|Charity Bids for Public Foundation|
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Famous action star and Chinese philanthropist Jet Li has revealed his determination to continue striving for an independent identity for his foundation and emphasized the importance of professional talent to sustain philanthropy at Beijing Normal University on Oct.9.
Li established the Jet Li One Foundation in 2007, as a specially-funded project affiliated to the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) focusing on disaster relief work one year after he was bestowed the "philanthropic ambassador" of the RCSC.
Li disclosed that One Foundation became stuck in a bottle-neck in its development and may come to a premature end when speaking to Central China's Television on Sept 12.
They started the application procedure to register as a public foundation with the Ministry of Civil Affairs in February, however, no official permission has arrived so far, according to a Sept 14 report in the Guangzhou-based Nanfang Weekend.
"As its slogan says that each person donates at least one yuan ($0.15) every month, the mission of One Foundation requires the identity as a public foundation. However, the problems that One Foundation meet are actually institutional challenges," said Wang Zhenyao, director of the Center for Philanthropy Research at Beijing Normal University and former director of the Ministry of Civil Affairs' Social Welfare and Charities Division.
There is no specific law or regulations banning civil organizations from establishing as a public foundation in China, but in practice most applications fail unless they can find government departments to be attached to, said Jin Jinping, director of the center for Nonprofit Organizations Law at Peking University.
On Oct.9 Li said that he understands the government's prudent attitude in allowing civil organizations to get the qualification as a public foundation in case of corruption in philanthropy and he predicted the situation will not change in the near future.
"If the gate of raising money from the public suddenly opens for One Foundation, the right should also be given to many other foundations, but the measures of supervision and regulations are yet to be established," Li said.
However, Li added that One Foundation will not give up trying to become a public foundation, if it fails, it will still exist as a private foundation.
As a part of his ten-year philanthropic plan, Li founded the Center for Philanthropy Research at Beijing Normal University in June, aimed at cultivating more professionals in the field of charity work.
"Philanthropy needs professionals. The sustainable development (of charity work) can not rely on passion, but move forward in terms of institutionalization, standardization and professionalization," Li told Beijing News.
Li has devoted himself to philanthropy since a lucky escape from death in the Maldives during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Early this year, Li filmed a movie about children suffering from autism without seeking any payment.
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Published on our website on Oct.17, 2010