NGOs and authoritarianism

Authored by: Andrew Heiss

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315268927-39

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Abstract

In January 2017, China’s new 2017 Overseas NGO Law came into effect, restricting the rapidly growing community of international NGOs (INGOs) by requiring that all foreign NGOs be monitored and overseen by a Professional Supervisory Unit – typically a government ministry or government-run NGO. The law also imposes strict requirements on the issue areas foreign NGOs can address, limiting them to education, technology, sports, poverty alleviation, and other non-contentious issues. In debates over the law, the Chinese Communist Party identified INGOs as direct threats to national security and designed the law to limit Western influence and insulate China’s domestic NGO sector from foreign values, allowing the government to “better protect China from perceived external threats to its sovereignty and social stability” (Shieh 2017).

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