The State Council recently published the “Leading Opinion Concerning the Healthy Development of the Charitable Sector” (“关于促进慈善事业健康发展的指导意见”). The author looks at the implications of this document, the first such legislation launched by the Chinese central government.
The main ideas put forward for charities to implement are: helping the poor, persisting in reform and innovation, ensuring public transparency and strengthening regulations and management. The document proposes the establishment of a robust and effective supervision system for charities by 2020, as well as standardised norms for charities’ conduct and projects. In terms of ensuring charitable organisations’ transparency, standards are proposed for self-management, fundraising, use of funds and publishing information.
The document also proposes means for reporting irregular or illegal behaviour, both from charitable organisations themselves or from the relevant government departments. Slandering or spreading rumours about charitable organisations will in future lead to a criminal investigation.
The author highlights three major changes that the document will bring. The first is to make internet charity more orderly and trustworthy. The second is to increase and improve the participation of private sector firms in charitable giving. The third is to improve management supervision and make charitable activities more transparent.