Communist dictatorships lack transparency, so if they don't want to be bound by the same ethical rules as everyone else, they won't be. Some in western countries gush about claims they make regarding solar power, for example, but only their CO2 emissions - highest in the world - can be verified from outside. 

It turns out their voluntary organ donation claims may be just as made up, and that is because the Chinese government is systematically misreporting data, according to new research.

A history of fraud and unethical behavior

In 2015 China promised the world they would no longer source organs from prisoners - their almost sole source previously. That was only after their was worldwide outcry when they were no longer able to hide the truth after scholars used statistical forensics on official Chinese datasets.

A new study, led by graduate student Matthew Robertson from The Australian National University (ANU), used the same method and found that, like Russian claims about how much of their food is "organic", it's clearly falsified. The numbers can't possibly be real.

"The figures appear to have been based on a simple mathematical formula, a quadratic function, which would be familiar to many high school students, says Robertson. "When you take a close look at the numbers of organs apparently collected they almost match this artificial equation point for point, year in, year out. They're too neat to be true. "These figures don't appear to be real data from real donations. They're numbers generated using an equation.

"It is difficult to imagine how this model could have been arrived at by mere chance, raising the distinct possibility that it was intended to deceive."

The study looked at data on voluntary hospital-based donated organs between 2010 and 2018 published by the China Organ Transplant Response System and the Red Cross Society of China. They found major anomalies with the datasets, with implausibly high ratios of transplants per donor and mismatches when the two sets of data were meant to be identical. Provincial and hospital-level data we examined also showed anomalies that are extremely difficult to explain.

"The implication is that it is highly likely the numbers the Chinese government have put out were not actually real figures created by actual organ donations, but instead generated by a simple mathematical formula," says Robertson.

The researchers also found the misclassification of non-voluntary organ donors as voluntary, which is highly suggestive evidence of data manufacturing and manipulation that could only have been done by human intervention. The patterns we observed in the data can only be plausibly explained by the falsification of official organ transplant figures.

Red Cross Society of China  has been neutered by the communist dictatorship

The China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS) forms the basis of China's current voluntary organ donation reforms, with every organ transplant allocated solely through it. 
But of course data from COTRS is not publicly available, it has only been published by government controllers twice - in 2014 and in 2017. The Red Cross Society of China is mandated to verify and witness every such organ donation, and it is unlikely China is allowing anything near that level of transparency, and data from the Red Cross Society of China was previously available on four websites, with three of the websites recently taken offline. 

Sir David Spiegelhalter, former president of the Royal Statistical Society in the UK, said, "The close agreement of the numbers of donors and transplants with a quadratic function is remarkable and is in sharp contrast to other countries who have increased their activity over this period... I cannot think of any good reason for such a quadratic trend arising naturally."

This means that even after the findings of the China Tribunal, led by the former UN war crimes prosecutor Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, not much has changed. The tribunal concluded that "in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims".

If they did not engage in organ transplant reform and instead continue to involuntarily take organs from prisoners, there is no reason to think their 2014 claims to President Obama that they might consider CO2 limits in 2030 are any more real. 

But the United Nations won't stand up to anyone, so they happily agreed to believe, and even made China part of the World Health Organization's transplantation task force, so Chinese surgeons could present at medical conferences again - even if they are continuing to violate worldwide ethical behavior.

"Now we have found that the data was simply made up, based on an equation," notes Robertson.