On September 5, China's official Charity Day, a total of 182 people, teams, enterprises, charity programs and trusts were honored at the China Charity Awards courtesy of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. Most of them are charity models in the country's campaigns fighting COVID-19 and eradicating rural poverty. Their endeavors in the development of charity set an example for society at large.
Derived from the traditional notion of "universal love and benevolence," the modern Chinese have inherited and carried forward the nature of kindness by assisting those impoverished, helping the elderly and orphans as well as generously contributing to various altruistic causes. Charity has long been part of the Chinese DNA.
The Chinese Government has been actively supporting charity work and issued the Charity Law to regulate and guide its overall development.
At present, China features more than 9,000 charity organizations. The digital revolution has also made the "Internet Plus Charity" a newfangled model for the expansion of charity, where individuals are able to make donations using their mobile phones, in turn widening the charitable scope. At a time when the country's modernization drive accelerates and common prosperity becomes an important national goal, the development of charity will usher in great opportunities.
However, despite the marked progress in the scale, methods and awareness of charity, China still falls behind Western countries in certain respects. For example, the legal environment for charity work is not yet sufficiently comprehensive, policy support remains inadequate, the country's capability in resource mobilization is lacking, and the role of charity in readjusting social wealth distribution is still limited. In addition, charity organizations do not feature enough transparency when it comes to disclosing their donation allocation and supervision over the use of funds is not effective.
Therefore, China should carry out extensive international cooperation and learn from the practices of other countries. Instead of simply copying the Western model, charity work must base itself on Chinese culture and serve the country's overall development. Encouraging high-income groups to voluntarily assist their low-income counterparts through charity programs is considered part of China's three-pronged wealth distribution system, together with market-based compensation and government redistribution.