While China continues to approve overseas NGOs, there is still a long way to go to increase their number and accelerate the approval procedure, heads of Hong Kong-based NGOs said.
Tai Hay Lap, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and also vice chairman of board of directors at Tin Ka Ping Foundation, told the Global Times that although his organization was one of the earliest Hong Kong-based NGOs to register after new rules were implemented in the Chinese mainland, many others are still facing problems in registration.
China's first law governing overseas NGOs came into effect on January 1, 2017.
The Tin Ka Ping Foundation, funded 14 primary schools, 160 high schools and 90 universities in the Chinese mainland, is affiliated with the Ministry of Education. "With an office in Guangdong Province, we have set all on the right track," said Tai.
Yeung Chi Hung, director of Hong Kong New Youth Energy Think Tank and member of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, said her think tank has a building in Shenzhen that offers discount rent for young people starting a business. "We rent the space to young people at a very low price, only one yuan ($0.16) [per square meter per month]," said Yeung, "generally we support professional talent operating a business on the mainland."
Other Hong Kong NGOs have not had their registrations on the mainland, said Tai. An overseas NGO must first find a "partner" organization or agency to act as its guarantor before it can begin the registration process.
There are some 40 authorities in charge of overseas NGOs in the Chinese mainland, according to a list released by an overseas NGO management platform.
Tai called for a system or committee to help coordinate or solve problems between the various departments in charge of overseas NGOs. "Some NGOs need to seek affiliation from the education ministry, others from the civil affairs ministry. There are too many authorities. You need to make it clearer for NGOs," said Tai.
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