Minitrue: NGO Investigation, Clinging to the Foreign
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
Take note of the following articles. Control commentary, and do not hype.
1) “Nationwide Investigation Into Foreign NGOs in China and their Operating Circumstances”
2) “Expert: Some CASS Scholars Ignore National Interest; Consuming the Domestic, Clinging to the Foreign” (June 24, 2012)
Chinese media began covering a newly launched investigation last week after information about the probe was published on the city government website of Yuncheng, Shanxi Province. Reuters reports on the hushed launch of the probe and the uneasy relationship between foreign NGOs and Beijing:
Non-government organizations have mushroomed in China in recent years, and can have a confrontational relationship with the government, especially if they work with sensitive groups, such as sex workers or drug addicts.
Many foreign NGOs also operate in China, though they have traditionally registered as businesses as the approval process is easier. Beijing has treated some of them with suspicion, worried they may try and spread foreign values.
While the government requires all NGOs in China to register with it, the process is often difficult, driving many Chinese and foreign NGOs to operate under the radar.
[...] The national security commission has ordered a “nationwide comprehensive and thorough investigation of overseas NGOs and their activities, to find out the basic situation,” the city government said in the notice.
The move is intended to lay the foundation for strengthening and standardizing management as the next step, it said, adding that the campaign begun in May will run until the end of July.
The posting was removed after Chinese media, including the website of the influential magazine Caijing, drew attention to the plan. [...] [Source]
Beijing’s unease about the spreading of “foreign values” has repeatedly been in the spotlight over the past year. Last April, an internal party memo known as “Document No. 9″ warned against “false ideological trends,” including “Western constitutional democracy,” “universal values,” and the “West’s idea of journalism.” Soon after that, Party journal Seeking Truth (求是) denounced “Western calls for political reform.” The Xi administration has since put emphasis on ideological correctness in Party recruitment, cracked down on outspoken liberal microbloggers, and made training in the “Marxist view of journalism” a requirement for Chinese journalists to renew their press credentials.
Earlier this month, the People’s Daily reported on a top anti-graft official’s claim that the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) had been “infiltrated” by foreign forces—the article was removed from Chinese websites after becoming the subject of a censorship directive, but can still be seen via Google Cache [Chinese]. The second article in the above list of directives recalls the anti-graft official’s earlier warning, and stresses that the CASS, as the “soul” of Party policy-making, cannot afford to “relax its ideological work” (“意识形态工作不能放松。。。”).
CDT collects directives from a variety of sources and checks them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.