8/21/16, "China to strengthen Communist Party's role in non-govt bodies," Reuters
"China has issued
new rules demanding the establishment of Communist Party panels in
non-government bodies, aiming to beef up the ruling party's role in such
social groups, amid a broad crackdown on civil society.
governments and rights groups have already lambasted a law passed in
April, saying it treats foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as
a criminal threat and would effectively force many out of the country.
new guidelines, released late on Sunday by the general office of the
party's central committee and the State Council, or cabinet, say party
committees must be set up to ensure "effective cover" in all NGOs.
political thought education for responsible people at social groups,
and guide them to actively support party building," the guidelines said.
"Promote the place of party building in the social group's charters."
of the groups must also be placed high among the daily tasks of local
party committees, whose performance will be judged on how well they
manage the groups, the guidelines added.
committees can also assign their own representatives to run party
activities in groups judged sufficiently large, the guidelines say.
The Civil Affairs Ministry will have a role in rooting out bad or illegal behavior, including banning groups.
ministry this month released its own proposals for new rules on NGOs,
among them a demand that they publicize details such as funding and
membership or face bans.
China had about 329,000 registered social groups by the end of 2015, state media say.
officials have defended the foreign NGO law, saying only a few
law-breaking groups would be punished and there was no reason to fear
The government also says it has been trying
to bring order to a sector that has been plagued by scandals in recent
years, including the embezzlement of funds meant for charities.
rights groups say ambiguous language in the foreign NGO law banning
activities that threaten national security or social stability could
push out groups the party does not like.
curbs on Chinese NGOs come as President Xi Jinping reins in civil
society, including rights lawyers and the press, a step critics say is
meant to quash dissent."