China encourages the public to supervise charitable activities, said an official with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the country's top legislature.
Any organization or individual can report illegal charitable activities to civil affairs authorities, charity associations or other relevant authorities, said Guo Linmao, an official with the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee.
Guo made the remarks in response to questions on irregularities, misdeeds and the lack of transparency in the handling of donated funds and items during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
According to Chinese law, civil affairs departments have the responsibility to supervise and inspect charitable activities, including those of the Red Cross societies.
"The Red Cross societies should improve transparency and invite public supervision," Guo said.
Chinese law also stipulates that charities must not arbitrarily change the use of donated funds and items or designate interested parties as beneficiaries. The handling of donated funds and items must also respect the will of donors.
Those who break the law in charitable activities will be punished in accordance with the law, particularly those who secretly distribute, embezzle, intercept or misappropriate donated funds and items, Guo said, adding that the violators could receive administrative, civil or criminal penalties.