China passed a law Thursday tightening controls over foreign non-governmental organizations by subjecting them to close police supervision, a move officials say will help the groups but critics charge is the latest attempt by authorities to clamp down on perceived threats to the ruling Communist Party’s control.
The law, adopted by the national legislature, states that foreign NGOs must not endanger China’s national security and ethnic unity. It grants police the power to question NGO administrators, search residences and facilities and seize files and equipment.
The move to pass such a law has drawn criticism from U.S. and European officials and business and academic organizations. They are concerned it will severely restrict the operations of a wide range of groups, further limiting the growth of civil society in China and hindering exchanges between China and the rest of the world.
The law includes a clause that allows police to blacklist “unwelcome” groups and prevent them from operating in the country. Read More