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Work with Red Cross to get boost

China Daily

China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, President Xi Jinping said during a meeting with Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC.

Xi said China is keen to contribute more to the international cause of humanitarianism by actively taking part in international humanitarian aid, providing help to more underprivileged groups of people and observing its international responsibility and duty within its capacity.

Work with Red Cross to get boost

President Xi Jinping meets with Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Beijing on Monday. Xu Jingxing / China Daily

Maurer said that the ICRC is also willing to further expand cooperation with China, which has made important contributions in the international Red Cross drive.

The Red Cross Society of China was established in 1904 and admitted by the ICRC in 1912.

Martin Unternahrer, communication coordinator of the ICRC's Regional Delegation for East Asia in Beijing, said cooperation between the RCSC and the ICRC "is nothing new", and it expanded after the ICRC established its office in Beijing.

Timely aid

After the earthquake in Lushan, Ya'an, Sichuan province, the RCSC gathered the identities of missing people and contact information of their family members. The ICRC created a webpage under its Restoring Family Links website and posted the information in both Chinese and English. It also asked the public with information about the missing people to contact the RCSC.

As another example, Unternahrer cited an orthopedic center the ICRC is jointly running with the RCSC in Kunming, Yunnan province, which was established in 2002 to provide local people with prosthetic limbs.

Maurer praised the RCSC's contributions in promoting international Red Cross exchanges and helping establish platforms for aiding African countries, Xinhua reported.

The RCSC has been target of public criticism in China due to a series of scandals, including one involving a woman who referred to herself as Guo Meimei and posted photos of expensive possessions online, leading some to speculate that she was embezzling from the RCSC, according to previous media reports.

Since the scandal, the RCSC has made efforts to improve its image, such as setting up an independent social supervision committee to audit its charity donations and publish reports on the results of the audit.

It will be a great pity if the RCSC's efforts are blanketed by criticism, said Martin Faller, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies East Asia Regional Delegation, adding that the RCSC responded by sending 25 teams and more than 400 workers and volunteers, as well as disaster relief materials, to the quake zone.

Li Xiaokun and Xinhua contributed to this story.