A Legal Capacity View of China’s Social Organizations

A Collection of Case Studies

in The China Nonprofit Review
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Chinese social organizations are influenced by a variety of factors, including their relatively short history of development, the complex environment in which they grow, and their daunting mission of innovation. Viewing them from different perspectives leads to different conclusions. This paper examines the legal status of social organizations, exploring what they ought to be, could be, and are not. It finds that today, Chinese social organizations already have a certain capacity for behaving autonomously, the capacity for endorsement, and the capacity for public service. At the same time, there are imbalances in the development of the capacities of different types of social organizations. To build social organizations, there should be a full range of diagnostics regarding their capacities, relevant legal guidelines, concentration of resources to optimize their capacity structures, enlargement of their capacity reserves, and the endeavor to propel social organizations to play a greater role in social development and social management.



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See (Zhou Zhiren and Chen Qingyun, 2002: 183-195).


In June 1999, in 12 provinces and administrative jurisdictions such as Tianjin and Anhui, local legal aid centers initiated the establishment of an inter-provincial collaborative relationship, acting spontaneously to sign the Convention on Legal Aid Collaboration, providing that legal aid agencies within the signatory provinces’ jurisdictions requiring collaboration with the legal aid agency of another province can coordinate on specific issues through provincial legal aid centers. This convention is open, and legal aid agencies in any province can apply to join. See (Lin Ya, 2004).


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