Monday, April 18, 2011

China Red Cross Clarified on Restaurant Receipts

A snap shot of a restaurant receipt was posted on the Internet by anonymous people. It showed Red Cross paid $1,600 (Y9859 RMB) for a meal on 2/28/2011 in a private club 'Hui' in Shanghai. No other information was revealed. Many Chinese netizens were shocked by the bill, and demanded an explanation as well as an investigation on government corruption.

The Shanghai Red Cross clarified on Saturday that the money was from its own operating budget, rather than from accounts of donations. Also, as many as 17 persons, including clients and collaborating agencies were involved, therefore the per person bill was not high.

To read the figures with perspective, Shanghai's local poverty line is $75 per month for urban and suburban residents and $55 per month for rural residents, or about $2 per day per person.

On the other hand, the Communists Central Propaganda Department argued, comparing to the per diem rate published by the US State Department for Shanghai was $131 for meals and $229 for lodging per day for government employees, the exposed dining expense was by and large within this range.

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