China / Hot Issues

Red Cross: Focus on quake, not scandal

By SU ZHOU ( Updated: 2014-08-04 11:23

With Beijing police having ruled out any link between China's Red Cross and a self-confessed criminal, the Chinese Red Cross Foundation is calling for attention to be paid to the Yunnan earthquake rather than the earlier scandal, China News Service reported.

The CRCF published several micro-blog posts online, saying it is very hard to eliminate the influence of rumors and doubts from the past three years, but in a key time of earthquake rescue work, "please forget Guo Meimei".

In mid-2011, a young woman named Guo Meimei used social media to claim she was a manager of an organization under the charity, and openly flaunted her wealth and extravagance.

Her posts triggered concern over how donations are used by the country's State-run charitable organizations and dealt a major blow to the reputation of the Red Cross Society of China. The RCSC has been struggling to win back trust since the scandal.

Guo was arrested for participation in illegal World Cup gambling activities on July 10. She confessed her crimes to the police, including being deeply involved with illegal gambling and spreading rumors about the RCSC, Xinhua News Agency reported.

"Actually, none of my relatives and friends, including my ex-boyfriend Wang (Jun) were staff members of the RCSC. I also didn't know anyone from the Red Cross," Guo said. "I made a huge mistake to gratify my vanity."

"I want to say sorry to the Red Cross, all of society, and especially to all the people who cannot get aid from the Red Cross (because of my false claims)," she said.

According to the police, Guo's wealth came from illegal gambling, a very few paid personal appearances and the sex trade.

The RCSC released a statement Monday morning, saying some institutions and people had made up rumors against the charity, which undermined the trust system in China, and pledged to fulfill its commission in a more transparent way.

The RCSC has 110 years of history, the statement said, and would keep improving its brand building capability, information sharing and management, and provide better aid for the public.

Yao Lixin, the spokesperson for the RCSC, said every citizen of China was a victim of Guo's deceit as "the case undermined charity activities and the whole trust system in China".

"We hope the result can not only bring justice to the RCSC, but also give all of society a chance to rebuild trust," Yao said.

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