On July 9th, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council published a “General Plan to Decouple Industry Association Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Authorities” (Plan) (行业协会商会与行政机关脱钩总体方案).
According to the Plan, nearly 70,000 industry associations and chambers of commerce, which come under the category of “social associations” (社会团体), would be separated from the executive authorities or their professional supervisory units. The first round of implementation of the plan will be tested in 100 different associations and chambers all over the nation in the second half of 2015 and will continue to expand testing areas in 2016. The Plan proposes to fully separate industry associations and chambers of commerce from the executive authorities in 5 different aspects: separation of mechanism (机构分离), separation of functions (职能分离), separation of financial assets (资产财务分离), separation of management (人员管理分离) and separation of “Party-building” (党建、外事等事项分离).
The Ministry of Civil Affairs also clarified the term “decouple (脱钩)” used in the Plan by saying that decoupling doesn’t necessarily mean associations and chambers would be outside of the ministry’s control. The Ministry of Civil Affairs would collaborate with other related departments to strengthen the management of industry associations and chambers of commerce. The Ministry will also supervise directors of these associations and chambers through regular checking and evaluation.