Chinese Government Opposes Human Cloning

China opposes any experiments for the purpose of human cloning, but will allow "closely-monitored" embryo stem cell research for treatment and prevention of disease, the Ministry of Health announced Thursday.

This is the official announcement by the Chinese government on its stance on human cloning after a US biotechnology company claimed November 25 that it had created human embryos through cloning.

Meanwhile, some Chinese scientists have urged the country's lawmakers to quicken legislation on banning human cloning.

"China does not approve of, support, allow or accept any experiments in human cloning, and this stand is definite and clear," said the announcement of the ministry.

The research of embryo stem cells used to treat and prevent diseases will be allowed, "but has to be rational and done under effective monitoring," it said.

The ministry also urged that legislation concerning human cloning must be speeded up so that "the cloning technology can be developed healthily and used safely."

Chinese scientists also echoed their concerns over legal and ethical issues associated with the cloning technology.

"We need to develop cloning technology, but we have to be very careful and make sure that scientific exploration is carried out under strict experimental conditions and laws," said Kang Le, director of the Bureau of Life Science and Biotechnology, which is under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's top science think tank.

Li Lingsong, a professor of Beijing University, said the research of stem cells, including stem cells from embryos, should be supported.

"But the precondition is the researchers must follow certain internationally agreed-upon guidelines of ethics, and the research must benefit our society," he said.

Li called the move to clone human beings "irresponsible behavior" because it may bring about many unexpected problems.

"Human cloning must be banned, and Chinese scientists have reached consensus on it," he said.

(People's Daily November 30, 2001)

In This Series

Chinese/French Experts Urge Ban on Human Cloning

US Company Creates Human Embryos Through Cloning

China’s Cloned Goat Gives Birth to Twins

Scientists Announce Human Cloning Attempt

Cloning's Future: Complex Organs From Single Cells

China Opposes Cloning of People



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