China passes new laws on foreign NGOs amid international criticism
April 28, Beijing; China has passed new laws on foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) amid criticism, state media said.
The full text was not immediately available, but previous drafts stated that NGOs would have to submit to police supervision and declare sources of funding.
Critics have said that the laws amount to a crackdown, but China has argued that such regulation is long overdue.
There are currently more than 7,000 foreign NGOs operating in China.
The bill has undergone several drafts after international criticism that it was too onerous. The White House has said the bill would "further narrow space for civil society" and constrain US-China exchanges.
Officials in Beijing say that for too long overseas organisations have been operating in an unregulated environment and that the new system will set clear boundaries governing their behavior, BBC reported.
However some charities, environmental groups and aid organisations see this as a potential tool to crackdown on civil society in China.
They fear that new regulations could provide a smokescreen for what is actually political decision making by giving officials a range of measures to clamp down on NGOs found to be in breach of various technical requirements, media reports said.
The Oslo Times