An International NGO’s 40 years in China

Hongbo Ji

The Asia Foundation (TAF) has been programming in China since 1979. During this seminar, I will examine the Foundation’s experience in China over the past 40 years, including how our focus has evolved from overseas scholarships and sending English language science books to China in the early days of “reform and opening up”, to providing health and community services to migrant workers as China’s coastal areas were quickly developed into the world’s manufacturing hub. In the past decade or so, as China expands its presence and influence in other parts of Asia and around the world through increased aid and investment programs, the Foundation has re-positioned our role and focused on promoting understanding of Chinese development cooperation, building sustainable practices by Chinese businesses overseas, and strengthening the capacity of Chinese NGOs to respond to long-term development needs and immediate humanitarian crises in Asia. In the COVID-19 world that we live in today with globalization and international cooperation under unprecedented threat, it is all the more important that organizations like TAF, with our long-term presence on the ground, deep respect for local context and expertise, and trusted networks and partnerships, help facilitate sharing and exchange at all levels, particularly between peoples and communities.

About the speaker

Ji Hongbo is the Country Representative of The Asia Foundation Beijing Representative Office. She is currently on a TAF-Australian National University joint fellowship as a visiting fellow at the Australian Center on China in the World. Hongbo joined the Foundation in 2007 and has experience leading a range of programs in the areas of disaster management, women’s empowerment, charitable sector development, regional cooperation and China-U.S. relations. Most recently, she has been directing the Foundation’s activities to focus more on China’s role in Asia and the rest of the world

Prior to joining the Foundation, Hongbo was Assistant Manager of CIDA’s agricultural development project in China. Hongbo also has five years of diplomatic experience with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including an assignment at the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations in New York and working as an interpreter in the Ministry’s Translation and Interpretation Department.

More information on the lecture can be found on the event page.

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