ChinaFile and NCUSCR Present: Chinese Civil Society in 2018 — What's Ahead?


NEW YORK, January 29, 2018 — Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, and Wang Yongmei, a practicing public interest lawyer at Beijing Huayi, discuss the consequences of China's new civil society law. The conversation was moderated by Chinafile senior editor and head of the China NGO Project Jessica Batke. (58 min., 30 sec.)

More than a year since two major civil society laws were enacted in China, the environment for domestic and foreign civil society actors is undergoing a major shift. ChinaFile, in collaboration with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, is convening a panel to address a number of outstanding questions about what is happening on the ground in China now. Discussion topics will include: What are the key trends and challenges in Chinese civil society? How are domestic and international non-profits faring in the new environment? What are the implications for China-U.S. cooperation? For Chinese foreign and domestic policy? For foreign NGOs hoping to work in China?


Wang Yongmei is a practicing lawyer at Beijing Huayi Law Firm where she focuses on public interest law in different areas. Before joining the law firm in 2016, she was a program manager and senior legal officer in PILnet’s Beijing office for four years. She was responsible for working with PILnet’s partners to design and implement projects and provide advice and training. Prior to PILnet, Wang Yongmei worked at China Law Development Consultants (CLD) as a program officer for more than three years. She is a licensed Chinese lawyer who previously worked for domestic and international law firms for more than six years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in law from Xiamen University and her master’s degree in maritime law from Nottingham University (U.K.). She is currently a Humphrey fellow at American University in Washington, D.C.

Anthony Saich is the Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and Daewoo Professor of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, teaching courses on comparative political institutions, democratic governance, and transitional economies with a focus on China. In his capacity as Ash Center director, Saich also serves as the director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia and the faculty chair of the China Programs, the Asia Energy Leaders Program, and the Leadership Transformation in Indonesia Program, which provide training programs for national and local Chinese and Indonesian officials.

Mark Sidel is Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Consultant (Asia) at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). He has worked intensively on the Chinese Foreign NGO Law since 2015, including advising a wide range of NGOs, foundations and think tanks, and speaking widely on the impacts and consequences of the Law and its implementation in the US, Canada, China and elsewhere. Sidel has also consulted intensively on the Law with government officials and scholars (including public security personnel and academics) in China.

Jessica Batke (Moderator) is a ChinaFile Senior Editor and head of The China NGO Project. She is an expert on China’s domestic political and social affairs, having served as a State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research analyst for nearly eight years. She is fluent in Mandarin.

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Event Details

Mon 29 Jan 2018
6:30 - 8 p.m.

Asia Society

725 Park Ave.

New York, NY 10021

Add to Calendar 20180129T233000 20180130T010000 UTC Asia Society: ChinaFile and NCUSCR Present: Chinese Civil Society in 2018 — What's Ahead? Asia Society 725 Park Ave. New York, NY 10021