Charity law set to be reviewed by the NPC this year

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The opinion-soliciting draft of the Charity Law [慈善事业法草案征求意见稿] was prepared in February and is ready to be reviewed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the end of this year, said Wang Shengming, director of the Committee for Internal and Judicial Affairs of the NPC, during a press conference for the third session of China’s 12th NPC. The draft addresses in detail the management of charitable assets and the disclosure of information.

Wang said at the press conference that there are two reasons why China’s charitable donations, compared to its GDP, are relatively small: Firstly, China’s traditional definition of charity was restricted to the areas of poverty alleviation and disaster relief even though donations in the areas such as education and environmental protection nowadays account for a large percentage of funds raised by charities; Secondly, China’s philanthropic work is still in its early stages, and the country lacks a favorable environment for charities.

Jia Xijing, associate dean of Tsinghua NGO Research Center, said one of the biggest issues that needs to be clarified is the definition of charity. Zhang Gaorong, director of the research department of China Philanthropy Research Institute, also pointed out that the law should focus on advancing the development of China’s charitable undertakings and charitable organizations, and that it should address issues such as the procedure and requirements of establishing a charitable organization, the boundaries of philanthropy, and the designation of monitoring organs.