The practice of using the organs of executed prisoners for transplantation has been going on since at least 1984 in China, and it has been treated as a state secret for most of that time. At that time the gov’t formulated a directive that formally legalized the practice, and prescribed specific instructions for keeping the practice from being exposed. No white clothes, no vans with hospital insignias, and guards had to be present during the operations. The first acknowledgement from Chinese officials came in 1991. For 28 years, the practice continued without much discussion in the Chinese press, and frequent denials from Chinese citizens. In 2005 however, the curtain was slightly pulled back once again thanks to China Daily, which featured a very brief acknowledgement of the practice. […]
This week we have two stories that represent big picture issues facing China. The first is that finally farmers are able to receive pensions. They will receive 55yuan per month (about $9). Even though that is a tiny amount of money, even in China, this is the first progress we have seen in this area. Prior to this policy, elderly farmers had to rely on their children for assistance. If their children did not provide for them their choice was between abject poverty and suing their own family. This elderly population is referred to as part of the “left behind” group that also includes children and to a lesser extent wives, due to the massive migration of laborers to the cities. Let’s hope this project […]
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