Cells to 'guide' NGOs in Beijing clampdown

BEIJING • The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will set up more cells in non-governmental organisations such as charities and trade unions, state media said, as the authorities step up controls on civil society.

Newly established communist party branches will guide NGOs "in the right political direction", ensuring they "carry out party policies", reported the China Daily.

The report comes as communist authorities crack down on elements of China's burgeoning civil society, having jailed dozens of activists in the past year.

Under the drive, "social organisations" will be required to employ at least three CCP members, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily said.

These employees will "integrate party organisation activities into the social organisation's... daily management and culture", it said. They will also be tasked with writing annual reports for political superiors. The organisations will foot the bill for these efforts, the paper added, citing a statement by the party's secretive organisation department.

China is home to a growing number of charities and other non-governmental groups but the CCP views independent activism as an anathema. The authorities are expected to pass a law this year covering foreign charities, which will require them to report "work plans" to police, according to drafts.

In recent months, Chinese state-run media outlets have accused foreign NGOs of undermining national security and trying to foment a "colour revolution" against the CCP.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Cells to 'guide' NGOs in Beijing clampdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe