While social organization policy reform will ease the registration process for some types of NGOs, political and legal NGOs will continue to face difficulty in registering.
According to the latest reforms, industry associations, science and technology organizations, charity organizations, and community service organizations will be able to register directly with the Civil Affairs authorities, without locating an additional “supervising” government agency as required in the past. However, the exclusion of organizations with a political or legal focus from these reforms will place these organizations in a different category, and will likely make it difficult for organizations without a government background to locate a supervising unit.
These groups arise out of a social need, and thus hindering their registration will not nullify their existence — it will only force them to operate illegally, with limited scale and capacity. While the exclusion of these groups from reforms is not surprising (in the past thirty years, the government has become more tolerant of economic and social groups while continuing to suppress rights protection efforts), the crucial need for socioeconomic rights in a modernizing society cannot be overestimated.