By Huang Yingnan (黄英男), Beijing Times (京华时报), July 2, 2013
In the past two months, China’s first unified, hub social organization, the China Charity Alliance (not to be confused with the China Charity Federation), was established in Beijing. What role with this organization, which was founded by the government, is staffed by government employees, and committed to serving the people, play in China’s public interest field? Many social organizations say that they do not yet understand the organization, and thus will “wait and see” before making a judgment. It seems that the leadership of the organization are primarily employees of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, and the preparations for the organization were carried out by the China Charity Donation and Information Center, an organization under the umbrella of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Perhaps it is this deep connection to the government that prevents NGOs from evaluating the organization. While the regulations concerning membership only require an endorsement, a willingness to participate, and a significant role in the charity field, considerations such as scope and influence of work meant that only representatives from national organizations were included as members (which is almost exclusively limited to GONGOs). Deng Guosheng commented that experience has taught us that industry associations are quite important for the charity sector, but argued that such associations must come from the industry itself, rather than being appointed by the government.