China expands crackdown on illegal NGOs

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The Chinese government is expanding its crackdown on illegal social organizations, or NGOs in the Western context. The Ministry of Civil Affairs is leading a six-month nationwide campaign launched in June together with 10 other departments.

Authorities say illegal organizations operating under the guise of NGOs endanger national security, harm public interests and disrupt social order. The campaign aims to strengthen systemic, law-based, integrated and source governance.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs says illegal organization activities are showing new characteristics such as more covert operations, virtual interactions and diversified fields. In response, the crackdown will focus on strengthening investigations, enforcement, and governance.

Over 700 suspected illegal organizations have been investigated so far, with bans, dissolutions and prosecutions carried out. The Ministry has also released names of suspected illegal groups and produced publicity materials to raise awareness.

Participation of the whole of society is being encouraged. The public is urged to report any suspicions while media, businesses and financial institutions are told not to provide publicity, venues, services or funding channels for illegal organizations.