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Supervise, don't smear Red Cross


17:13, April 25, 2013

BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Despite its recent quake-relief efforts, rumors have continued to sully the image of the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), hampering its ability to fulfill its mission.

When a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Ya'an City, Sichuan Province, on Saturday, the RCSC moved quickly to launch disaster relief work and initiate a push for public donations.

It also put out collection boxes on streets throughout China.

However, passersby have largely ignored the collection boxes. Instead of donating quake-relief funds through the RCSC, many have opted to open their wallets to private charity groups, showing what little faith the public has in the RCSC.

Meanwhile, the public has applauded the transparency and orderly handling of donations of the One Foundation, a private charity group initiated by kung fu film star Jet Li and promoted online by celebrities.

On Saturday, the RCSC received over 140,000 yuan (22,661 U.S. dollars) in donations, while the One Foundation took in over 10 million yuan the same day.

In addition to its past problems, a fresh round of rampant rumors isn't helping the RCSC's cause. Rumors recently circulated online claimed the organization demanded that the Red Cross in Taiwan pay a hefty "admission fee" before volunteers from the island could offer assistance.

Taiwan's Red Cross refuted the rumor on Monday, saying the report was "misleading" and "totally untrue."

Public supervision is certainly needed for charity organizations. However, deliberately denigrating the RCSC will hamper its disaster relief work and impede the development of the country's charity sector.

As the largest organization of its kind in China, the RCSC, which boasts over 98,000 sub-organizations and more than 26 million members in China, plays a major role in providing humanitarian assistance throughout the country.

Despite its scale and the role it plays, public hostility toward the RCSC and other government-sponsored charities solidified after a series of scandals pointed to embezzlement and corruption among the organizations' employees.

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