Yaan earthquake

Red Cross slated over Baoxing quake relief canvassing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 8:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 8:06pm

The scandal-plagued Red Cross Society of China has once again invoked public anger by canvassing for quake relief donations at one of the hardest hit areas struck by the 7.0-magnitude Yaan earthquake.

Financial news magazine CBN Weekly reporters took photographs of a Red Cross booth in Baoxing county and published them on an official account on a microblogging platform.

The photographs show a simple booth manned by two members of staff with a donation box with a Red Cross label. Also visible is a poster with a carelessly handwritten sign that reads, “Baoxing county Red Cross: 4.20 earthquake disaster relief donation booth.”

The CBN Weekly post said, “Setting up donation boxes to solicit money at the centre of the rescue operation – Baoxing county: what kind of act is that?”

Internet users also responded to the post. “Is this some kind of action art?” read one blogger’s comment.

The post was quickly picked up by the Chinese Red Cross Social Supervision Committee, a third-party supervisor set up to monitor the Red Cross Society of China.

“As Baoxing county was itself a hard-hit area, setting up a donation booth was inappropriate. The social inspection committee has demanded the Red Cross rectify this right away,” it said in a post on its microblog account.

The Red Cross Society of China’s reputation has been battered in recent years by a spate of scandals and rumours, raising doubts over the lack of transparency in the use of donations.

In Chengdu, as queues of people gave blood in the days following the earthquake, Red Cross volunteers asking for donations on the streets were largely ignored.