On Feb 15, 2017, Global Times, a subsidiary of the People’s Daily, a Chinese media paper, published an interview with China’s transplant chief, Huang Jiefu. For the convenience of our English readers, we provide here a web link to an archived form of the original interview at https://archive.is/iewsh.
Title of the interview:
Global Times Exclusive Interview of Huang Jiefu: Top Official at Ministry of Health Describes Organ Transplantation in China in Detail
Pertinent excerpts of the interview with English translation follow below. Highlighting in bold is done by the editor.
Global Times: China has already cancelled the use of death row prisoner organs. Why is the transplant sector still the main target of attack for the anti-China forces?
Huang Jiefu: The Falun Gong evil religious organization has been attacking China’s human rights for over 10 years, and we only cancelled death row organs in 2015 – not many people know the true story. About the ‘live harvesting’ rumor, I’ve already stated many times that it’s ‘nonsense.‘ For over ten years now, Falun Gong have been making personal attacks and threats to many Chinese doctors, and quite a few doctors and hospitals receive threatening phone calls and text messages nearly every day. What needs to be emphasized is that the Falun Gong evil religious organization is mixing up “use of death row prisoner organs” with “live harvesting.” They don’t care whether or not China is using death row prisoner organs, and they care even less about the lives of millions of Chinese people suffering organ failure. They just want to politicize and demonize the Chinese transplant field.
Our use of death row prisoner organs before the establishment of a citizen organ donation system was an act of desperation to save the lives of patients suffering organ failure. When the citizen donation system was set up, we abolished this source of organs as quickly as possible. It’s just as I wrote to the Pope in a letter on February 4: “The mistake of a noble man is like an eclipse. When the mistake happens, others will see it; when the mistake is corrected, others will look up to him.”
Apart from that, the use of death row prisoner organs wasn’t China’s ‘innovation.’ In the 1990s when I visited Harvard, they showed me organ specimens that had come from executed prisoners. But because there were too many delays in the establishment of our citizen donation system, the use of death row prisoner organs truly became a target for Western hostile forces to attack China.
Global Times: Another hot topic during this meeting [at the Vatican] was “transplant tourism.” According to what you know, which countries do the most “transplant tourism”?
Huang Jiefu: As to each country’s accurate numbers, I am not exactly sure. But I know that American law and regulation says that 5% of organ donations can be given to foreigners for transplantation. That is to say, America uses the law to violate the global transplant regulation of “self-sufficiency” in the transplant field. Of course, given global opposition, they’re also revising it. In 2016, America performed 280 organ transplants for foreigners, far more than the 5% limit. Apart from that, many organs in America do not come from citizen voluntary donations. Some groups, for instance poor people and refugees, will, for their livelihood, come to America and sell organs. So America is the most rampant organ trafficking country in the world.
The interview has also been copied in several other Chinese news media, like e.g. at lfeng.com: https://archive.is/VRESD