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Professor Jia Xijin discusses the environment for NGOs in China. Unlike many developed nations, NGOs in China lack a clear legal status. This means that there are a variety of bureaucratic obstacles to their operation, with “service providers” generally having it easier than “advocacy organizations”. Professor Jia discusses some of those obstacles, as well as the creative ways NGOs in China have been able to circumvent them.

 Challenges for NGOs in China lie mainly in the policy and legislation aspects, especially in areas related to freedom of association. The challenge that advocacy groups face is to achieve a balance between criticism of governmental policies and the need for government support. Environmental organizations have been very successful on this regard. Additionally, she shows that the government is not unilaterally “Anti-NGO” and there are often different voices at work within the administration. She states that “the government doesn’t have only one voice or department, and it is likely that NGOs can find support at least in one place”.

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About Jia Xijin

xijin jia headshot.jpg
Professor Jia is a Research Fellow at the Hauser Center and an Associate Professor at Tsinghua University in China. Her research area is Civil Society and Governance, focusing on comparative studies, citizen participation, NGO-Government relationships, and political reform in transforming countries. Professor Jia is the Task Leader for the Government Procurement Project for ADB, and the National Coordinator for the international comparative... [Full Bio]
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