Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Charity with Chinese Characteristics

UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, Forthcoming

52 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2012  

Adam Chodorow

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2012


Over the past 30 years, scholars and activists have called on the Chinese government to ease the registration and oversight rules governing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and to increase funding for such organizations by, among other things, broadening the charitable deduction. While China has made significant progress in this regard, the government continues to throw up roadblocks for NGOs, suggesting that it has not fully embraced this path.

This article considers the extent to which the justifications for a broad charitable deduction adduced in the West make sense in China. The goal is to develop a normative basis consistent with Chinese values and interests that Chinese authorities would find compelling and which might lead to additional efforts to develop China’s civil sector. This article also considers the extent to which China’s political and social culture may affect such efforts, concluding that, even if China were to adopt Western-style laws governing NGOs and provide for a broad charitable deduction, China’s culture would shape both how government officials implement the laws and how the Chinese people respond to them, leading to a system of charity, but one with Chinese characteristics.

Keywords: China, Chinese law, charity, charitable deduction, exempt organization, NGO, non-governmental organization, civil society, comparative law, tax law

JEL Classification: H20, H23, H24, H41, H50, I30, K34, L30, L33, P20, P30, P50, Z10

Suggested Citation

Chodorow, Adam, Charity with Chinese Characteristics (August 1, 2012). UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Adam Chodorow (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views