Home>Congress>Chris Smith: Forced Organ Harvesting in China – Examining the Evidence

Rep. Christopher H. Smith. (Photo: Office of Congressman Chris Smith.)

Chris Smith: Forced Organ Harvesting in China – Examining the Evidence

By Congressman Christopher H. Smith, May 12 2022 11:52 am

OPINION

In marking the centennial anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) last year, China’s State Council Information Office released a white paper titled “The Communist Party of China and Human Rights Protection – A 100-Year Quest.”

In this particular piece of government propaganda, the CCP claimed that [QUOTE] “for a hundred years, the [CCP] has always put people first, applying the principle of universality of human rights in the context of the national conditions.”

The sheer chutzpa of this statement, and the stark unreality of its claim, stands in stark contrast the everyday reality of what we see with our very own eyes and know to be true – a reality which today, shows Shanghai apartment dwellers, under the guise of Xi Jinping’s Zero-Covid policy, being subjected to unprecedented neglect, mistreatment, and abuse.

Indeed, one could rewrite that statement to say that “for a hundred years, the [CCP] has always put people last, standing the principle of universality of human rights on its head by cynically and cruelly using people as a means to an end.”

Indeed, nowhere is that principle of utter disregard for the dignity of the human person, and of using people as a utilitarian means to an end, more apparent than in the horrific practice of harvesting the organs of human beings, even before they meet the standard of brain death.

What compounds the shock to the conscience is not simply the execution of people declared enemies of the state, as if on order to provide certain organ to meet transplant needs, but that this is also an apparent form of punishment, and indeed a tool of genocide meant to cull minority populations deemed QUOTE “undesirable” by the State.

Thus we see religious dissidents targeted for harvesting, first and foremost the Falun Gong, whose peaceful meditation and exercise practices unfortunately make their organs desirable. They are declared an “evil cult” – othered – and thus fit for butchering.

We also now see bone-chilling evidence, which Ethan Gutmann will elaborate on, of Uyghurs and other Central Asian minorities roughly 28 years old – deemed the ideal age for organ ripeness by the Chinese medical establishment – subjected to comprehensive blood tests to find a cross-match for organ recipients.

Between 2.5% and 5% of these 28-year-olds in concentration camps disappear a year. That is the cull rate.

Sifting through the evidence, an independent body – an international tribunal sitting in London – has concluded that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.”  Those culled from the more than 1.5 million detainees in Chinese prison camps who are being killed for their organs serve a booming transplant trade that is worth some $1 billion a year.

We are fortunate to have as one of our witnesses today the head of that tribunal, Sir Geoffrey Nice.

Regretfully, despite the Chinese Communist Party’s claim of initiating reforms to the transplant system and reducing transplant tourism, troubling stories of abuse continue to come to light.

One of our expert witnesses, Mr. Matthew Robertson of Australian National University, will explain to us today the conclusions of a groundbreaking article he co-authored with Dr. Jacob Lavee.

Namely, nearly three thousand Chinese medical journal articles published between 1980 and 2015, during which time the Chinese government said it would stop procuring organs from executed prisoners, tell a different story – that doctors in China performed organ transplants without following the standard procedures for establishing brain death.

Their work, recently published in a top, peer-reviewed U.S. medical journal, is a testament to China’s egregious lies and violation of international standards and, indeed, the most fundamental standards of humanity.

Sadly, though this still shocks me, it no longer surprises me.

More than two decades ago, I chaired a human rights hearing in my subcommittee with a Chinese security official who testified that he and his other security agents were executing prisoners — with doctors, of course, there, and ambulances — to harvest their organs for transplant.

More recently, in this Congress, I along with my Democratic colleague Tom Suozzi, and Senator Tom Cotton with a companion bill in the Senate, introduced the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act to establish measures to combat forced organ harvesting and the international trafficking in persons to remove their organs.

These measures include: (1) establishing property-blocking and visa-blocking sanctions; (2) prohibiting exports of certain surgery devices to entities that are identified as being responsible for forced organ harvesting or related human trafficking; and (3) requiring the Department of State to report on these practices.

But more must be done and the fight must go on.

We in the West – in the medical field in particular – must examine our moral complicity in this most heinous of crimes.

Does the search for that elixir of immortality – the transplantation of new a new heart or liver or another organ that is failing – lead recipients to turn a blind eye to where such organs come from?

Why is there medical tourism to China?

Why are Chinese transplant doctors invited to conferences in the West?

Why, specifically, were Dr. Wang Haibo and China’s former Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu, invited to  conferences run by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, where a bishop named Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, gave a metaphorical benediction to the lies which they told regarding the state of organ harvesting in China today?

China’s organ harvesting industry is truly barbaric.

We cannot accept more excuses.

We do not want more false promises.

We need answers.

We need a concerted effort to stop this barbaric practice—not only in China, but also by its global enablers.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing your compelling testimony.

Christopher Smith, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,  has represented New Jersey’s 4th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981. 

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