Red Cross Society of China

Red Cross Society Of China

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Red Cross Society of China

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The Red Cross Society of China (中国红十字会) is the national Red Cross Society in the People's Republic of China.

Origins and history before 1949

The Red Cross Society of China was founded as the "Shanghai International Red Cross Committee" on March 10, 1904. It was established during the Russo-Japanese War. The founders of the Chinese Red Cross were a group of Chinese business and political leaders, led by Shanghai tea merchant Shen Dunhe. Shen chose to use the Red Cross aegis for his group because the neutrality provided by the Red Cross symbol allowed Chinese relief teams into the Manchurian war zones to aid Chinese civilians caught in the conflict between Japan and Russia. Shen created a Red Cross organization made up of wealthy Chinese and prominent Westerners living in China. This new Red Cross Society, supported by government officials, Chinese elites and Western medical workers provided aid to more than a quarter of a million people in China's northeast.

After the Russo-Japanese War, the Chinese Red Cross Society expanded exponentially, now providing peacetime relief as well. There was no shortage of natural disasters in China for the new group to work on. Floods, famine and fire were endemic in the first half of China's 20th century, along with the outbreak of civil war. The Society opened Red Cross hospitals in Shanghai and in other cities, while local Red Cross chapters blossomed throughout the country,...
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