On January 1, China’s new Foreign NGO Management Law will take effect. Non-government organizations working around the world, including in China, do critical work. They help people exchange knowledge, skills, and ideas. They help societies drive innovation, they contribute to social stability, and they support the neediest among us. They promote business development and trade, provide education and healthcare services, and bring us together to protect the environment. They strengthen and enrich all parts of our societies.
That is why we stand ready to work with the Chinese government and American NGOs to ensure that the Foreign NGO Law is implemented in a fair, transparent, and balanced manner. Open and frequent communication between Chinese authorities and foreign NGOs will enable foreign NGOs to better understand their responsibilities under the new law, including how to register and how to remain in compliance. The two sides still need time to work out the many details that remain unanswered in the law’s implementation. We hope the Chinese government will exercise flexibility and avoid arbitrary enforcement that could irreparably damage the great work NGOs do here.
As we begin a New Year, let us recommit ourselves to working together, with the help of non-government organizations from all nations, for mutual understanding, respect, and prosperity.