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NGOs Demand More Attention from Public
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Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are demanding more care and attention from the government and the public, said a speaker at the ongoing 21st Century Forum in Beijing.


About 60 percent of local NGOs each work on an annual budget of less than 20,000 yuan (about US$1,340), and only five percent of them work in cooperation with international organizations, Wang Ming, a professor of Tsinghua University, said quoting a survey.


In the wake of a shift in government functions, the government should give full play to the role of NGOs, said Wang, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).


According to official figures provided by the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the number of NGOs in China has increased from 6,000 in 1978 to 142,000 in 2003. The amount of donations handled by NGOs' each year accounts for 0.05 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP).


In comparison, the United States has more than 1.5 million NGOs, which handle donations equivalent to 8 percent of its GDP.


NGO's successes in the last few decades show that they can play a big role in areas such as poverty-relief and environmental protection.


Participants in the forum urged the government to reform its management over NGOs by giving up the existing "overlapped management mechanism", which puts them under the management and supervision of both registration departments and their "owners".


According to law, an NGO has to find an "owner" before it applies for registration, which has made NGO establishment in China difficult, the participants said, adding that local NGOs still lack legal status and function.


(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2005)



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