Chinese foundations have been ramping up their involvement in international aid, but they are still faced with lots of problems. These challenges include unclear positioning, obscure policies, and restrictions set around finance and personnel. On December 7th, the 28th Bimonthly Salon of Foundations was held in Beijing, organized by the Chinese Red Cross Foundation with sponsorship from the China Association for Non-profit Organizations.
The theme of the salon pivoted around “the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation on humanitarian public welfare”. Relevant issues were explored, such as the role of and challenges to Chinese foundations in foreign aid and in the BRI infrastructure. The salon participants also discussed the recent draft of the “Foreign Aid Management Law”, released for public feedback, and agreed that social organizations should be considered one of the key agencies in carrying out foreign aid activities, and there should be official arrangements for their involvement in terms of policy and financial support, personnel exit, and international volunteering developments.
The Standing Vice-President and Secretary-General of the Association for Non-profit Organization, Sun Weilin, gave a speech in which she affirmed that working abroad has become a trend for Chinese NGOs, under the concept of “building a community of shared future for mankind” and the BRI framework. The Standing Vice-President and Secretary-General of the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, Sun Shuopeng, introduced the work of the Silk Bo’ai Fund (丝路博爱基金), a humanitarian project which engages with 23 countries involved in the BRI.
The salon participants came from more than 50 local NGOs (including the China NGO Network for International Exchanges, the China Charity Alliance, the Western Returned Scholars Association, and the China Women’s Development Foundation), a few international NGOs (including the Committee of the Red Cross and World Vision International), and several corporations (such as the SGS, Tencent and Youyou) and news media. A total of 110 people attended the salon.
The next salon will be organized by the China Population Welfare Foundation.