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Friday, 27 February, 1998, 11:36 GMT
China denies involvement in human organ trading

A senior Chinese government official has rejected allegations that China is involved in the trading of human body parts from executed prisoners, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

It quoted the unnamed official from Hainan province, in southern China, as saying that "any form of trade in human organs is in direct violation of Chinese law and is strictly prohibited by the Chinese government" .

The official's remarks were made in response to reports in the US media earlier in the week that two Chinese nationals suspected of attempting to sell organs from executed Chinese prisoners for transplant operations had been arrested in New York.

One of the men, Wang Chengyong, is reported to have told an undercover FBI agent that he was a former state prosecutor who had taken part in the execution of prisoners.

The official said that Wang had resigned from the Hainan Provincial Procuratorate in March 1996 and had had no further contact with his department.

He subsequently left the country.

"Medical institutions in Hainan Province have never engaged in any form of cooperation with foreign counterparts and personnel in the transplantation of human organs," the official said, quoted by Xinhua.

"The Hainan Provincial Customs Office has never detected or had a due cause to investigate a case involving the illegal shipment of human bodies to foreign countries," he added.

He said that the organs of executed prisoners could be used for transplant purposes only "under strict conditions" , and that the organ donation either had to be voluntarily approved by the prisoner in advance, or his or her relatives had to grant approval The official described reports on the transplantation of organs removed from executed Chinese prisoners as "fraudulent accusations" and "fabrications of false stories" , Xinhua said.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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