Chinese troops banned from joining foreign NGOs

Beijing, Oct 13 (IANS) A new Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) regulation has banned troops from joining any overseas NGOs, a media report said on Tuesday.

The regulation issued by the PLA’s General Political Department took effect from September 1.

“It was out of confidentiality concerns,” Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times.

Overseas NGOs refer to non-governmental and non-profit groups legally established abroad, including associations, academic societies, chambers of commerce, foundations, research institutes.

Many foreign NGOs are actually set up to steal military information by recruiting Chinese soldiers, which have happened, Song said.

He added that some NGOs attempt to brainwash soldiers into conducting “peaceful evolution”.

Joining foreign NGOs is politically sensitive and the PLA has to remain united, said the working group in charge of implementing the regulation.

Organisations or associations under the PLA which have not registered with the ministry of civil affairs will be dissolved, including those posing as research centres and hobby-oriented clubs, according to the working group.

Many of the associations, which have no essential functions, were set up primarily to feed the vanity of senior military officials, Song added.

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