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China Initiates New Campaign to Control Use of Satellite Dishes

In recent months, Chinese authorities have launched another round in its campaign to hunt down and smash "the woks"—the satellite dishes that households have installed to watch TV programs that are unavailable from official TV stations.

Publicly, the campaign is billed as "cleaning out pornography" and "removing unstable elements," and it is carried out by local governments, the police, industry and commerce bureaus, radio and TV broadcasting authorities, and cultural departments.

Behind the campaign, the authorities may have other real concerns. As Huang Qiuju, the deputy mayor of Guangsui City in Hubei Province put it in the working meeting about implementing the campaign on April 19, 2007: To remove these dishes is "an urgent response to overseas hostile forces that attempt to infiltrate and divide us. It is a necessary measure to enhance the control of the ideological field." [1] The campaign is to carry out the No.79 decree by State Council to "prohibit satellite woks from entering the market place," according to a news report by the Guangsui local TV station. [2]

In a news report about removing the satellite dishes in Shaya County of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, it stated that Shaya County (authorities) come down hard on the illegal installation of commercial satellite dishes by way of monitoring oversea programs and individual satellite receiving instruments, in order to …prevent Falun Gong members and Christian groups to spread their religious activities. [3]

Many "Woks" Were Smashed

Across the country, the authorities have been seeking out those who sell or use satellite dishes to receive overseas TV programs.

Mr. Zheng from Qiaotou Village, Guangfeng County, Jiangxi Province, stated that local authorities recently visited and destroyed a number of woks in several neighboring villages.

Ms. Dou from Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, indicated that between February and April, several local government departments held a joint action to "smash woks."

In mid February 2007 local authorities including police in Xiangfan City, Hubei Province, made unannounced visits to electronics wholesale markets to confiscate satellite dishes.

According sources in Ji County, Hebei Province, the county government recently issued a public notice banning satellite dishes.

The Industry and Commerce Bureau in Luchuan County, Guangxi, confiscated satellite dishes and other accessories between April and May in a dedicated campaign.
Guangzhou City in Guangdong Province has installed advanced equipment to monitor satellite receivers in the city: "No personal shall install satellite dishes without permission."

What Do the People Say?

"The government does not want us to watch satellite channels because they are afraid that we, the people, would like a democratic system. I bet those who are banning satellite dishes all have the dishes installed at their homes. They just want to fool us, the common people," said Mr. Jin in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province.

A Mr. Wang from Ji County, Hebei Province, finds too much Party education in the domestic TV programs. "I really want to see what overseas TV programs look like."

Mr. Shen in Guoan City, Hebei Province, said "I have not watched (Chinese official) CCTV programs for a long time. With a wok, I can watch whatever I want. (Overseas) news reports are more real (than CCTV). The excuse for the ‘wok-cleaning’ campaign is ‘cleaning up pornography.’ Does it mean that satellite channels like Discovery and CNN are porn?"

In spite of the authorities’ efforts to ban satellite dishes, the retailers of satellite dishes are as busy as ever. Promotions are all over the place in cell phone text messages, Internet deals, flyers, door-to-door direct marketing, and underground trades. From households to businesses, from the remote countryside to inner-city communities, satellite dishes of different sizes and models are spreading like a prairie fire.

The upward trend, as China analysts put it, points to an increasing demand from Chinese citizens for information outside Chinese-controlled media. The authorities’ repressive censorship has driven the satellite dish market underground.

To evade confiscation by their local governments, the users install their dishes either under the window of a balcony, beside the air-conditioner, or even inside the house. Some install a reflecting plate in the house to face the window and then have the dish opposite the plate to receive the satellite signals. As a dish user puts it, "Many departments are sharing the responsibility for monitoring satellite dish use. But once there are too many parties involved, it’s very hard to control. You have your policy; I have my way (to cope with it)."

For Consumers, the Wok Saves Money

In some rural areas like Guizhou, Southwest China, TV programs are the only entertainment available. The cost for cable installation is prohibitive, and local TV signals are weak. That leaves satellite dishes as the only meaningful alternative.

In Chongqing City, Sichuan Province, the cost for digital TV is high while the cable programs are swamped with ads. With the one-time purchase of a dish, one can watch TV programs for free.
Economics drives consumption. According to local vendors, the best selling pitch is "free channels." The cost of a dish is about one or two years’ in cable fees. The lowest priced dish costs only 300 yuan, for example, in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, and over 100 TV programs are available, including almost all the Chinese domestic channels and many foreign channels. All free after the one-time initial cost of the dish. To sweeten the deal, vendors offer free delivery and free installation.



Xiao Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope.

China is Moving Up the Value Chain

Just when you think you’ve got the Chinese economy figured out, it undergoes a profound structural transition in the seeming blink of an eye. For the last several years we have come to think of China as the workshop of the world. In this view, China tends to import huge amounts of raw materials and intermediate goods from abroad, combine them with super-cheap labor and virtually free capital, and then turn around and ship an armada of assembled products out to the rest of the world—particularly to the US and the European Union.

Until very recently, Chinese imports and exports have indeed tended to move in tandem (Figure 1), bolstering the view of those who saw China as a giant assembly line. Sure China ran a substantial (and growing) trade surplus with the US and to a lesser extent the European Union, but that surplus was nearly offset by a trade deficit with China’s neighbors in Asia (which exported intermediate and capital goods to China) as well as the world’s major commodity producers.


China will always need to import a large share of its raw materials. However, we have now entered an era where China no longer needs to import huge amounts of intermediate goods. Since 2000, Chinese production of industrial boilers has doubled; its production of chemical fiber, steel, and plastics has roughly tripled; and its production of semiconductors has surged nearly seven-fold. Moreover, detailed analysis of China’s trade data show that for a number of important processing industries—such as machinery, white goods, autos, and office equipment—the ratio of final exports to imported components has surged in recent years, suggesting that China is increasingly supplying its export machine.

China has funded this breakneck industrial development by channeling a huge pool of captive domestic savings into fixed asset investment, which now exceeds 50% of GDP (compared to 20-30% in most other economies in Non-Japan Asia). China has also sucked up the lion’s share of foreign direct investment (and the technical expertise that often accompanies it) from its neighbors in Asia. Chinese FDI has increased from $4 billion in 1990, to $41 billion in 2000 to $70 billion in 2006.

What are the implications of this new phase of Chinese development? We can think of a few possibilities. First, we would expect the prices of intermediate goods worldwide to face downward pressure in the coming years just as prices of assembled goods have been squeezed over the last decade. A bit further down the road, we will start to see substantial disinflation or even deflation in the price of capital goods as well.

While China has clearly reduced its reliance on important components, its economic policies remain much too heavily focused on the supply side of the economy. Ironically, the development of its supplier base makes it even more imperative that China wean itself from export-led growth. Export-dependent industries now account for an increasingly high proportion of China’s economic growth, thus making the economy more vulnerable to shock in external demand or the exchange rate. We would strongly advise individuals not to base their China strategy on the presumption of a strong RMB. Moreover, absent a substantial expansion of domestic demand in the next few years, a Chinese growth recession will morph from a possibility into a probability.

Edward Klaff is a Boston-based economist.

Chinese Communist Party Keeps Falun Gong a Top but Secret Issue

The Chinese Communist Party has kept the Falun Gong issue at the top of its agenda and accused the United States and other Western countries of supporting Falun Gong for purpose of political penetration and the peaceful transformation of China. The Communist Party acknowledges that there are a lot more Falun Gong practitioners in China than what the Chinese media have previously reported. The Communist Party has directed the Chinese media not to report this specific Party directive.

The following is the translation of an excerpt of the meeting minutes of a December 2006 Party meeting of the Zaozhuang City Communist Party Committee, Shandong Province. [1]

At the December 2006 meeting, the Party Secretary of the Zaozhuang City Communist Party Committee, Liu Yuxian, briefed the attendees about an earlier Shandong Provincial Party session that senior Party leaders of Shandong Province attended. Liu was appointed Party Secretary in September, 2006. [2]

"Today I will discuss six issues. The first issue is related to our struggle against Falun Gong. The provincial Party leaders have relayed the document from Central Committee’s Office to Handle the Issues of Falun Gong. When our media report about today’s meeting, please do not report this issue. Just keep it among those who are present here." [3]

"About Our Struggle against Falun Gong

"At the meeting of leading cadres at the Provincial Party Committee, we were briefed about the directive on the struggle against Falun Gong issued by Central Committee’s Office for Handling the Issues of Falun Gong. That document is circulated down to the Party Committees at prefectural city levels only. But I thought it is not enough just for few of us to hear about it. Although we are not allowed to read the confidential document here, I want to talk to you all about the main spirits of the document. After all, this plan will depend on comrades at the grass root level to implement it. Our struggle against Falun Gong is a serious political struggle. The reason that it has been brought up again is that western hostile forces led by the United States are using Falun Gong as a political instrument to implement their ideological and political penetration and peaceful transformation of China. The Western hostile forces led by the United States believe that Falun Gong can truly be considered as a political force, not those secret elements overseas from the past, which gradually became untenable. Recently, Falun Gong in foreign countries has issued the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. I saw the Nine Commentaries when I was in Thailand and Singapore. In fact they just want to oust the Communist Party—they criticize the Communist Party this and that—all are rumors. Western hostile forces have used Falun Gong as a political tool. Why do they use Falun Gong and Taiwan’s Independence? To change the nature of our state power, change the color of our country or Party, and to drive the Party out of power. Our struggle against Falun Gong will be a long-term, complicated and arduous battle. Why is it long-term, complicated, and arduous? It is because the United States is behind Falun Gong, funding, supporting, and using it. The United States is not going to give up its ambitions to subvert China. Meanwhile, you look around. Wherever there is unrest in the world, you will find the United States meddling there.{mospagebreak}(Regarding) the Taiwan issue. Chen Shui-bian in Taiwan has engaged in corruption. He is on the defensive. There are a lot of people trying to bring Chen down. Former leader of the Democratic Progressive Party, Shih Ming-teh, has led a group to bring Chen down. Chen had no alternative but to go overseas. Chen wanted to go to the United States but could not. So he went to Guam, which is under United States occupation—with the plan to create some publicity stunts showing that the United States supports him. The United States thought it might lose Chen, so it did not allow him to make public speeches or to accept media interviews. So you see, but for the United States’ meddling, we would have resolved the Taiwan problem long time ago. You look at the issues of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula—the United States is meddling with them all. For the Falun Gong issue, the United States is also meddling from behind the scenes. Therefore, we should speed up our efforts to expand and at the same time, keep cool and do an outstanding job in this fight against Falun Gong. We should prevent the U.S.-led Western hostile forces from using Falun Gong and Taiwan Independence in their effort to subvert our political power to accomplish their goal of toppling the Communist Party. Today, I mentioned this situation mainly to brief you about the spirit of the document issued by Central Committee’s Office for Handling the Issues of Falun Gong. Please keep it to yourselves. News media should not report it. We Zaozhuang have done pretty well in handling Falun Gong. There are about 310,000 true Falun Gong members in Shandong Province. The number the media reported to the public [with our permission] is over 170,000. Weifang has 68,000, Yantai 36,000, and our Zaozhuang has 25,000." [4]

The above minutes were posted at Wenmi Jiayuan (Home for Party Assistants) which is a popular website for Party assistants. The website contains a variety of writing samples. Writing samples posted are claimed to be most recent and original. [5]


[1] Shandong Province is the second largest province in China with a population of 91.8 million. Zaozhuang City is one of the 17 prefecture capital cities in Shandong Province and has a population of 3.6 million people.
[2] Xinhua News Agency, September 25, 2007
[3] Wenmi Jiayuan, December 20, 2006
[4] Same as above
[5] Wenmi Jiayuan

Xiao Tian is a correspondent for Chinascope. 

Annual Report Reveals a Hidden Front: Chinese Police Tasked with Suppressing Faith-Based Groups

The 2006 annual report [1] from the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau shows that the suppression of faith-based groups has gone underground—it has become the "hidden front." Internet censorship and control of social unrest continue to be the focus of Chinese law enforcement.

On December 30, 2006, the Hangzhou City Public Security Bureau posted its last quarter report on the Hangzhou government website, thus completing its 2006 annual report.

Four work and progress requirements were set at the beginning of 2006. The second one was to "further improve the quality and performance level in the fight against hostile forces on the "hidden front," to take strict precautions and resolutely crack down on infiltration by various hostile forces, to crush in a timely manner any activity that threatens our national security and social stability, and to proactively work with the relevant departments to enhance administration of religious places."

In the first quarter, while the "Two Conferences" [2] were being held at the national, provincial and city levels, the Public Security Bureau "increased the depth of surveillance and investigation efforts targeting hostile forces and Falun Gong and proactively conducted intelligence and information analysis." It "closely monitored and controlled the movements of hostile elements." Particularly, the Public Security Bureau identified 178 persons as key targets that may potentially pose threats. It successfully implemented control measures to keep Falun Gong and "pro-democratic elements" from staging protests in Beijing. Moreover, it "actively cooperated with relevant departments to further strengthen the city’s management of religious sites." It "closely monitored the Internet traffic of various hostile organizations and removed 5,032 pieces of sensitive and harmful web postings." It also "successfully handled 7 group incidents [3] involving 1, 330 persons."

In the second quarter, the first Buddhism Forum was held from April 13 to 16 in Hangzhou. The City Public Security Bureau "formed seven special task forces that pulled together all the intelligence through a comprehensive investigation of religious groups." The special task forces identified and filtered out unstable elements and applied tight surveillance." They "closely monitored Internet traffic of various hostile organizations and removed 5,534 pieces of sensitive and harmful web postings." They also "successfully handled eight group incidents involving 972 persons."

In the third quarter, the Public Security Bureau "closely monitored Internet traffic of various hostile organizations and removed 11,700 pieces of sensitive and harmful web postings," doubling the number from the second quarter. It "successfully handled 19 group incidents involving 2,233 persons."

In the fourth quarter, the public Security Bureau "removed 170,000 pieces of sensitive and harmful web postings." The 10-fold increase in the number of censored postings was achieved through implementation of three Internet censorship software programs. It "successfully handled 20 group incidents."{mospagebreak}


1. Hangzhou Government
2. "Two Conferences" refer to the Fourth Plenary Session of the 10th Chinese National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that were held in March 2006.
3 "Group incident" is Chinese official term for social unrest.

Joshua Lee is a correspondent for Chinascope.

News Reporting is a Matter of Politics, Says a Communist Party Directive

In November 2006, the propaganda department of a county Communist Party committee issued a directive on media controls. The directive affirms that news reporting is a matter of politics. "Media is the mouthpiece of the Party. "The Party should carefully guide public opinion by following "the principle of enhancing positive publicity, blocking negative reports, and handling sensitive reports with caution." The directive calls for implementation of a mechanism of censorship so that "no person shall collect and publish news reports on problems and hot issues without the approval of the County Committee’s Propaganda Department." Topics banned from news reporting include disparity of income, lawsuits against the Party and the authorities, embezzlement and anything that will "bring instability to our society." News reporting of international events must be consistent with that of the central government. Violators will be publicly reprimanded.

On November 27, 2006, the Propaganda Department of the Shaya County Communist Party Committee issued a directive entitled "Certain Measures on Tightening Up Media Propaganda Work Discipline."

The directive has since been posted on websites for senior assistants to Party leaders as a good writing sample.[1]

Shaya County is located in the Aksu Prefecture, south Xinjiang Autonomous Region, within the jurisdiction of Aksu Prefecture authorities. [2] Its Party propaganda department is under the Aksu Prefecture Communist Party Committee.[3]

The full text translation of the directive is as follows:[4]

Title: Certain Measures on Tightening up Media Propaganda Work Discipline

"News and propaganda work is political, carries enormous responsibility and is highly challenging. In our news and propaganda work, we should always uphold unity and stability, while encouraging a positive propaganda approach. We should firmly control the correct guidance of public opinion, maintain awareness of the overall interests and focus on uplifting spirit, boosting morale, unity, cohesion of power, and jointly establishing and maintaining Shaya’s public image. Following the principle of ‘enhancing positive publicity, blocking negative reports, and handling sensitive reports with caution,’ and to further tighten up news and propaganda work discipline, our county hereby issues the following regulations after research done by the Shaya County Committee Propaganda Department:

    "1. The news and propaganda staff shall strengthen their political ideas [i.e. follow the Party line], professionalism, morality and civility. From the perspectives of politics, righteous trends, overall interests, discipline and civility, such staff shall correctly understand the seriousness of news and propaganda work, eliminate negative news reports and consciously safeguard Shaya’s overall public image.{mospagebreak}

    "2. Institutionalize a mechanism to review, examine, and approve news reports to prevent capricious reporting. No person shall collect and publish news reports on problems and hot issues without the approval of the County Party Committee’s Propaganda Department.

    "3. Implement a news reporting system for newsgathering. When media from various units come to interview, particularly media units from higher levels coming to investigate, we should not just inspect their press cards and other relevant documents but also provide a warm reception. The first person contacted must report the soonest to the leaders of the County Party Committee’s Propaganda Department so that a proper preparation may be made in a timely manner.

    "4. Correctly treat and handle the monitoring function of the media. Must take seriously the interviews from the media and approach them appropriately…. Guide interviewers in recognizing the totality of the facts to change their perspective for the interviews so that the interviews will be conducted in the right direction.

    "5. Provide responses according to the Party line as approved by the upper level leaders, when the issues are related to overall, sensitive matters, and major events. When in doubt, consult [upper level leaders] in a timely manner.

    "6. Publicly reprimand those who fail to report promptly or warmly receive the public, behave rudely, and use inappropriate methods, which results in negative reports. Written self-criticism shall be required of such persons."

A Shaya County’s regulations on news and propaganda is attached at the end of the directive (see below).


[1];;;; and

Lily Qu is a correspondent for Chinascope.{mospagebreak}

Shaya County’s 30 Disciplinary Regulations on News and Propaganda

Shaya County Chinese Communist Propaganda Department

November 27, 2006

1. Exercise extreme caution when reporting on the reform of rural taxes and fees;

2. Exercise caution when reporting on college student loans;

3. Exercise caution when reporting on damage to human heritage and resources;

4. Exercise caution when reporting on animal epidemics;

5. Exercise caution when reporting on major catastrophes and accidents;

6. Absolutely ban the vulgar reporting typical of some media, tighten up control of tabloids and do not meet the low taste of readers;

7. Do not report on shocking violence;

8. Media reporting on international issues must be consistent with the position of the government. No reporting directly from online news;

9. Exercise caution when reporting on private entrepreneurs joining the Communist Party;

10. Do not report on lawsuits where the Party committees and government departments are defendants;

11. Strictly control any reports on examples of private businesses. Pay attention to providing guidance;

12. There shall be no media reports advocating private ownership;

13. Do not report on the polarization of the rich and poor;

14. Do not report on the embezzlement of donations to the Hope Project;

15. Resolutely stop the practice of paid news reporting;{mospagebreak}

16. Do not say media is the fourth power and reporters are uncrowned kings. Emphasize that the media is the mouthpiece of the Party;

17. Do not report that certain enterprises are not doing well after China joined the WTO. Report events that can boost our spirits;

18. News media shall not arbitrarily create hot topics and bring instability to our society;

19. Report accurately the college entrance exam results. Do not speculate or exaggerate. Do not hype the winners of such exams;

20. Do not report that our country eats the meat of dogs that are raised in western countries. It is because dogs are raised as pets in some countries. Such a report, if published, may offend them;

21. Absolutely ban false news;

22. No arbitrary publishing of articles with wrong viewpoints;

23. Exercise caution when reporting on reforms in news, publishing, and radio/film/TV broadcasting. Must comply with relevant regulations;

24. No publicity of incorrect views on newspaper publishing such as private investment in media and the so-called "media companies going public," etc.;

25. Do not publicize negative reports;

26. Exercise caution when reporting on banking and the financial industry;

27. Do not report pornography and murders (such as the eight vicious killings in Kaifeng City. The report was prohibited but still some media wanted to report it.);

28. Do not publicize private investigators;

29. Keep close control of advertising;

30. Exercise extreme caution when reporting on ethnic issues and, religious beliefs.

International Investigation Finds More Evidence of Human Organ Harvesting

In the March/April issue of 2006, Chinascope published a special feature article titled "China’s Organ Trade: Crime Under the Surgical Light." It may appear unimaginable that such an extreme human atrocity is happening on large scale while considerable increase in economic growth has taken place in China. The report below updates the new development in the latest international investigation of the organ harvest allegation.

Breaking News—Organ Harvest of Live Falun Gong Practitioners

On March 9, 2006, The Epoch Times, a Chinese language newspaper with global circulation, broke the news of a journalist of a Japan media that to his personal knowledge Chinese communist government maintains a concentration camp in Sujiatun, China, holding only Falun Gong practitioners.[1] On March 24, 2006, a second witness corroborated his statement and stated that the concentration camp was attached to a hospital harvesting detainees’ organs for transplants—while the victims were still alive—and cremating the bodies in an onsite furnace.[2]

In April 2006 Falun Dafa Associations and Minghui website founded the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) in Washington D.C. The Coalition invited two investigators, David Kilgour, former MP and Secretary of State for Asian Affairs from Canada, and David Matas, international human right lawyer, to investigate the allegations.

In July 2006, Kilgour and Matas published the results of a two-month investigation in which they implicated dozens of hospitals and jails throughout China in the transplant scandal, affirming large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for profit. Although 60,000 organ transplants were recorded in China from 2000 to 2005, sources for only 18,500 organs could be identified. The authors question where the rest of the organs came from and how that many organs could be found so readily in a country that traditionally prefers to bury its dead with the body intact.

Military Harvesting Organs

After interviewing organ recipients in 30 countries, Canada’s former Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific region David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas published the second report on January 31, 2007, entitled Bloody Harvest.[3]

China’s military has been harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners, for large-scale transplants including for foreign recipients, said the Kilgour-Matas second report.

"Recipients often tell us that even when they receive transplants at civilian hospitals, those conducting the operations are military personnel," the report states.

China International Transplantation Network Assistance Center website quotes a kidney transplant as US$65,000, a liver transplant US$130,000, a heart transplant US$130,000 to US$160,000 and a cornea transplant US$30,000.[4] {mospagebreak}
"The Organ Transplant Center of the Armed Police General Hospital in Beijing boldly states: ‘Our Organ Transplant Center is our main department for making money. This year (2004) there is a chance to break through 30 million yuan (about US$3.8 million),’ " said the Kilgour-Matas report.

Special Treatment to Class Enemies

Some question that organ harvest of Falun Gong practitioners are acts of state, believing it is the act of certain corrupted individuals.

Chinese communist government’s organ harvest of unwilling "class enemies" dated back to the notorious "Great Culture Revolution" in mid 60s of last century. As long as "revolution" needed, organs were taken, without consent.

Yu Luoke, male, 27, an apprentice at Beijing People’s Machinery, was arrested as "counter-revolutionary" because of his articles disagreeing with the Party line. He was executed on March 5, 1970. His corneas were removed before he was sent to be executed.

Li Lian, female, 18, a high school student was arrested and executed in 1970 as "counter-revolutionary" because of her doubts of the Party theories. On her way to execution she was pinned on the inside of the prison van, and her kidneys were removed without anesthesia. A high-ranking communist official was on the operation table waiting for the kidney.

This is how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) treats its people whom it deemed a threat. Organ harvest of Falun Gong practitioners that CCP vowed to eliminate came no surprise. The transaction of organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners is a merely an efficient and profitable use of a human resource that CCP would not want to see otherwise waste.

Eight Kidneys for One Patient

While conducting research in Asia, Kilgour interviewed a now 35 year-old man (name and nationality withheld) who received a kidney transplant at Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital in 2003. The man said that his surgeon was Dr. Tan Jianming, Secretary General of the Chinese Research Society of Dialysis and Transplantation. Dr. Tan also holds top posts in a number of Chinese military and civilian hospitals.

The patient suffered from a severe transplant rejection condition that made it difficult to find a suitable kidney. Over an eight-day period, four separate kidneys were brought to him and tested, said Kilgour. When none of those worked, three months later he tried another four—the last of which was a fit. The man was later transferred to No. 85 Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army to convalesce.
Dr. Tan told the man explicitly that these organs came from executed Chinese prisoners, and that at least some of the organs had been harvested secretly, against the donors’ will.[5]

The Organ Harvest Continues

Belgian Senator Patrik Vankrunkelsven from the Flemish Liberal Party carried out his own investigation into organ transplants in China in mid- November 2006. He called two hospitals in Beijing and presented himself as a patient in need of a kidney transplant.

"Now is a good time to come," the hospital staff said, according to Vankrunkelsven. "At the time of Chinese New Year we like our prisons to be emptied. After the New Year we startup again, but then of course the waiting time will be a bit longer." Both hospitals offered him a kidney on the spot for 50,000 euros.[6]

BBC broadcast a news piece on September 27, 2006, of an undercover investigation of the organ transplantation practice in China. The report disclosed that the sale of organs from executed prisoners appears "to be thriving." At a hospital in Tianjin, the BBC correspondent, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, posed as someone in need of a liver for his sick father. He was told he could obtain one in three weeks. The hospital spokesperson said the organs from the executed prisoners were donated freely, but the BBC correspondent wrote, "…whether prisoners really are free to make up their own minds on organ donation just before they are executed is not at all clear."[7]

Mixed Bag—Denials and Admissions

Since early March 2006 when the live organ harvest issue was brought to light, the Chinese communist government has been unusually quiet. The first response came toward the end of March denying the allegations and extending invites to international communities for a guided tour of the Sujiatun facilities. However, application from Kilgour/Matas or members from CIPFG to enter China for an independent investigation has been repeatedly denied.

On February 1, 2007, after the second Kilgour-Matas report, Chinese Foreign Affairs Spokesman Jiang Yu stated at a press conference in response to a questions on the report that "the removal of organs are carried out with written consent of the executed prisoners." [8]

On February 2, 2007, Global Times, an official Chinese communist government newspaper, published a more elaborate article denying the involvement of Chinese military. It quoted an unknown surgeon in Beijing. The surgeon allegedly said that those overseas patients who received transplants in China are "unconscionable" when they expressed concerns of the sources of the organs used in the transplant.[9] {mospagebreak}
Here are some examples of conflicts in Chinese communist government reactions:

On November 7, 2005, China Deputy Minister of Public Health, Huang Jiefu, admitted at a WHO conference held in Manila, Philippines, that organs are indeed taken from executed prisoners.[10]

However, on March 26. 2006, Qin Gang, Spokesman of China Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied at a press conference, "Information on China’s organ harvest from prisoners is a total lie." "It is a complete fabrication… to say that China forcibly takes organs from the people given the death penalty for the purpose of transplanting," said Qin Gang.[11]

On October 10, 2006, unnamed spokesperson from Ministry of Health commented via Xinhua, Chinese official news agency, on the September 27, 2006 BBC report on organ harvest, stating, "Certain overseas media are fabricating stories and are attacking maliciously Chinese legal system."[12]

Interesting enough, a month later in November 2006, China Deputy Minister of Health, Huang Jiefu, admitted one more time at a conference in Guangzhou that most organs for transplants are from executed prisoners.[13]

The latest statement came on January 11, 2007, from the China Health Ministry Spokesman Mao Qunan, who admitted, despite previous and repeated denials, that organs are being "harvested" from prisoners.[14] Mao managed to skirt the issue that this practice is extended specifically to Falun Gong practitioners.

United Nations’ Response

The numbers of organ transplants performed in China and the speed with which organs become available has also raised international concern about the source of organs.

In an interview with Profil Magazine (Austria), the United Nations Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on Torture, a Vienna human rights lawyer, Mr. Nowak said, "It is a fact that Falun Gong has been subjected to severe persecution since 1999. Equally indisputable is the quantity of organ transplants increased substantially at the same time when Falun Gong was first cracked down on July 20, 1999. Chinese medical institution also published data indicating 60,000 total transplant operations from 2000 to 2005." [15] Nowak thought the statement that organs came from voluntary donors worth investigating. "For religious and cultural reasons, rarely anyone in the Chinese society is willing to donate organs." To Huang’s argument that organs came from willing donation of executed prisoners, Nowak replied, "According to estimates by non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, there are 1,500-4,000 executions each year."

Amnesty International is carrying out its own investigation on the Falun Gong organ harvesting.[16] {mospagebreak}
Voices of Doctors

What, then, are the human rights responsibilities of the international medical and research community?

Over 20 transplant specialists at Auckland Hospital, New Zealand, issued a letter addressed to the New Zealand government. Among their recommendations is a ban on training Chinese doctors in transplant surgery until they can be assured that the skills will not be used to harvest organs from unwilling donors.[17] The recommendation appears to gain support in the U.S. transplant community.

According to a survey conducted by Dr. Scott Biggins at University of California, San Franscisco, over half of the liver transplant specialists surveyed would not participate in the training of physicians who intend to practice in countries with unethical procurement practices.[18] In addition, over 67 percent would support an embargo on scientific reports coming from countries with unethical procurement practices.[19]

Dr. Kirk Allison, Program of Human Rights and Health at the School of Public Health, Medical School, University of Minnesota issued a call on July 24, 2006, for professional associations to place a moratorium on research support and collaboration with transplantation in China. He also urged academic journals and educational venues to reject papers and presentations relying on data derived from practices violating standards described in Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association Ethical Principles Regarding Medical Research Involving Human Subjects[20] and international instruments.[21]

On August 14, 2006, the New York based National Kidney Foundation issued a statement regarding Kilgour/Matas July report. If these allegations prove true, it said, "they represent a systematic and widespread violation of human rights against thousands, or potentially tens of thousands, of innocent persons." "The National Kidney Foundation is opposed to any persecution of individuals because of their religious or political beliefs."[22]

On November 6, 2006, The Transplantation Society (TTS), a global body dedicated to the development of transplantation science, education and ethics based in Britain, issued a statement on the use of organs from Chinese executed prisoners. TTS is opposed to the recovery of organs and tissues from executed prisoners and from any other individual where an autonomous consent for the procurement is lacking," said the statement.[23]

Two major organ transplant hospitals in Queens land, Australia banned training

Chinese surgeons because of concerns raised by the Falun Gong group in late 2006.[24] {mospagebreak}

In the 1930s the first steps on the road to the holocaust were taken with the complicity of doctors.[25] For example, Nazi doctors provided supervision of Auschwitz mass murder starting from the notorious "selections" of arriving Jews, determining which were to go directly to the gas chamber and which were to live temporarily and work in the concentration camp. After the horrors of the Holocaust, one cannot simply brush off reports of heinous crimes against humanity. How can we guard against it happening again?

The investigation of organ-harvesting allegations has been very difficult. There is little direct evidence left of organ harvest of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners, because the bodies of victims are cremated and no word is given to family members of their disposal. The operating rooms where the killings and transplants occur look like any others. Yet, the picture that the Kilgour/Matas report pieces together bears the mark of veracity.

In an effort to expand the investigation and to stop the human atrocity, a coalition of Falun Gong supporters is calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing unless the Chinese government meets an August 8, 2007 deadline to allow an independent investigation of organ-harvesting allegations.


[3] Available at
[4] See price list at
[5] See F(a)(3) of the Report.
[7] Video at;
[10] Page 44
[13] See;; and;

[14] See
[15] Original at; English summary at
[19] Id.
[21] Expert Opinion: Mounting Evidence of Falun Gong Practitioners used as Organ Sources in China and Related Ethical Responsibilities.
[23] Transplant News, Dec, 2006
[25] Lifton R. J. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing And The Psychology Of Genocide, 2000

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