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China Red Cross defends itself, asks for fairness


13:23, July 17, 2013

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) is among the most regulated social organizations in the country and its role is indispensable despite scandal and rumors, its executive vice president, Zhao Baige, has said.

Zhao made the remarks in an interview with China News Service published on Wednesday, saying that recent accusations against the RCSC not only undermined the organization, but also the charity work in China.

She referred to a scandal involving Guo Meimei, a young woman who claimed to head an organization with RCSC links and posted photographs online flaunting her wealth in mid 2011.

The scandal triggered concern over how donations are used by the country's state-run charitable organizations, though an official investigation later that year ruled out any link between Guo or her wealth and the RCSC.

But the public still doubt the organization's investigation conclusion, as it was later hit by a number of accusations, including a report earlier this month alleging that local branches of the RCSC require hospitals requesting organs to donate various amounts of money in order to acquire donor information.

The Shenzhen branch of the RCSC later denied the accusation, too.

"Social supervision must be based on facts," said Zhao, warning that the RCSC's important and indispensable role in Chinese charity will be "undermined" if the press cannot work in that way.

According to Zhao, the RCSC has launched a series of reforms following the Guo Meimei scandal, such as establishing an integrated humanitarian aid and rescue system that has helped the organization play a positive role in natural disaster relief efforts.

Zhao said the organization will further build its credibility through information transparency, allowing public participation in decision-making processes, and improving the mechanism for public supervision.

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