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NPC to consider China’s first-ever charity law

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Weber Shandwick Daily China News Brief, 9 March 2016

The National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, will today begin deliberating the country’s first charity law, which some observers say could reverse a widespread reluctance to donate amongst China’s wealthy elite. Last year, China ranked 144 among 145 countries for charitable behaviour in a survey by non-government organisation Charities Aid Foundation, despite the country’s stellar growth and possession of the planet’s biggest middle class (109 million according to Credit Suisse).
However, others suggest that “much more” than a new law is needed to bring life to the third sector and unleash funds for needy causes. “Part of the problem,” South China Morning Post observed, “is the administrative barriers to setting up a charity on the mainland.” The current legal situation requires all charitable groups to be affiliated with a government organisation before being registered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. If the proposed law passes, this requirement would be done away with.
Another issue is the lack of public trust in charities, following a scam where a young woman falsely claimed to work for the state-backed Red Cross Society of China. Charity workers in China say “misuse of donations has always been a serious issue” for the country. 
Original source: South China Morning Post
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