March 4, 2016
China needs more time to revise a draft law governing foreign non-government organizations, the parliamentary spokeswoman said on Friday, defending the need for such legislation despite widespread international criticism.
The law comes amid a crackdown on dissent by President Xi Jinping’s administration which has detained and jailed activists and blamed “foreign forces”, including foreign NGOs, for the pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in late 2014.
Speaking ahead of the opening of the annual session of parliament, spokeswoman Fu Ying defended China’s justification for the law.
On China’s crackdown on human rights lawyers, Fu said that while China considered lawyers an “important force”, they needed to respect the constitution.
China has arrested scores of human rights lawyers across the country and tightened control over almost every aspect of civil society since 2012, citing the need to buttress national security and stability.
China consistently rejects any criticism of its human rights record, saying it adheres to the rule of law.