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The director of the China Development Brief Translation Project, Shawn Shieh, discussed the burgeoning relationship between grant-making foundations and independent nonprofit organizations in China in a talk at the Henry Luce Foundation. In the U.S., philanthropic organizations and civil society organizations are natural partners, with grant-making foundations serving as an important source of funding for nonprofits. In China, foundations have long had close ties with the government, and have subsequently shied away from supporting independent nonprofits.
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In her new book, Civil Society in China: The Legal Framework from Ancient Times to the “New Reform Era,” Catholic University Professor Karla Simon provides both an historical and contemporary analysis of the legal framework for civil society and citizen participation in China.
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Commentators have long debated whether the space for civil society is growing or shrinking in China, or whether the concept of civil society is even relevant to China. But to many of those working in the civil society sector in China, the picture is quite clear. Two major trends are emerging in China's civil society space: the rapid growth of grassroots NGOs and the increased use of public advocacy, carried out by actors ranging from NGO networks to microbloggers. 
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From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy—or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation.
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In the waning years of the Cold War, the United States and China began to cautiously engage in cultural, educational, and policy exchanges, which in turn strengthened new security and economic ties. These links have helped shape the most important bilateral relationship in the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
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Bin Xu discusses his new book and civic engagement following the Sichuan earthquake. 
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Wang Yongmei and Anthony Saich discuss the current environment for domestic and foreign NGOs in China.
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Historians Jeremy Brown and Matthew Johnson reevaluate the history of Maoism and its impact on Chinese society. 
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Zhou Dan discusses LGBT rights in China in an off-the-record roundtable discussion.

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