Our 2017 Twinner Davide Sabbadin, Legambiente Italy, visited a conference on civil society in Hong Kong. In Nuova Ecologia, his article reflects the influence of the new Overseas NGO Law focused on NGO cooperation with foreign NGOs in China. Davide talked to Dr. Horst Fabian, EU-China Civil Society Ambassador, who he met there. Horst states that the situation unfortunately worsened. He explained that the state obliges European NGOs to registrate through cumbersome and costly processes as well as to partner with a supervising Chinese organization/institution. These are mainly dependent on the Ministry of the Interior and often represent state bodies. The costs linked to the registration application have been a growing disincentive for foreign NGOs who as a result, have been forced to leave the country. NGOs working on “sensitive” topics such as syndicalism, migrants, protection of ethnic groups, mass media and religion are even more discouraged. Horst further said that no international NGO that deals with the protection of LGBTQ rights and human rights, has so far been accepted.

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