Monday, August 2, 2021

China Taking Blood Samples of Children Without Consent From Parents

China has embarked on a project of collecting blood samples from school-age children without even asking permission from their parents. Collecting such data from children seems to be aimed at ensuring that every single person in China is trackable by authorities, whether they are young or old.

Collecting blood samples

In November 2019, primary and middle school boys from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region were reportedly made to provide blood by the local police. When inquired as to why blood samples were being collected from the children, the schools responded that it was being done to prevent children from getting lost or abducted.

However, the fact that samples were only taken from male children made the parents realize that the real purpose of collecting blood was something else. After all, if the program was truly aimed at safeguarding children, why weren’t blood samples taken from the girls? “Isn’t it the doctor’s duty to take blood? Why did the police do it?… No notice or written communication has been issued to parents. We felt very unsafe,” a parent said to Bitter Winter.

In the cities of Guilin and Guigang, around 17 schools have implemented the blood collection program. A shocking reason the schools gave for the program is that it was being conducted to find these children when they “commit crimes in the future.” Other reasons included the prevention of abduction, the issue of new ID cards, and the detection of drug usage. A notice issued in Jiangxi states that the biological data from boys was being collected as part of the seventh census as well as to issue 3rd generation digital ID cards.

(Image: meesh via flickr CC BY 2.0 )
One reason schools gave for the program is that it was being conducted to find these children when they ‘commit crimes in the future.’ (Image: meesh via flickr CC BY 2.0 )

Back in September 2018, a similar DNA collection campaign was conducted in Hubei Province. The aim was to set up a Y-STR DNA database of males, with at least five generations of a single household being covered. Though the reason given for the project was “population control,” experts believe that there might be something more sinister behind the campaign. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, points out that “population control” always has a component of eugenics.

“The regime wants to ensure ‘quality births,’… one way to achieve that is by tracing ‘who is related to whom,’ so authorities can eliminate those carrying recessive genes that produce birth defects… Mosher added that it makes sense for some Chinese authorities to target males, which studies have shown have a higher tendency to commit crimes,” according to The Epoch Times.

Face mapping

In Xinjiang, the Chinese regime has been collecting DNA samples from the residents with one of the aims being to use them to create an image of a person’s face. The technique, called DNA phenotyping, creates a rough image of a person, including traits like eye color and skin color that authorities might find useful during a manhunt. In the hands of the Chinese regime, the technology can be used for nefarious purposes.

(Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
The DNA samples can be used for DNA phenotyping, a technique that creates a rough image of a person, including traits like eye color and skin color. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

“Given the crackdown in Xinjiang, experts on ethics in science worry that China is building a tool that could be used to justify and intensify racial profiling and other state discrimination against Uighurs. In the long term… it may even be possible for the Communist government to feed images produced from a DNA sample into the mass surveillance and facial recognition systems that it is building, tightening its grip on society by improving its ability to track dissidents and protesters as well as criminals,” according to The New York Times.

The technology is being tested in the U.S. also. In 2015, a murder suspect was arrested through DNA phenotyping after a DNA analysis had shown the killer possibly had dark hair, brown or hazel eyes, and fair skin. Last year, Maryland police used the tech to identify a murder victim.

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Max Lu
Max Lu is an author who specializes in Asian geopolitics.

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