NGOs with Chinese Characteristics

Asia Times reports on the recent decision by China’s Ministry of Education to brand the Hong Kong branch of OxFam a “subversive” organization:

The controversy started with a notice posted last month on the student recruitment webpage for Minzu University in Beijing calling the NGO an “ill-intentioned” organization with “ulterior motives”.

The notice, attributed to the Education Ministry, accused Oxfam of “trying hard to infiltrate China”, adding: “All education departments and institutions of higher education must raise their guard and together recognize and take precautions against the unfriendly intentions of Oxfam Hong Kong’s recruitment of college volunteers.”

It also referred to the Hong Kong head of Oxfam, Lo Chi-kin, a member of the city’s Democratic Party, as “a key member of the opposition camp”. The party, considered moderate in Hong Kong, nevertheless continues to push for greater 12 years after the city’s handover from British to Chinese rule.

In response to the notice, Oxfam Hong Kong suspended a program aimed at helping impoverished migrant farmers on the mainland.

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