Washington Post China’s state security apparatus has turned its sights on foreign nongovernmental organizations and their domestic partners, which are now bracing for a crackdown. By Simon Denyer
'A new law emanating from President Xi Jinping’s National Security
Commission that would regulate overseas NGOs has raised alarm among
people who are working here to fight discrimination, improve health or
education, or stick up for workers’ rights.
'Viewed under the new
draft law less as partners of the government and more as a security
risk, local advocates fear harassment and arrest; foreigners fear
anything from restrictions on their activities to expulsion. A copy of
the draft, which has not been released for public comment, was obtained
by The Washington Post.
'China’s ongoing crackdown on civil society is driven partly by Xi’s
obsession with control but also by fear that foreigners are secretly
plotting to overthrow China’s one-party state. It is also partly inspired by similar moves in Russia under President Vladimir Putin.
leaders argue that the ultimate goal of Western governments is to use
their NGOs to orchestrate the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party,”
said Julia Famularo
of the Project 2049 Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank.
“Leaders in Beijing and Moscow will do whatever it takes to prevent
potential color revolutions from undermining social stability and
threatening regime longevity.”
'The new law was
presented to the Standing Committee of China’s parliament, the National
People’s Congress (NPC), in December. It aims, according to NPC
spokeswoman Fu Ying, to protect the “legitimate interests” of foreign
NGOs while safeguarding China’s “national security and social