Charity with Chinese Characteristics

Adam Chodorow

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

August 1, 2012

UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, Forthcoming

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.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

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

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Date posted: August 2, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Chodorow, Adam, Charity with Chinese Characteristics (August 1, 2012). UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2121994

Contact Information

Adam Chodorow (Contact Author)
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
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