This episode discusses China’s new Overseas Non-Governmental Organization Law, which requires foreign organizations to register and aims to reduce the influence of foreign actors on domestic affairs. These measures have elicited international criticism, as many are concerned Beijing will use such regulations to push out organizations advocating for public health and education, the environment, and human rights. Our guest, Sophie Richardson, notes the growth of civil society in China since the reform era and how NGOs can hold governments accountable and provides services. She then offers assessments of the objectives of the new law and the potential repercussions for the 7000 foreign NGOS that will be subject to it. The podcast concludes by looking at the law’s implications for China’s international image and the future of global governance.
Sophie Richardson is the China director at Human Rights Watch. A graduate of the University of Virginia, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, and Oberlin College, Dr. Richardson is the author of numerous articles on domestic Chinese political reform, democratization, and human rights in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Vietnam. She is also the author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (2009).