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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

China Says Controversial NGO Law Suits "National Conditions"

BEIJING - China Friday appealed to its "judicial sovereignty" to defend the controversial NGO law it recently approved, which Beijing considers in line with "national conditions."

China's Parliament Thursday approved the law, criticized by several foreign non-governmental organizations in the country and by the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, who believes that the legislation will encroach on the already shrinking space of the civil society in the country, by creating a "potentially hostile environment" for these organizations.

"Different national conditions require different practices to manage and operate NGOs: legislation must conform to the national conditions of China," said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, at a press conference in Beijing.

In response to the U.S. criticism, Hua called for "respect" for "judicial sovereignty" of the country and urged the law to be analyzed objectively.

Hua also stressed the importance of the controversial law, which will serve as a guide to foreign NGOs working in China.

The law was also severely criticized by the European Union, who says it hinders the work of these organizations and tightens control over their activities, members and funding.

The legislation with its ambiguous text covers "non-governmental social organizations, nonprofit organizations, including foundations, social groups and think-tanks", but not "schools, hospitals or academic institutions or research in natural sciences, engineering and technology and other entities."

The work of the groups, who come under the ambit of the new law, will need to be approved by the police, who can at any time cancel their activities or question those responsible for the organization in China if it considers that the work endangers state security.

 

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