreign NGOs coming to China to implement activities, any time their support or control of matters that endanger Chinese law, we will deal with them in accordance with law. Thank you for your question.

[BBC Radio reporter](2016-04-28 16:51:43)

I still am unclear, which NGOs are the ones that harm China’s national interests? Can you give an example? According to the rovisions of the law, helping to fund environmental NGOs is acceptable, or helping impoverished people is acceptable, but but can groups that do work related to China’s human rights issues be NGOs in China?

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 16:53:01)

I’ll answer this question. What is ‘harming China’s interests’? I’ve seen that France has a provision that for any social group, if their objectives include destroying France’s territorial integrity, opposing the republican system of government, or violating laws or social customs, those groups will not be allowed to be established. So what is harming the national interest? The nation's territorial integrity, national sovereignty that protects the broader society’s interests, these are the national interest. Specifically, in our laws, as to what ‘harm’ is, our criminal law and laws on Public Security Administrative Punishments and so forth have specific provisions on what is known as harming the national interest.

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 16:55:50)

Just now the comrade from the Ministry of Public Security already mentioned, we welcome foreign NGOs that come to China, and when we drafted the law we included economic, educational, scientific, public health, cultural, athletic fields and poverty alleviation and humanitarian assistance, which in the many years of foreign NGOs coming to China are the work areas that most NGOs engage in, so we clearly listed them. But there is an “etc.” added to the end, so you ask if foreign human rights NGOs can come to China-- of course they can. We welcome and support all foreign NGOs coming to China to implement friendly exchange and cooperation, we will make things convenient for them, and their rights and interests will be safeguarded in accordance with the law. However illegal behavior will definitely be punished in accordance with the law. So long as foreign NGOs follows China’s laws, they can implement activities in China with peace of mind. Thank you.

[Oriental Outlook reporter] (2016-04-28 16:56:25)

We also know that in the past, if foreign NGOs registered in China, they were managed primarily by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, so for those foreign NGOs that have already registered a representative office, will they need to newly register through the Ministry of Public Security? Thank you.

[Hao Yunhong](2016-04-28 16:59:05)

First, I want to say that for the past several years, in accordance with Regulations on the Management of Foundations and other related laws and policies, the lawful rights and interests of representative organizations that have already registered shall receive the protection of law. Second, with the promulgation and implementation of the FNGO law, we are still focused on the concepts of convenience and service, and earnestly looked into transition measures together with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce, and other relevant departments, to ensure that before the law takes effect, will guarantee their activities will continue to be carried out. After the implementation of the law, so long as they provide supplementary and relevant materials in accordance with the law, we will continue to give them lawful registration.

[Cable TV Hong Kong reporter] (2016-04-28 16:59:28)

I want to ask about Article 5 of the FNGO law, which provides that [foreign NGOs] ‘must not illegally engage in or perform religious activities.’; why are religious activities specifically prohibited? Also, by not permitting them to fundraise within the mainland, will this influence their operations? Thank you.

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 17:01:17)

Thank you, I'll answer this question. First, why must they not illegally engage in and fund religious activities. According to China’s administrative laws and regulations, all organizations carrying out legal religious activities in China are permitted to do so. Of course, if religious activities are illegally undertaken or funded, it is not just China that does not agree, any other country would also disagree.

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 17:02:57)

Second, concerning the question about why foreign NGOs cannot fundraise in China. This year the NPC just passed the Charity Law, and according to the Charity Law, only charitable organizations have the qualifications to fundraise. Charitable organizations seeking to fundraise must seek public fundraising qualifications from the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Foreign NGO representative offices are not legal persons, and foreign NGOs implementing temporary activities are all short-term, so they do not meet the requirements of the Charity Law for fundraising. So they simply must not fundraise. Thank you.

[A question regarding the 7th 5-year resolution on popularizing the legal system and its related responses were omitted]

[A question regarding the 7th 5-year resolution on popularizing the legal system and its related responses were omitted]

[Xinhua News Agency reporter](2016-04-28 17:12:50)

My question is still about the FNGO law, and I want to ask a question of the Ministry of Public Security. Previous interviews led me to understand that a unifying concept running through this law is ‘housing management within service,’ and in your previous response to a question you mentioned a bit about how to provide foreign NGOs with conveniences, so I'd like to ask you to please respond to this question more specifically and systematically. We know that the law provides for this, for example that foreign NGO representative offices may enjoy tax benefits, but as we also know, some domestic non-profit social organizations that want to enjoy tax benefits have difficulty in receiving them, so if we are drafting law to give more convenience to foreign NGOs, and protecting their rights and interests, how will these details be achieved in practice? Thank you.

[Hao Yunhong] (2016-04-28 17:13:29)

Let me reaffirm that what foreign NGOs care most about - what the specific procedures and measures are to apply to establish a representative office and to carrying out temporary activities - our office will be quickly putting together a set of measures, which will be posted online within a reasonable period, to provide guidance. Second, we will coordinate with relevant organizations to earnestly research, draft, and publish guides for foreign NGOs to follow in applying for establishment of a representative office and the areas they work in, a project catalog and a directory of the professional supervisory units, which are also issues they are following. Some foreign NGOs work specifically in one field and some activities across several fields, and some even have some activities that cover several different fields, so providing them in advance with a published project category and directories of activity areas, and professional supervisory units, is a very good facilitation measure for for their carrying out activities.

[Hao Yunhong](2016-04-28 17:13:55)

Third, the public security organs have a lot of capacity to manage entry and exit of the country, and will provide great convenience and service to foreign NGO representative offices’ foreign personnel in handling employment procedures. Fourth, those already registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs or the State Administration of Industry and Commerce; we will have a set of transition measures to link the up to the new law. In summary, the public security organs will give play to the benefit of our experience in managing household registration, citizenship, entry and exit procedures, and managing foreigners' activities in China, to truly fulfill our obligations assigned by the law and we will also give play to the advantageous of our official functions, so as to provide effective service and safeguards for the implementation of normal exchanges and cooperation and lawful carrying out of activites by foreign NGOs in China, protecting their lawful rights and interests, making a proper contribution to our economic and social development, and to the Reform and Opening. Thank you.

[Wall Street Journal reporter] (2016-04-28 17:14:18)

My first question regarding the FNGO law is what is the status of the implementation of this law? When will implementing regulations come out? Will that also happen on January 1 of next year? My second question is that some foreign NGOs have stated that China already has a ‘blacklist’ of groups that are not permitted to have activities inside of China; after this law is implemented, how will this blacklist be managed?

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 17:15:24)

I'll answer your question. First, the FNGO law was adopted today, and will take effect starting from January 1, 2017. Second, as to the issue of a blacklist that you mentioned, we haven't heard of that. However, I do want to explain one point, which is that our purpose in drafting the FNGO law is not to keep you out. As deputy Director Zhang just mentioned, over the last year from last April to this April, we’ve spent an entire year improving and revising this law. We’ve hosted conferences, done research, solicited the opinions of relevant experts, coordinated and discussed with the Ministry of Public Security and other relevant organs. What have we been discussing? The resolution of two issues, namely, the issues of management and service.

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 17:20:33)

For management, we are aiming for precision management, focusing on the key issues. So everyone can see that in this draft of the law we shrank the conception of management to be directed at foreign foundations, social organizations, and think tanks formed abroad, and have excluded exchange and collaboration between hospitals, schools, and other natural science and engineering technology research institutions and academic organizations. So it's precision management, focusing on the key issues.. Also, a reporter just put forward that we have strengthened financial management of foreign NGOs, because our experience has been to strengthen management of the finances of domestic social organizations. Also, to provide extensive service and convenience to welcome foreign NGOs to come to China and carry out activities, we will improve the facilitation measures for foreign NGOs. Everyone will have noted, we made many changes in this law, with the report of the legal committee’s initial consideration explanation of 9 contents there are over 30 edits, and through the standing committee’s reading of the law, we further edited the draft in nearly 20 places; and the report on these edits lists six locations, so you can say that there has been an earth shattering change between this law and the second deliberation draft that everyone saw; and this ind of changes are to resolve and better perform management, and to provide better facilitation services.

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 17:20:49)

Here I want to say to everyone, please put yourselves at ease over the passage of this law, since we started forming this law we have had four fundamental determinations: First, we completely affirm the active role of foreign NGOs in China’s process of reform and opening, as the funds, technology, and management experience have truly played an active role in this process. Second, we welcome and support all foreign NGOs to come to China, and President Xi has said that the great open door of the Reform and Opening period will not close, and since our open door will not close, we welcome everyone to come and engage in friendly exchanges and cooperation. Third, to any foreign NGO coming to China to engage in friendly exchanges and cooperation in accordance with China’s lawful processes, we will protect all of your lawful rights, and we will provide every convenience. Fourth, if a very small number of foreign NGOs use the excuse of exchanges and cooperation to come to China and perform illegal or even criminal activities, we, the Ministry of Public Security, will absolutely stop them and will even punish those activities. So, in summary, we welcome foreign NGOs, our doors are open wide and there is no need be afraid because we have this law or that it has the public security organs in it.

[A question regarding the 7th 5-year resolution on popularizing the legal system and its related responses were omitted]

[Associated Press (Beijing Office) reporter] (2016-04-28 17:29:59)

As China has a welcoming and open attitude towards foreign NGOs, and as was just affirmed that they have had a active role in the 30 years of China’s Reform and Opening, why are they not allowed to establish branch organizations or to develop membership within China? In the law there is an exception for 'where the State Council has otherwise provided'; could you speak a bit about which organizations will have this special benefit of developing membership in China, and why this differentiated treatment exists? . Thank you.

[Guo Linmao](2016-04-28 17:30:27)

I’ll answer this question. First, why foreign NGOs cannot establish branch organizations. in China. In the second draft of the foreign NGO law that you all saw, it was originally provided that foreign NGOs can only set up one representative office, but through our amendments and improvements, Foreign NGOs' establishment of multiple representative offices is no long restricted, and several may be set up on the basis of their work scope, activity region, or the needs of their activities. Since we opened up the policy on the number of representative offices, there is no need for provisions on branch organizations to exist. And as to why there is an exception for where the State Council has other provisions, it is because there were originally some foreign natural science academic organizations and academic units that established branches, and we recognize the prior establishment of these branch units.

[Guo Linmao] (2016-04-28 17:30:51)

Second, concerning the development of membership. First, foreign NGOs come to China to do work beneficial to developing the public welfare, not put together a team, and there is no need to develop membership over here. Next, Chinese organizations, be they foundations or social organizations, may develop their membership in China, however, these Chinese social organizations are legal persons under Chinese law, and foreign NGOs do not have standing as a legal person; and those carrying out temporary activities are short-term and leave after the activity ends, so developing membership does not meet the provisions of Chinese laws. Why is there also a provision here allowing the State Council to make an exception? That is to say there were previously some foreign NGOs that developed membership in China, and these members primarily were where foreign natural science academic associations, and Chinese experts, scholars, scientists would join these academic associations and this still happens. Further, the Chinese government supports scientists and academics entering foreign science institutions, so the State Council making exceptions, this means that later on some of our scientists or expert scholars may become members in foreign organizations, it shall be upon the consent of the State Council. Thank you.

[He Shaoren](2016-04-28 17:31:06)

Today's press conference will conclude here, thank you everyone.

[NPC Website] (2016-04-28 17:31:35)

That concludes our live broadcast, thank you!


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