Overseas NGOs Registration Workshop: Q&A Session

CDB

中文 English

Editor’s Note

On July 28, China Development Brief convened the “Foreign NGOs in China Registration Workshop” in Beijing. During the workshop various talks were given by experts and professionals in this field. At the end of every talk the audience got to ask questions, leading to some interesting exchanges on the challenges facing China’s international NGOs. What follows is our translation of the record of the Q&A session with some of the different speakers, including Jia Xijin (Tsinghua University), Zhang Lingxiao (Jingshi Law Firm), Wang Chao (Save the Children) and with the participants of the final panel discussion, which included Jia Xijin, Zhang Hongman (Plan International), Liu Zhongliang (CDB), Katherine Wilhelm (Ford Foundation), Hu Wenxin (TNC) and Lu Lunyan (WWF). A few of the questions have been edited or cut out for the sake of clarity and brevity.

未命名_meitu_0(1)

 

Jia Xijin (Tsinghua University)

 

First Audience Member: Hello Professor Jia, many of our organization’s clients are foreign NGOs. When they are implementing their projects, they bump into a problem. A lot of NGOs cooperate with Chinese enterprises. As long as they haven’t established a representative organization, is it true that they won’t be able to bring forward any of their activities, given that according to my understanding many of the activities are commercial and not charitable in nature?

Jia Xijin: What you said relates to how the law defines an object of legal regulation. In the case of this question, the legal definition has nothing to do with the Chinese side [of these cooperative relationships]. As long as it’s a foreign NGO in question, it doesn’t matter what kind of Chinese organization they partner with, even partnering with the Chinese government would be no exception. So partnering with an enterprise or an NGO would be the same, it would depend on their matrix, they would have to respect this law, and there wouldn’t be a distinction.

Second Audience Member: I’d like to ask, you just brought up the possibility of supplementing the name list of professional supervisory units (PSUs). I’ve recently been paying close attention to the timetable, and as everyone knows, no matter how you look at them the medical and education departments are probably our country’s two most conservative areas. So if these name lists are supplemented, other than our country’s National Health and Family Planning Commission or the local Health and Family Planning Commission, if these lists are supplemented with other organizations, I think this might really give people some hope and add to overall efficiency.

My second question is, there are some organizations that have met a few of the situations you just described, and I wonder if this sort of situation might be a bit more transparent if every PSU published a list of the organizations they were responsible for. Might this make things a bit more transparent?

Jia Xijin: Regarding your first question, in fact you can take a look at it again, you can go and look for possible PSUs: if they are not currently on the list, it doesn’t matter; if they do have that intention [to be put on the list], you can go back and get in touch with the PSB and tell the Bureau that they intend to, and ask whether or not it’s possible to have them added. So long as they have the proper qualifications, I think that the Public Security Bureau would be quite willing to further open up the list and supplement it. So I think you can go back and try this, I think doing it this way is relatively easy.

Regarding the second question, this is something that has been done quite well on the PSB’s website. All the data I have comes from looking at their website. You can check out the names of every single registered [organization] there. You can search for the four organizations registered with the National Health and Family Planning Committee, you can see where they are registered, who their representative is, their professional scope, sponsoring PSU, the website has it all. Just log on to the Public Security Bureau’s service platform and it’ll be fine.

Third Audience Member: I have a small question. You just brought up the issue of filing temporary activities, and how some organizations will file an activity just in order to invite a single person (to China), so do these cases actually exist? And if they do, do the necessary funds and management expenses come from the unit that they are cooperating with?

Jia Xijin: Yes, the process of filing an activity is always the same, which is to say that this organization delimits under what conditions it needs to file, it’s not the Public Security Bureau that demands that they do this, it’s only they themselves that think they need to invite someone and file an activity. Now of course the Public Security Bureau will accept these filings, but is it actually required to file or not? Regarding whether or not all organizations have to file a temporary activity when inviting someone, at present the Public Security Bureau hasn’t put forward a clear explanation, or one can say that the law doesn’t provide this kind of explanation. Every scope of control is different, and to this organization, if they think that these things need to be put on file then they should put them on file. There’s certainly that kind of situation.

Fourth Audience Member: Professor Jia, hello, I’m from Compassion in World Farming. The activities our organization has launched domestically and internationally aren’t alike. I’d like to ask, if we wish to register our organization in China, will the scope of our international activities impact our domestic activities?

Jia Xijin: According to the law it won’t, but from the perspective of the approving unit, these factors may have some influence. If they take issue [with your international activities], it may influence [your domestic activities]. But according to the law, there aren’t these kinds of requirements. So as long as you act according to the law, you should be fine. It [the law] doesn’t specify that your international activities need be identical to your domestic activities or what activities you can’t conduct internationally.

Fifth Audience Member: Professor Jia, hello. I’m from Renmin University. I remember that the “Law on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations” clearly states that foreign organizations in China cannot solicit donations. But I just saw that you wrote that they can [accept] “passive donations”. So I’m not sure, do you mean that other than the interest that they get on their income, they also have other [forms of] endowment income? I don’t know what “passive donations” means.

Jia Xijin: The law doesn’t forbid them [foreign NGOs] from accepting donations. Furthermore, this law on foreign [NGOs] clearly states that in China, other legal income, that is legal income that does or does not include, for example, whether I can collect fees when I’m providing services, or if it includes the money that other people give to me, whether or not I ask for it, none of this is forbidden under the law.

Sixth Audience Member: But they can’t openly solicit donations, is this the case?

Jia Xijin: Soliciting donations isn’t allowed, this is covered by the Charity Law, furthermore it has never been allowed. But the law doesn’t forbid them [foreign NGOs] from passively accepting [donations], and what’s more according to this law, it’s absolutely clear that they can have an income in China, that is [they can have] other legal incomes in China, this is clearly written in the law.

Seventh Audience Member: Professor Jia, hello, I’m from Shanghai Jiaotong University. During our initial research we’ve discovered that these international NGOs, no matter whether they’ve just registered, or if they were previously registered with the Bureau for Industry and Commerce or the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as long as they’ve been able to successfully register, they’ve all been carrying out activities in China over a long period of time, including those that began working in the ’80s and ’90s. So I’d like to know, was your research able to determine the possibility of registering a representative office in China based on the length of time their activities have been carried out in China as well as their previous experience of working with Chinese partners?

Jia Xijin: This is a very important dimension; according to the information on the registration website this isn’t possible. However I was able to ask about this through a survey, and I also hope to understand whether or not the previous experience [of NGOs in China] exerts any influence. Speaking from my own personal judgment, it’s obviously very important. So I’d also hope to find out, especially if in the past the organization had absolutely no experience, if they would be able to register. I also hope to understand this issue, but this is only possible through our own investigation and research.

 

Zhang Lingxiao (Jingshi Law Firm)

 

First Audience Member: Regarding the examples of different levels of illegality that you gave, let’s take the launching of an awareness campaign about protecting small animals. This isn’t an open activity, but rather a promotional campaign conducted on social media. Would this be considered illegal?

Zhang Lingxiao: After this law was put into place, there are only two kinds of activities that foreign NGOs operating in China can launch: the first is establishing a representative office, the second is filing a temporary activity. Other than this, you can’t get involved in activities or entrust or authorize natural persons or organizations in China to involve themselves in activities. The example you just mentioned would not have these qualifications, if they authorize a Chinese [group] to put this into practice, this wouldn’t be acceptable.

Second Audience Member: But didn’t you say before that social media activities don’t belong to this sort of activities, so their files don’t need to be put on record?

Zhang Lingxiao: This was in regards to our understanding of activities, a large scale organization putting together a meeting of three hundred plus scholars, that counts as an activity. Small scale activities on Weibo or WeChat, these kind of temporary activities, these wouldn’t count as activities. When explaining how “activities” are defined in the law, it’s as we just said, which is to say if a foreign NGO in China doesn’t have a representative office, and has also not set up a record of their temporary activities, so they have no connection with China, if during this time they provide financial aid, no matter what sort of financial aid this is, under the law these activities should be restricted. Why? If this loophole is opened, and if they aren’t registered in China, China won’t be able to control these groups, and those temporary activities which haven’t been put on record, those activities won’t be managed either. This could lead to the emergence of some situations that might harm national security. Even though in the course of this your funding is just helping some small animals, and you see this sort of activity as fine, couldn’t your funding go towards the establishment of a representative office? If you don’t set up a representative office, can’t you cooperate with your Chinese partners to file your temporary activities? Since this legal path is already open to you, it’s not necessary for you to come directly to China without permission and implement these activities.

Third Audience Member: My question concerns fundraising. Presently in China, most foreign NGOs face fundraising pressures. The reasons are easy to see: following China’s growing wealth and power, the headquarters of foreign NGOs in the United States and Europe all say that Chinese people have money, so their Chinese teams should assume financial responsibility for themselves in China, they should raise their own funds for their China-based projects and no longer rely on government subsidies. But the “Law on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations” stipulates that fundraising and soliciting donations is restricted. Now everyone is thinking about whether or not they can be trail blazers in this area. For instance, a recent example is the World Wildlife Federation which registered a local foundation in Shenzhen called the “One World Wildlife Foundation” and has been conducting fundraising-related activities. From a legal perspective, how would you view this approach?

Zhang Lingxiao: The law stipulates that there are three possible sources of funds for representative offices of foreign NGOs: funds invested in them from their home countries, interest that they have accumulated in China, and the legal income that they have acquired in China. So you can say, a foreign NGO says [to their Chinese office] “I’ll give you one million RMB, and after that you’ll be responsible for your own profits and losses, you work on your own things”. But no, it’s still a representative office and it doesn’t possess the legal standing of an independent legal entity. You can arrange things that way internally, but in China, number one, you can’t develop a membership, and number two, you can’t solicit donations and you can’t covertly link up with other foundations to conduct fundraising. The law forbids this.

But when I was discussing the material for this presentation and brought up this point with the Public Security Bureau, and I asked if an organization can passively accept donations even though they can’t actively go out and collect them, this is an open question. So if we’re talking about whether the assembled foreign NGOs here could try to make a breakthrough on this issue, I can’t discuss this in depth. They may say if there’s a big boss, or an entrepreneur who donates ten million RMB to them, then that person is willingly giving to them. Since this is in keeping with Chinese law, and it’s in keeping with the [right of] natural persons and legal entities to freely dispose of their own property, in this instance and according to our lawyers, in any circumstance where you want to achieve your objective, there’s not only one path, sometimes you can change your position, so let’s leave it at that.

Fourth Audience Member: You said that one could accept a donation in a fixed amount. Now for example let’s take the Gates Foundation, now Gates perhaps has other businesses, the profits that his company makes in China, if he’s willing to donate [these profits] to the China offices of the Gates Foundation, would this donation be a fixed amount donation?

Zhang Lingxiao: First of all, as long as the donation is made by a legal entity, [as long as it’s] legal property, people have the right to dispose of their own property, you can accept this as long as they are willing to give it, we’ve already answered this clearly. You can’t actively go out and say, “give me money, give me money, I want to do such and such”. If a particular person is willing to give you money, the law doesn’t say you can’t take it, and it doesn’t say that you can’t donate to others.

Hu Wenxin: But this brings up a whole set of tax-related issues.

Zhang Lingxiao: Regarding donations, you can go and do a normal civil donation, or you can go and donate to a charity, given that after the “Charity Law” was put into force, under this law donations receive preferential tax status. However, these donations have to be made to charitable organizations. Now if I give to you, on a basic level, as a recipient of these donations in China, the income you receive would be taxed, making this a normal civil donation. This would be covered under the “General Provisions of the Civil Law”, making this a normal civil donation. You [as an individual] can’t make a “charitable organization donation”, given that you aren’t a charitable organization.

 

Wang Chao (Save the Children)

 

Hu Wenxin: Hello Dr. Wang Chao, I’m Hu Wenxin from TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. Since Save the Children was among the first batch of registered organizations [in China], I’d like to ask the following: in the past half year, from what you’ve been able to sense from your own organization, after coming under the management of the Public Security Bureau, what do you think are the differences between the Public Security Bureau now and the Civil Affairs Bureau in the past in terms of their demands and management? Do they have any new demands?

Wang Chao: We haven’t felt any substantial differences. In the past the sponsoring managing department and the registering organization were both the Civil Affairs Bureau, whereas now they’ve been split. Actually, the registering organization doesn’t really get involved in our work, and only gets involved during the period of our registration, for example asking for some documents or bank account information, etc… When we make these sorts of changes, there’s a little bit of communication and exchange with them. On the other hand, through the whole process the Public Security Bureau often comes and asks us if the process is going smoothly, if things are working out effectively, they have a real service-oriented mentality.

First Audience Member: Thank you Dr. Wang Chao for your comments. I’m Zhu Yunyun, from the Beijing George Medical Research Company (北京乔治医学研究有限公司), I have a rather practical question: a moment ago Dr. Jia mentioned that in reality the law doesn’t restrict the ability of foreign NGOs to passively accept donations in China. I’m not sure if in the past half year Save the Children has or hasn’t considered this, or has had a similar idea, that is the possibility of passively accepting donations in China. If they have, have they in practice run into, for example, some problems related to invoices? If you passively accept donations, or if you go and provide services and you need the other side to provide an invoice, will the Tax Bureau support Save the Children issuing these invoices?

Wang Chao: This is a very technical question. At present we haven’t received those kinds of donations. Do we want to? Of course we want to. In reality this is a very important trend: at present the money possessed by international NGOs that have entered China is gradually declining, so adjusting our whole resource structure is an inevitable strategic choice. We naturally hope that an indigenous source will emerge. Passively accepting donations should be fine, but on the technical side, complying with the [proper legal] process is very important. At present I don’t think we’re adequately prepared, so we haven’t yet done it, but we also haven’t ruled out doing it in the future.

Second Audience Member: Hello Dr. Wang Chao. At present the number of domestic foundations is increasing, and furthermore a number of resource-rich and well-funded domestic foundations have begun to emerge. Has Save the Children begun cooperating with domestic foundations that are also focused on the area of children’s aid? What do you think are the differences between domestic and foreign sources of financial aid, and how would you as Save the Children determine what kind of foundations you would partner with? Thank you.

Wang Chao: Correct, there are definitely more and more indigenous foundations that are beginning to emerge. We’ve had a few connections with them, especially in some areas of common concern. But there hasn’t been much specific or substantive cooperation. Basically most of the time we are relatively passive, waiting for others to come and find us. Regarding foreign NGOs, “integrating into China” is a very important part, we should actively and on our own initiative seek out partners for cooperation who share common issues of concern. Most of our cooperation partners are government [bureaus] or grassroots organizations, very few are financial sponsors or foundations. I think this is an important area in need of improvement.

Third Audience Member: I have a practical question. Does Save the Children only have a registered representative office in Beijing? But you also have an office in Yunnan. What impact does this registered representative office [in Beijing] have on the operation of your Yunnan office or your other offices? Just a moment ago Prof. Jia spoke about how a number of representative offices can be collectively registered. Why haven’t you chosen this method? What are the pros and cons of these two registration methods?

Wang Chao: We’re only registered in Beijing, but the certificate specifying the scope of our activities stipulates that they cover the entirety of China. According to the law there are no such restrictions. There’s something else I’d like to express, we tend to incline towards registering our representative office in Beijing, with other areas – including Yunnan, Sichuan, Xinjiang, etc. – only having project offices. This is more like having one representative office with different project offices below them. It isn’t a single registered entity, but rather a single operating unit. This is our understanding of this model or how we hope to operate.

Fourth Audience Member: I have a similar question. When our international organization just entered China, we possessed a huge advantage in terms of resources and funds. But along with China’s unceasing development, a number of large foreign donors are now reducing the financial aid they provide to China. If this situation of declining funds continues, international organizations will look to cooperate with indigenized Chinese organizations and solicit donations, and furthermore will look for activities that are appropriate to local conditions. Or they may shift their attention to places that are more lacking in development.

Wang Chao: If you’ve ever worked in an international organization, you will have discovered that a national office always possesses its own strategy and considerations. Of course from a global perspective, their focus is on whether to set themselves up in China or in India, they don’t really do much prioritizing at this level. Regarding the national office, it of course hopes to be able to continue working in this country and continuing to put forth its value.

The issue you bring up of funds and resources no longer being a strength, I think this issue already began to appear ten years ago. At times it seems that international NGOs are providing continuous support, or are going out to find even more resources, but I think this is a problem. From the point of view of international organizations, especially those organizations that are quite large or have experience, other than their funds and resources, they certainly possess other values and strengths. During those times when their advantages in funding are evident, this may cover up other sources of influence that you could look into. To me, being short on funding or resources may, on the contrary, push an organization to consider other means of realizing their worth. I think any organization or national office should consider this strategy. Therefore, Save the Children can’t shift the focus of its work to India, our focal point remains in China, and we’ll use ever more resources and hopefully make greater contributions and have a greater influence, I’m certain of it.

 

Panel Discussion

 

Jia Xijin: I’d like to ask Ms. Zhang from Plan International, you’re already registered in Shaanxi and have already been given the right to conduct your activities across the entire country. Why are you still thinking about waiting for the Civil Affairs Bureau to act as a PSU, what’s the purpose of this?

Zhang Hongman: In reality, being registered in Shaanxi doesn’t mean being registered across the whole country, it only covers eight provinces. Actually, other than three fixed provinces, all the other provinces can be changed according to changes in our program activities. [Our projects] may move to a new province, or perhaps a program may end, and so we wouldn’t continue our work in that province. Because this possibly could change, it’s best to be registered at the national level.

First Audience Member: Hello, I’d like to ask Ms. Katherine Wilhelm a question, I’d like to ask you which bureau is the PSU for your [organization’s] work?

Katherine Wilhelm: The [Chinese People’s] Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

First Audience Member: I’m from the American Foundation, we’re also a financial aid organization, the same as the Ford Foundation, and we’re also waiting for organizations seeking funding to apply for projects. After they apply for our projects and we examine and approve them, this cycle is quite long. How can the Ford Foundation come up every year with their plans for the following year? Without having finished the internal examination and approval procedures, how do you know which projects or groups you will support?

Katherine Wilhelm: Exactly, we also often ask ourselves what to do. The thirty years we’ve been in China have all been focused on providing continuous financial support for projects, but in the future we can’t continue to do this.

First Audience Member: So your working methods will have to change.

Katherine Wilhelm: We’ll change, and furthermore we will help our partners understand this change. I think this is a huge challenge.

Second Audience Member: Hello, thank you to everyone here, I think this kind of talk is really fascinating. To the people on stage, I’ve found that all of you represent influential NGOs that have conducted activities for a long time. I’d like to ask, from the perspective of the PSU, what benefits do you provide for them? Why are they willing to act as your PSU?

Liu Zhongliang: I’ll answer this question. If I was a PSU, I would feel this was a responsibility, given that the work of NGOs supports local work. In reality, the supervisory unit is part of the government, and from the government’s perspective, developing their locality is their primary responsibility, and they think they have this responsibility. But why would they be willing to do this [become a PSU], or why would they be unwilling? The question probably involves the issue of responsibility between the two of them. In reality everyone wants to do things, but if there isn’t mutual understanding, they could think it’s risky. This is why it was said this morning that relationships are very important, we establish relationships as early as possible, both sides come to mutually understand each other, and if they think that your organization is actually doing real work, that there’s no risk, under these conditions they’d be willing [to partner with NGOs]. But if they completely don’t understand you, or if you do illegal things, the government will go and look for them first, so this is why they are willing to work as your PSU only after they fully understand you.     

Zhang Hongman: I can speak a bit about my experience. The other side may be willing to act as your PSU, yet there exist different situations. For example, at the most local level, in some of Yunnan’s counties, if an organization says that it’s bringing funds with it, then they are welcomed. But if the PSU is at the ministerial level, your funding advantage disappears. Therefore everyone is always bringing one thing up, which is asking what is the added value that you’re bringing with you, and if you can explain clearly what your model of success is. Since the Civil Affairs Department is currently expending a lot of effort to promote the protection of minors, they’re hoping to have some new information or experience shared with them [by international NGOs].

So from their perspective, this is more important. Because there are also some social organizations which have built up their capacities in this area, and this is major area of the work of the Civil Affairs Department, the Department hopes that the experiences of international NGOs in this professional area may be able to help stimulate the development of Chinese social organizations. At the very least, this is an area that we in our interactions with the Civil Affairs Department feel they value. I hope everyone is able to intelligently grasp this selling point and compel PSUs to even more greatly value our organizations. This is my understanding.

Third Audience Member: We’ve just heard a few of our speakers discuss the registration process and subsequent operations. There are a lot of twists and turns and a lot of difficulties. In the morning we also heard an expert mention that the two channels of registration and filing for temporary activities were both legal. Since registering is so difficult, why doesn’t everyone just consider putting their files on record? How do you file [for temporary activities] annually?

Zhang Hongman: If you don’t have many activities, you can choose to file a record of your temporary activities, but the materials required to file a record of your temporary activities are in no way fewer than those required when registering. You need the same set of registration documents from your headquarters. If you only have one or two activities, you can file a record of these temporary activities. But if you’re like us and you have a dozen activities, or even more than a hundred projects, then this is obviously inconvenient.

境外NGO在华注册工作坊问答实录

2017-08-11 16:36:37  来源:中国发展简报  作者:中国发展简报    点击数量:550

 7 月 28 日,北京益行公益信息交流服务中心“中国发展简报 (China Development Brief)”在京举办了“境外 NGO 在华注册工作坊”。与会者们与到场嘉宾进行了高质量的互动。以下为现场问答实录,略有删节。

贾西津

       提问1:贾老师您好,我们机构这边有很多客户都是境外的NGO,在实践中主要碰到了两个问题,很多NGO它们会跟中国的企业进行合作,在没有设立代表机构的情况下,是否他们所有的活动都不能进行,因为我理解他们的活动很多都是商业上的,不是公益性的活动。

       第二个问题是我们有很多客户他们是境外的大学,他们对于自己在法律下的定向很迷惑,所以对我们进行了一些咨询,我们也觉得大学跟普通的非政府组织还是不一样的,是否他们所有的活动都会受到法律的监管?他们跟中国的一些研究机构或者医院的合作项目,或者他们也会跟企业有这样的合作,这样的合作都不行?还是部分的合作会受到这部法律的限制?谢谢。

        贾西津:你说的就是属于法律规制对象的界定,第一个这个法律的界定对象跟中方没有关系的,所以只要它的主体是一个境外NGO,它不管跟中国的谁合作,哪怕是跟政府合作它是没有任何例外的,所以它跟企业合作和NGO合作是一样的,这是取决于它的母体,所以它也要遵守这部法律,是没有区别的。

第二个问题,在这部法律里,大学和中方的,应该说是公立大学的合作或是交流是被法律排除在外的,它是受到其它的规制,除此以外,大学的其它行为没有被排外,所以它仍然又回来了一个它还是属于一个法律的规制对象,但是至于说大学本身是不是法律规制的对象,也就是说既不是社团,也不是基金会,也不能叫它智库,所以其实它是属于那个边缘范围,但是它和其它的组织合作是没有被法律明确排外的。

       提问2:我想问一下,刚才您提到了业务主管单位名录有可能有增补的可能性,我最近对时间表就非常地关注,因为大家知道医疗和教育口无论是从哪个角度来讲,可能都是我国两个比较保守的领域,所以如果在增补名录上,除了我国主管的这个国家卫计委或者地方的卫计委,还能增补到一些其它机构的话,那我觉得就可能真的是给大家做了一个希望,而且增加了效率。

       第二个问题,刚才您提到了比如说有些机构有几个,像这种情况我觉得是不是可以透明一下,公布一下每个主管单位它主管的机构,这个方面是不是可以透明一下。

       贾西津:您说的第一个问题,实际上您可以反过来看,您可以去找你们认为有可能的业务主管单位,如果它现在没有在名录中没有关系,如果它有这个意向,您可以反过来去找公安部门,说这个机构它有意向做,可不可以增补进去,只要是合资格的,其实我想对于公安部门它会很愿意去更加开放把这个名录再增补进来的,所以您可以反过来做,我觉得这样做会比较容易。

第二个问题,这个公安部的网站上做的很好,我所有的数据都是从它网站上面看到的,您可以去查每一家登记的名字都在上面,你可以找一下国家卫计委那4家,你都能看到它登记地点、代表人,它的业务范围,业务主管,这个全部有,就上公安部门服务平台网站就好了。

       提问3:我有一个问题,想问一下后续有没有可能做一个更进一步地分析,比如说每一个主管单位它们其实接受了多少NGO的咨询,然后他们给予了什么样的一个回馈。包括是不是有可能会推动更进一步的信息的公开,我们可以在网上去向他们提出申请,他们也可以在网上公开他们的回复,我想是不是这样推进他们履职的。

        贾西津:我们想到过,也给公安部门提过建议,说可不可以把这个流程本身就公开化,但是这个难度会非常大,而且你说到那个进一步分析它其实是一个潜信息,就是我们现在看到的信息是一个显信息,是已经全部出来的,而有多少的工作没有成果就被流产掉了,那个工作量会更大,这个信息没有办法记录和统计,所以这个只能是说从个案中你会了解到一些,但是你要是说统计这个情况显然就是不太现实,您说把这个流程加进去,我觉得是个挺好的想法,我们当时也这样想,但是从可能的阻力难度上而言不太可行目前。

       提问3:我还有一个小问题。就是您刚才提到的临时活动备案,说有的机构请一个人也备案,我不知道实际有这个案例吗?如果有的话,实际上它需要将经费和管理费由合作单位来做吗?

       贾西津:是的,备案的流程是一样的,只是说这个组织自己会去界定什么样的情况我需要备案,也不是公安部门要求它这样做的,只是它认为我要请一个人,然后它就去做了备案,那肯定公安部门就收了,但是这个需不需要备案呢?是不是所得去请这个人都要备案呢,目前公安部门并没有给出明确的解释,或者说法律没有这样的解释,这就是各自掌握的幅度不一样嘛,对那家机构而言它觉得那事需要备案它就去备了,的确有这样的情况。

       提问4:贾老师,您好,我是来自世界农场动物福利协会的。我们机构是在境内和境外开展了活动范围是不太一样的,我想请问如果我们在中国想要注册的话,我们境外活动的活动范围会不会影响到我们在境内的活动?

       贾西津:从法律上看实际上不会的,但是从批准单位,从它的意识上而言,这些所有的因素都可能有影响。,如果它在意,就可能会影响,但是从法律上面没有这种要求,你只要按照法条提供就好了,它没有要求你在境外跟境外一定要一样或者你境外活动不能做什么,法律是没有说的。

       提问5:贾老师,您好。我来自中国人民大学,我记得《境外非政府组织境内活动管理法》中明确规定,国外组织不能在中国募捐,但是我刚看到您写的可以有些被动捐赠,所以我不知道,那您的意思是说除了在中国它可以有利息收入以后,它还有其它的捐赠收入,我不知道被动捐赠指的是什么。

       贾西津:法律并没有禁止说它接受捐赠,而且这个境外法里面非常明确说可以在中国境内其它合法收入,那这个合法收入包不包括比如说我提供服务的时候,可不可以收一点费,还有包括别人给我钱的时候,我能不能要,法律是没有禁止的。

       提问5:那是不能公开募捐,是不是这样?

       贾西津:募捐不是可以的,那是《慈善法》所界定的,是不可以的,而且从来也不可以,但是法律没有禁止它被动接受,并且按照这个法律,非常明确它可以在中国境内有收入,就是在中国境内其它合法收入,这是法律很明确写的。

        提问6:贾老师,您好,我来自上海交通大学。我们在初步研究中发现,这些境外NGO不管它是新注册的,还是说以前在工商或者民政登记的,其实所有的机构基本上只要现在能够完成登记的都是在中国开展了很长时间活动,包括很多是从上世纪八九十年代开始的,所以我想知道您的研究当时有没有在开展活动的时间以及它之前的和中方的合作经历来判断注册代表机构的可能性?

        贾西津:这是一个特别重要的维度,从登记的网上的信息里面是没有的,不过我在问卷里边问了,所以我也是希望了解之前的经历会不会有影响,从我自己的判断而言,它显然很重要,所以我也很希望能够去知道,特别是如果以前完全没有经历,有没有可能注册,我也很希望去了解这一点,但这个可能只能通过我们自己的调研去看了。

       提问7:感谢您刚才带来一个非常清晰的政策信号,就是说现在对业务主管单位是一个更新的持续过程。我们的业务主管单位对应地来讲应该是中国纺织工业联合会,但是它实际上是不具有作为这个业务主管单位的一个主体资格的,所以我想知道您对这个政策有没有进一步地解读,到底符合什么样的标准才能成为一个业务主管部门。谢谢!

        贾西津:谢谢!您这个也是一个非常好的问题。我们看到法律里面很明确地是说,如果是国家机关是没有问题的,但是它是说相关的机关、部门和单位,所以这个单位怎么去理解,目前我们看到它的目录里面,显然不仅仅政府部门,比如说人民团体都是在里面的。地方层面也有一些并不是社会组织,但是它一定是有一定的能够承担政府职能的这种组织,所以它是相对而言,这个界定不仅仅限制于国家机关,但是比如您说像纺织工业联合会行不行,这个可能是需要个案地去了解。您还可以去咨询公安部门,它有电话和窗口去咨询,至少把这个问题反映上去,这个我觉得是一个可以去探讨的问题,就法律里面那个单位到底如何界定,是不是说社会组织也都可以纳入进来,还是说具有什么特征的社会组织是可以纳入进来的。

张凌霄

       提问1:希望您进一步解释第五十三条例外的这个条例,就是它提到的大学、医院以及科研单位在中国境内开展是不受这部法律的管理,它是应该按照国务院的其它法律去执行。比如说我属于境外的大学,或者境外的科研机构,在中国境内开展活动,我的合作对方可能都是大学跟医院,我是否还依然受这个法律的规定。

       张凌霄:这部法律出台之前,有一些正常的国家间的或者民间的科研技术交流包括医药交流、科学家之间的交流,甚至都有会员的存在。如果说这部法律出台了,全部一刀切那原先的东西就非常麻烦了,原先的合作没有在这四类主体的就不能办了,所以为了保留在原先基础上的承诺所以有一个除外,所以在原先框架范围之内它不受这个法律调整,这是回答的您的问题。

       提问2:较重违法的那个案例请教一下,如果它是开展爱护小动物的宣传,但是它不是那种公开的活动,而是在社交媒体上开展宣传活动的话,这算违法吗?

       张凌霄:这部法律实施完之后,在中国开展活动的境外NGO就只有两类了,第一个是设立代表处,第二个临时活动备案,除此之外你是不能在中国从事活动或者变相地委托、授权中国的自然人机构从事活动,刚才说那个较重的案例是没有这些资质,没有这些资格,它是委托中国来设置这个东西,所以说是不可以的。

       提问3:但是你在前面不是讲到社交媒体这种活动不属于涉事活动,不需要备案吗?

       张凌霄:刚才提到的是对活动的理解,到底是怎么个活动,大型的团体三百多人学术会议,这是活动。小型的活动微博、微信这些临时活动,这不算是活动,是在解释那部法中活动的定义,刚才我们所提到的,就是如果说一个境外的NGO在中国没有设立代表处,也没有开展临时活动备案,跟中国没有关系,这个时候它资助,无论它资助什么行为,在法律上都应该涉及到限制,为什么?如果这个口子开了在中国也没有登记,中国对这个主体也不掌握,也没有临时活动备案,开展活动也不掌握,就会出现一些其它的危害国家安全的事情发生,虽然在这个事件当中你是资助救助一些小动物,看似它做的事项是好的,但是你资助你可以设立代表处嘛,你不设立代表处可以跟中国合作临时活动备案一下嘛,因为这个口子合法的途径已经向你敞开了,你没有必要不经过任何允许就直接就到中国来开展某些活动。

       提问4:我这个问题是关于筹资的。目前在华的绝大多数境外非政府组织都有筹资的压力,这个原因是显而易见的,因为随着中国越来越富强,境外非政府组织美国总部也好,欧洲总部也好,都会说中国人很有钱,你们中国团队应当在中国境内自负盈亏,自己筹资负责中国区的项目,以后就不要吃皇粮了,但是这个《境外非政府组织境内活动管理法》对于筹资募捐是有限制的,所以现在大家在想是不是可以另辟蹊径,比方说有一个最近的一个例子就是世界自然基金会在深圳注册一家本地的基金会,叫“一个地球自然基金会”来进行有关筹资活动,像这样的做法,您从法律角度看是怎么样。

        张凌霄:法律规定境外NGO代表处资金来源就三个:本国过来投的,在中国取得的利息和在中国取得的合法收入,所以你说,国外的NGO说了我就给你100万,然后你自己自负盈亏,你自己干你自己的,不对它是一个代表处,他不具备独立法人资格,你自己内部可以这样约定,但是在中国第一不能发展会员,第二不能募捐,你也不能变相地跟其它的基金会联合起来进行募捐,这是法律所禁止的,但是我在讲这个课件的时候跟公安部提到了这一点,我不能主动地去募,它是被动地捐赠,那是一个存疑,所以如果说在在座的各位有境外NGO的话可以在这方面尝试一下突破,我不能往深了讲。因为跟他们说假如说有一个大老板,有一个企业家我就捐你一千万,那人家愿意给你呀。既符合中国法律,也符合自然人、法人对自己财产的自由处分,这个时候用我们律师话来讲,任何事情你想达到你的目的,不光一条路,有时候换一个角度,所以说就完成了。

       提问5:您讲说可以接受定额捐赠,那比如说我们打个比方说盖茨基金会,那盖茨可能有其它的业务,他在中国境内的公司挣来的利润,他愿意捐到盖茨基金会的中国办公室,这笔算接受定额捐赠吗?

       张凌霄:首先捐赠只要是有合法的主体,合法的财产,人家能够有自由处分权,人家要愿意给你你就  收着就行了,我已经回答的很清楚了。你不能主动地去说“给我钱,给我钱,我要干啥事”,如果某一个人愿意给你钱,法律没说你不能要,也不能说你不能捐给它。

       胡文新:但是这会带来一系列的税务问题。

       张凌霄:关于捐赠这一块,你是走民间正常的捐赠,还是走慈善捐赠,因为《慈善法》出台之后,将来《慈善法》捐赠它是有税收优惠的,但是它必须是捐给慈善组织的,如果你境外的NGO这个代表处你又不是慈善组织的话,那捐给你,那基本上正常地你作为受赠方在中国取得的收入该缴税缴税,走正常的民间捐赠,它属于现在这个《民法总则》来约束,走正常的民间捐赠,你就不能走慈善组织捐赠,因为你不是慈善组织。

王超

       胡文新:您好王超博士,我是TNC的胡文新。因为救助儿童会是首批批登记注册的机构,我想请问一下这半年来,从你们机构的感受中,您觉得归到公安部管理以后,对你们的要求和管理相比以前的民政部有什么不一样的地方?有什么新的要求吗?

       王超:我们没有感觉有特别大的改变。过去主管部门和登记机构都是民政部,现在是分开了,其实登记机构并没有对我们的业务有什么介入,只是在登记过程中间,比如说需要的一些文本、账号等等,我们做这些改变的时候,有一些沟通和交流。而且公安部门在整个过程中,经常来问我们过程是不是很顺畅,是不是很有效等等,特别有服务意识。

       提问2:非常感谢王超博士刚才的分享,那我是来自北京乔治医学研究有限公司的朱云云,我有一个特别实务性的问题:刚才贾博士也介绍到实际上法律并不限制境外NGO被动接受国内的捐助。不知道救助儿童会在这个半年当中有没有考虑或者已经有类似的一个想法,在中国境内可能接受被动的捐赠,如果有的话,在实际中,会不会遇到一些比如说发票的问题,你如果接受这个被动捐赠,或者你去提供服务,你需要向对方开具发票,税务局是否支持救助儿童会出具这个发票?

       王超:很技术性的问题。我们到目前为止还没有收到这样的捐赠。想不想?肯定想。这实际上也是一个很重要的趋势,目前国际上NGO进入到中国的钱是在逐年减少的,所以我们整个资源结构去做一个调整也是必然的战略选择。我们当然希望能够有一些本土的资源进来。接受被动捐赠应该是可以的,但是在技术层面上面,程序的合规性也很重要,我觉得目前我们没有准备好,所以还没去做,不排除将来会去做。。

       提问3:王超博士您好,现在已经有越来越多的国内基金会,而且是各方面在资金、资源上面非常强有力的一些国内的基金会开始出现,我不知道救助儿童会有没有开始跟这样的一些同样关注儿童领域的国内基金会合作?您觉得我们境内和境外的资助方有什么不一样的地方,您作为救助儿童会是如何来判断要跟什么样的基金会合作。谢谢!

       王超:对,的确是有越来越多的本土基金会开始崭露头角。我们和他们也有一些接触,特别是一些共同关注的领域,但是具体的、实质性的合作并没有太多。。但是基本上我们更多的时候比较被动,等着人家来找我们。对于境外NGO来讲,“融入中国”是一个很重要的部分,我们应该更积极、更主动去寻求有共同关注的合作伙伴,我们的合作伙伴更多的是政府和草根机构,很少有出资方、基金会这一类的。我觉得这是一个需要去改进的地方。

       提问4:我也有一个实操性的问题,救助儿童会只是在北京注册了代表处吗?但你们在云南也有办公室,那你们注册的这个代表处对于这个云南办公室或者其它办公室的运作上会有什么影响,刚才贾教授也介绍到有多代表处这样的一个注册的情况,你们为什么没有选择这种形式。这两种注册形式的利弊各是什么?

       王超:我们只在北京注册了,但活动范围证书上写的是中国。法律上应该是没有这个限制的。另外一点我想表达的是,我们更倾向于北京注册代表处,其他的地方包括云南、四川、新疆等,更多的是一个项目办事处,更像是在一个代表处下面不同的项目办公室,它不是一个注册的实体,而是一个运营的单位,这是我们的理解或者我们希望来运营的这样一种模式。

       提问5:我有这样的一个问题,就是像当年咱这样的国际组织刚刚进入中国的时候,在资源和资金上都有巨大的优势,但是随着中国的不断地发展,现在国外的一些大的捐方会减少对中国的资助。如果在这种未来资金不断减少的情况下,国际组织会寻求一种跟中国本土化的组织进行合作,寻找捐赠,然后找适应本土的一些运作方式,还是说会把注意力转移到一些更欠发达的地方。

       王超:如果你曾在一个国际性的机构里面工作,你会发现每一个国家的办事处都有自己的一种战略和思考。当然在全球范围,它的重点是放在中国还是放在印度,并没有太多在这个层面上去做一种所谓的优先序。对于国家办事处来讲,它肯定是希望能够在这个国家持续地干下去,能够持续带来价值。

你提到的资金资源不再是一个优势,这个事情我觉得10年前已经开始出现了,有时候国际NGO好像就是不停在那儿撑着,或者去找更多的资源,我觉得这反而更是一个问题的。因为对于国际性机构来讲,特别是一些比较大或者说比较有经验的机构,它除了资金资源,肯定会有其它的优势或价值在里面,当资金优势凸显的时候可能掩盖掉了很多其它你可以去撬动的影响力。在我看来,这个资金资源优势的缺失,反而会推动一个机构去考虑其它方面能够带来的价值。我觉得这才是一个机构、一个国家办事处应该考虑的战略。所以,救助儿童会不可能将工作重点转到印度,我们的关注点还是在中国,我们会用更多的资源,希望能够带来更多的贡献和影响,肯定是这样的。

 

座谈讨论

       贾西津:我问一下国际计划的张女士,就是你现在已经在陕西登记,已经获得了一个全国业务范围啊,为什么还想要再等民政部做业务主管,它的意义在哪里?

       张红嫚:陕西这个登记实际上不是全国,就是这8个省。其实除了我们有三个是固定的省 其它的省可能就会随着项目的活动有变化,也许会有到新的省,也许这个项目结束了,在那个省我们就不再有后续的工作了,所以这个可能是一个变动的,因此能注册一个全国的是最好的。

另外一个考虑是从战略方面,一个省的妇联做我们的合作伙伴和国家的民政部做我们的合作伙伴,对机构能开展的工作和工作的领域范围都会有很大的不同。而且从工作的业务范围吻合度来说,也是民政和我们的业务范围更吻合。

       提问2:你好,我想问Katherine Wilhelm女士的,我想问你的哪个部门做你的业务主管单位?

       Katherine Wilhelm对外友好协会。

       提问2:因为我也是来自美国的基金会,我们也是资助型,就是跟福特基金会是一样的,也是等着被资助方来申请项目。所以我们的项目他们申请后我们审批,周期很长。福特基金会每一年怎么做下一年的工作计划?内部审批还没结束,你怎么知道我要支持哪一个项目或者哪一个团体。

       Katherine Wilhelm就是,我们也在问自己怎么办。我们在中国这30年都是针对项目连续地做资助,但是未来我们不可以这样做了。

       提问2:所以你们的工作方式要改变?

       Katherine Wilhelm我们要改,而且还要帮助我们的合作方理解这个变化,我觉得这是一个很大的挑战。

       提问3:你好,非常感谢各位,我觉得这样的谈话非常有意思,台上各位,我发现了你们都代表一些很有影响、在中国活动时间很长的NGO,我想问的是对于业务主管单位来说,你会给他们带来什么好处?他们为什么会愿意做你们的主管单位?

       刘忠亮:我来回答这个问题。假设我是业务主管单位,我觉得这是一种责任,因为NGO的工作是支持地方工作的,那么业务主管单位实际上是政府部门的一部分,对于政府来说,发展当地是它的首要责任,它觉得它有责任。但是为什么有的愿意做,有的不愿意做呢?问题可能就涉及到两者之间的信任问题,实际上大家都很想做事,如果相互之间了解不够,他们会觉得有风险,所以为什么就早上说的关系很重要,我们尽早地建立关系,双方互相了解,它觉得你的机构是真正地在做事,它没有风险,在这个情况下他是愿意做的。但如果他对你完全不了解,就是如果你做了违法的事,政府首先找它,所以就是说它为什么要对你充分了解以后才愿意做你的业务主管单位。

       卢伦燕:我想说说他们为什么不愿意做业务主管单位,一个就是刚才说的有风险,在民政的时候,我们基金会跟国家林业局是有表内业务和表外业务,表内业务是直接跟林业相关的一些工作,比如说生物多样性保护,这一块是跟他们直接相关的,所以它完全知道我们在做什么,也更有信心,我们这些事情不会出问题,然后比如说像气候变化气候这样的一些生态足迹相关的,并不属于林业局的管辖范围,它就不那么清楚了,也存在一定的风险。

还有它为什么不愿意做呢?每一个政府部门都有各自的职能,它没有一个初始的职能说我要管理NGO,但是大家看一下国家林业局是在国家部委当中很早设有专门的国际NGO管理处,这是因为比如像我们跟TNC这样的一些做环保类的国际机构来华的历史比较长,所以很多模式是大家一起工作当中探讨出来的,比如说你去找发改委或者环保局,你说它之前可曾招过专门管NGO的人,他知道怎么管吗?他不知道,所以也不知道该怎么做。我觉得这部法的推出,实际上是明确了一种责任的,也就是说第一,它实行了管理,第二,它明确了责任。比如像大家反映的说我去找业务主管单位,但是业务主管单位不响应这个问题我个人认为,就是我不知道它在法理层面是怎么样,但是我觉得从实操层面它一定会解决的,就是既然推出了这部法,然后要求国际NGO要有业务主管单位,并且完成合法注册,那这个东西就从实操层面它一定会推下去,所以可能会需要一定时间。

       张红嫚:我谈一下我的体会,对方会愿意做你的业务主管单位,也存在不同的情况,比如在基层,云南的一些县里面,机构如果说能带来资金,他们还是很欢迎的。但是像部委一级的主管单位,你的资金优势就不再了。所以大家也一直在提一个事儿,就是你能带来的附加值是什么,比如说我们去找民政部申请的时候,它就特别要求,你提的这个申请材料里面,一定把你做过什么,有哪些成功的模式你写清楚,因为民政部现在也在加大力度进行未成年人保护,他很希望有一些新的信息、经验带给他们的,所以对他来说这个是对他更重要的。还有社会组织的能力建设这一块,也是民政部的一个主要的工作领域,所以也希望国际NGO专业领域这些经验,能够带动中国的社会组织的发展,起码这是我们跟民政部接触感觉到他比较看重的一些地方,希望大家也更有智慧抓住这个一个卖点,就是让让业务主管单位能够更看重我们这个机构,这是我的一点体会。

       提问4:刚刚听到几位嘉宾谈到注册的过程和下一步的运营,有很多波折,也有很多的困难,上午也听专家讲注册和备案两种渠道都是合法的,既然注册这么艰难,为什么大家没有考虑备案,一年年备案这么做呢?

       张红嫚:如果您的活动很少,您可以去选择临时活动备案,而且临时活动备案需要的资料一点儿不比注册少,你同样需要总部的一套注册的文本,如果您只有一两个活动您可以去临时活动备案,但是像我们这样的活动有几十个,上百个项目就显然不方便了。(完)

Translated by Emile Dirks

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