Elsewhere online
March 09, 2015

Foreign Groups Targeted as China Clamps Down on Nonprofits

China's government is sending signals of a crackdown on foreign nonprofits active in the country as Beijing broadens a campaign against Western influence, The Wall Street Journal writes. A proposed new law would give state officials authority to manage foreign organizations, and Westerners working for such groups are being targeted with visa checks that have led to deportations.

China's Communist leadership has allowed for a boom in nongovernmental service groups as the country's economy has grown, but the government has also targeted organizations and activists tackling politically sensitive issues. Existing law does not permit foreign nonprofits, forcing groups from abroad to register as commercial businesses to secure visas for workers or to operate in the shadows.

The new measure would require foreign nonprofits to find a sponsoring government agency and submit budgets to the sponsor for approval. Chinese officials say the law will give foreign groups a route to legitimacy, but a spokeswoman for the national legislature said it is also intended to "better preserve national security and social stability."