Red Cross Society of China

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Red Cross Society of China

The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) (中国红十字会), the only national Red Cross society in the People's Republic of China, is a humanitarian social relief organization.

Founded on March 10th 1904, the RCSC has been involved in assisting wounded soldier, helping the refugees in times of conflict and providing assistance to disaster victims. The RCSC aslso supports whenever possible relief activities in other countries and regions. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, with the support of the Central Government , the RCSC was reorganized in August, 1950 and reclaimed its legal membership in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The RCSC has been contributing a lot to assisting the Government in implementing the Geneva Conventions, supporting the state development and improving the people's health. In 1993, the Standing Committee of National People's Congress officially promulgated the Red Cross Law of the People's Republic of China, which provides legal protection to the Chinese Red Cross and its work. The Red Cross of Hong Kong and Macau became highly autonomous branches of the RCSC in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

The logo of the Red Cross Society of China

Since China started its reforms and opening up policies in 1978, the RCSC has moved into a continuous and rapid development phase. Red Cross branches at different state administrative levels were restored or built up. At present, branches at the Special Administration Region of Hong Kong and of Macau, and 70,000 grassroots units, claiming a total membership of 20 million people.

The RCSC has developed its activities in the humanitarian field with the support of the Government and the community. Its Disaster Preparedness/ Disaster Relief network has been initially set up, and the establishment of a computer network has greatly improved its operational capacity and emergency responds and relief. From 1987 to 1999, many serous major dissters occurred in China. The RCSC had carried out relief activities, raised more than RMB 2 billion in cash and in kind donations, and contributed to protecting victim's lives and health.

Since 1982, in collaboration with the Government, the RCSC has made great efforts in advocating and promoting non-remunerated blood donation. At the end of 1997, the Standing Committee of the China's National People's Conference which ensures the status and role of the RCSC in the blood donation program, and also symbolized the beginning of the non-remunerated blood donation system in China.

The Red Cross Society of China has always been maintaining a good cooperative relationship with the International Committee of Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and many other national societies. It also actively supports other sister national RC societies. From 1985, the RCSC was elected for two terms as a member of the Federation Governing Board and once as Vice President.

The RCSC 7th National Convention in 1999 was a very important conference in the RCSC history. State President Jiang Zemin was invited again to serve as the Honorary President of the Society, and Mmd. Peng Peiyun, the Vice Chair person of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress was elected as the President of the RCS. The 7th Convention also adopted the Strategy Work Plan 2000 – 2004 of the Red Cross Society of China.

In the new century, the RCSC will further the dissemination, advocacy and implementation of the Red Cross Law of the People's Republic of China. The National Society will focus on the four major tasks of disaster response and preparedness, first aid training, community service and the dissemination of the International Humanitarian Law and RC Movement knowledge, In addition it will strengthen three strategic directions of human resources development, information and advocacy, fund-raising and income generation, In co-ordination with the social spiritual civilization building and social security system, the RCSC has developed disster relief, healthe care and community service projects, to build up a Red Cross course with Chinese characteristics.

The Red Cross Society of China will firmly abides by the seven Fundamental Principles of the Movement: Humanity, Impartiality,, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality and continue to work hard to increase its contribution towards the well-being of the Chinese people and towards world peace and progress.

In 2011, the society is involved in a scandal sparked by a woman's weibo (China's equivalent to twitter). The woman known as "Guo Meimei", her online registered name, flaunted her wealth with the pictures of her luxurious sports cars and handbags while claiming herself the general manager of Red Cross Commerce at age of 20 at that time.

Her showing-off has greatly dented the credibility of the RCSC among the shocking public and forced the society to take pains in rebuilding its reputation.

In Oct., 2012, Zhao Baige, the vice director of the RCSC, pledged to increase the transparency of the society in their ensuing management in a speech delivered in Nanjing and promised the society will tighten its monitoring over its subsidiary institutions.