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China values role of overseas NGOs

SHANGHAI, July 27 (Xinhua) -- China appreciates contributions made by overseas NGOs, and supports their friendly activities in China, said Guo Shengkun, Minister of Public Security.

Guo made the remarks here on Saturday during a symposium on overseas NGOs, attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Civil Affairs, along with representatives of overseas NGOs and consuls-general of the Unite States, Britain and Germany in Shanghai.

Thousands of overseas NGOs have entered China since opening-up began in the late 1970s.

Xiao Xin, an eight-year boy with congenital heart disease, has successfully undergone a surgery at Shanghai Children's Medical Center, a project co-sponsored by the Shanghai municipal government and Project Hope, a USA NGO.

"I am very thankful to this center. It has saved the life of my son," said Xiao Xin's father.

Xiao Xin is one of thousands of Chinese kids that have been successfully treated at the center. Since its founding in 1998, its success rate in treating congenital heart disease has passed 97 percent.

Project Hope now has cooperative projects all over the country, said Xu Lihua of its Shanghai Office.

Success in China has expanded its worldwide influence, with experiences here now being replicated in South Africa, according to Xu.

The government is considering helping overseas NGOs through legislation.

According to a draft law on overseas NGOs, now under deliberation by the National People's Congress, the country protects legitimate rights and interests of overseas NGOs in China, and will provide convenience and offer preferential tax treatment for their operations.

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