The Emergence of ngos in China and the Changing Role of the Party-State

Assessment and Future Prospects

in The China Nonprofit Review
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The article analyses the changing role of the Party-State regarding the activities of ngos (both domestic and foreign) in China. It offers an explanation of the rationale of the apparently contradictory strategy that tries to give some freedom to the ngos while maintaining them under control. The motives of the control of ngos (especially foreign ngos) are explained, taking into consideration both the national and the international environment. For the latter, it is strongly suggested that the role played by international (mainly American) ngos in various parts of the world (and more recently in Ukraine) where they contribute to the us strategy of “regime change”, is the main reason explaining China’s policy to find a satisfactory balance between freedom and control. Finally, the article suggest that China should be even more careful about the mega trade and investment treaties supported by the us and some of its allies and the multinational companies in the us, Europe and Japan. The development of foreign ngos’ activities and the possible implementation of these mega treaties may constitute a serious threat to China independence and sovereignty.

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1

Paolo Urio and Yuan Ying (2014), L’émergence des ONG en Chine, Le changement du rôle de l’Etat-Parti (The Emergence of NGOs in China and the Changing Role of the Party-State), Berne and New York: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers. This article summarizes the conclusion of this book with amendments and updates.

5

Joseph E. Stiglitz (2006), Making Globalization Work. The Next Steps to Global Justice, London, Penguin, and (2012) The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endanger Our Future, New York, Penguin. Paul Krugman (2012), End this Depression Now!, New York, ny: Norton and (1995) Peddling Prosperity, New York, ny: W.W. Norton, 1995. For a review inspired by Marxism see Li Minqi (2008), The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, New York, ny: Review Press.

11

Jie Chen and Bruce J. Dickson (2008), “Allies of the State: Democratic Support and Regime Support among China’s Private Entrepreneurs,” The China Quarterly, December 2008, 780-804. Bruce J. Dickson (2008) Wealth into Power: The Communist Party’s Embrace of China’s Private Sector, New York, ny: Cambridge University Press, 2008. See the opinion expressed by a “Red Capitalist,” Eric X. Li, “The Post-Democratic Future Begins in China,” Foreign Affairs, January-February 2014, 34-46 and “Why China’s Political Model Is Superior,” The New York Times, 16 February, 2012.

21

Ludovic Tournès (ed.) (2010), L’argent de l’influence. Les fondations américaines et leurs réseaux européens [Money of Influence. American Foundations and Their European Networks], Paris, Editions Autrement.

22

Ibid., 5 (My translation from the French).

23

Ibid., 9 (My translation from the French). The think tanks are also a form of ngo and this term is used very broadly in English. Regarding the research and higher education institutions, this resulted in a strong commitment with this type of institution in China since the early 20th century; for example, for Tsinghua University in Beijing, which still maintains important cooperation with American think tanks, with a formal presence in its School of Public Policy and Management: the Bookings Institution based in Washington, one of the most influential American think tanks. According to the Financial Times of October 9, 2016, “it will be funded by John Thornton, former chairman of Goldman Sachs who quit the investment bank in 2003 to teach at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He has committed $2,5m a year for the next five years. (. . .) Mr. Thornton said the approach of Hank Paulson, the [then] us secretary and former colleague of his at Goldman Sachs, who visited China last month [November 2006], set a benchmark for how us officials should interact with their Chinese counterparts.” It is interesting to know that the School of Public Policy and Management has, among its professors, a number of members of the Chinese New Left, very critical of capitalism, liberal democracy and the United States.

25

After 1945, those foundations “finance projects launched by un as well as by satellite organizations as fao or even who,” Tournès, op. cit., 17 (My translation from the French).

26

Ibid., 10 (My translation from the French). The quotation attributes this role to the Rockefeller Foundation; but it is clear that it has been mentioned as an example; this role can be attributed to other American foundations of the same type.

39

“World Bank, China 2020: Development Challenges in the New Century,” 18 September 1997, Report no. 17027-cha, World Bank, 23.

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