NGOs in China: The Rise of Civil Awareness
Date of publication: May 26, 2009
Source: People's Daily
Author: Erdong Chen
As China is right on its way to establish a harmonious society emphasizing democratic governance and citizens' livelihood, the development and prosperity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in this rising superpower is by no means ignorable.
Generally speaking, Chinese NGOs operate in numerous fields including environmental protection, labor rights, as well as women's rights. A few of these organizations are founded and run by independent individuals while most receive financial and policy support from governments at different levels. Indeed, Chinese NGOs' reliance on official resources affects their independence. They have to accommodate the demand of higher-ranking decision-makers at times to maintain their existence and development. However, the hidden advantage of this mechanism is that the visible governmental hand in China's NGOs has actually added the credibility so that they are more likely to convince the public because people tend to believe the role of the government in regulating and supervising the operations. When comparing China's NGOs with their counterparts in western countries, one should be aware of the current reality in China and keep from intuitive misunderstandings. ..