China, Vatican expected to form alliance to fight organ trafficking in B&R initiative countries

By Li Ruohan in Xi’an Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/22 13:55:16

China and the Vatican are expected to form an alliance to fight against organ trafficking and introduce China's experience to Belt and Road initiative countries and regions, experts said on Saturday.   

The Third China International Organ Donation Conference was held in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on Friday. According to organizers, around 1,400 Chinese and foreign experts attended the event.    

"Part of the mission this time is to link China's reform with Pope Francis's call to fight against organ trafficking and to form an alliance of the two sides to combat organ trafficking, the new form of human slavery," said Francis Delmonico, former president of The Transplantation Society and a Harvard Medical School professor. 

The objective is for the alliance to help implement China's model in other countries through the Belt and Road initiative, Delmonico told the Global Times.  

Delmonico, who was appointed to the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) by Pope Francis in 2016, said he is confident that the Pope is enthusiastic to see an alliance with China as its model of reform is illustrative of what should be done in other locations around the world. 

"If other countries along the Belt and Road routes could follow the model of China, it would be a very important part of the efforts to fight against organ trafficking and to protect human dignity," Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, also chancellor of the PAS, told the Global Times on Friday.  

The "China Model" features strong government engagement as a significant contributor to reform and progress, together with administrative and legislative efforts to help facilitate reform.   

"It is hopeful that China and the Vatican will have closer relations, as it should be. The two sides have mutual concerns on world issues, such as climate change," Delmonico said.   

There are still a large amount number of countries in the world that need to establish voluntary organ donation systems, such as India and Pakistan and some African countries. To this end, these nations could learn from China's experience, Huang Jiefu, former Chinese vice-minister of health and current head of China's National Human Organ Donation and Transplant Committee, told the Global Times on Saturday.   

After China banned the use of donated organs from executed prisoners in 2015, the country faced doubts from the international community about how far it could go in the cause. However, now, the world, including Pope Francis, speaks highly of how efficiently China has established a voluntary donation system in such a short time and expects it to introduce its experience to other countries in need, according to Huang.   

Currently, there are nearly 615,000 registered organ donors in China. According to a Xinhua News Agency report from Saturday, a total of 54,956 organ transplants have been successfully carried out as of September 9 of this year.   

Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, is expected to host an international organ donation conference in June 2019 to welcome more cooperation and exchange of experiences between China and Belt and Road initiative countries, Huang said.   

In March, a Chinese delegation attended an anti-organ trafficking conference held by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican in Rome. This was the second such event China had participated in following an event in February 2017.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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