62 overseas NGOs set up offices in China

Indo Asian News Service

Beijing, April 2 (IANS) A total of 62 overseas NGOs have set up representative offices on the Chinese mainland after a new law took effect on January 1, the media reported on Sunday.

Of the 62, 27 are from the US, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US-China Business Council, the People's Daily reported.

The other 35 come from 14 regions and countries including the Hong Kong, Britain, Germany and Switzerland.

"With simplified procedures and less time spent, the registration went smoothly under the new law," said Jacob Parker, vice president of China Operations of the US-China Business Council, an organisation of American companies in business with China.

The new law, which was adopted last year, requires all overseas NGOs to secure approval from Chinese authorities before they operate on the Chinese mainland.

The Ministry of Public Security and provincial police departments are responsible for registration and regulation, according to the law.

To facilitate the process, public security authorities have interviewed a number of overseas NGOs about their problems during registration and responded to over 12,000 questions from more than 780 overseas NGOs, the daily said.

Besides the registered NGOs, there are now more than 170 others going through the registration procedure.