NewsResearch projects involving humans and animals in China are...

Research projects involving humans and animals in China are more closely supervised for ethical matters


China, which has been dubbed the Wild West of science and technology research by some, has issued new guidelines to improve the ethics review process for experiments involving humans and animals.

Two years after He Jiankui was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $471,000 for creating the world’s first gene-edited babies, China has taken an important step toward improving ethics oversight in the country.

The General Office of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council’s General Office released new guidelines on Sunday to “strengthen the research on relevant laws in key areas like life sciences, medicine, and artificial intelligence” by 2025, Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday.

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A “scientific, independent, just, and transparent” committee must be established by institutions to review research involving humans and animals in accordance with the mandates of this regulation. University curriculums are urged to include relevant courses in which students can gain a solid foundation in ethical reasoning and conduct.

Authorities in China are tasked with encouraging universities, medical organisations, social groups and various businesses to improve their monitoring and early warning mechanisms for ethical risks and follow up on new developments in science and technology in accordance with guidelines.

Additionally, it urged countries to conduct ethical reviews and oversight of international collaborative research projects in order to ensure that the ethics approach is followed by all countries involved.

In light of the backlash generated by the gene-edited baby scandal and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for social scoring and mass surveillance, Beijing’s guidelines reflect an effort to exert greater control over various scientific research and development activities.

The Chinese government is trying to keep up with developments in controversial research activities such as gene editing, facial recognition, and animal testing by enacting new regulations.

Two prominent Chinese bioethicists have urged the government to protect the world’s first gene-edited babies, the result of an experiment that has been widely criticised around the world. Their recommendation was to set up a “research and care organization” and allocate funds for the three children.

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In October of last year, the Chinese government issued its first set of guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. By 2030, China aims to be the world’s leading AI powerhouse, and this policy places a high priority on protecting user rights and preventing risks.

Technology has been James's passion for over a decade. After graduating from the University of Chester with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 2006, started writing full-time shortly after. Over the years, he has worked on everything from Windows XP to Red Star OS, but more recently has settled into the Apple ecosystem. A regular contributor at, James writes about iOS, macOS, and Apple hardware.


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