Draft law on overseas NGOs eases restriction, likely to be put for vote

Xinhua News Agency


A draft law to regulate overseas nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), submitted for its third reading on Monday, eases restriction over their operation and membership.

The bill was submitted to the bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, which runs Monday to Thursday.

The NPC Law Committee suggested in a review report that the bill should be put for a vote at this session after two readings.

The bill will regulate the activities of NGOs founded outside the Chinese mainland.

According to the bill, exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and overseas colleges, hospitals and natural science and engineering technology institutes could be carried out in line with existing regulations.

It also removes the restriction of being allowed only one office in the Chinese mainland. They will be allowed to found offices according to operational needs but the number and locations should be approved by the regulatory authority.

The bill also deletes the five year limit on operations of representative offices in China.

According to the bill, representative offices of overseas NGOs and overseas NGOs carrying out temporary activities in China are forbidden from recruiting members in China's mainland, unless the State Council stipulates otherwise.