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Only Chinese Citizens Can Head Germany’s Foundations in China

According to a German TV station ARD Fernsehenin, there is a provision in the proposed EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) which provides that, in the future, only Chinese citizens can head Germany’s foundations in China.

Foreign foundations and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) face a lot of difficulties in China because the authorities place severe restrictions on what they can do. This provision is an article in the appendix of the Agreement on Investment. The German foundations in China told ARD Fernsehenin’s studio in Beijing that they were concerned about this and that the provision is “confusing” and “threatening.”

Germany’s Reinhard Bütikofer, the chairman of the European Parliament’s China delegation and MEP (member of the European Parliament) for the German Green party Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, called the provision “scandalous.” The MEP, who China recently sanctioned, said, “When Chinese citizens have to lead the work of a German political foundation or business association, the Communist Party effectively establishes the direction of its work.”

The foundations were surprised by the provision in Appendix II of the agreement. The appendix was supposed to regulate the company’s access to the market. A representative of a foundation said that the clause seemed to have “fallen from the sky.” In particular, the stipulation that only Chinese citizens can hold management positions in foundations is stricter than the regulations on NGOs that were introduced in 2017.

Under the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the EU and China reached agreement in principle on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment at the end of December. The agreement is currently frozen due to the sanctions that China imposed on multiple members of the European Parliament.

Source: Radio France International, May 13, 2021