Even though the parcels are frozen, they exude an unpleasant smell that quickly permeates her nondescript apartment in a small Northern Chinese town.
But pushing the plastic freezer box across the floor to her new-found customer, the woman, who works at a Chinese hospital, appears almost proud as she says: ‘Choose one. Please, choose one.’
Each of the bags contains a single aborted foetus; one of them is said to be of seven months’ gestation. The infants’ remains will be cut up into small pieces, dried, microwaved and then ground down into a coarse powder, to be made into tablets of an ‘alternative medicine’ that plays on centuries-old superstitions and folklore.
Each tablet, containing the infants’ flesh and bone, and possibly hair and nails, are believed by many to have fantastic healing powers which fight the ravages of ageing and are capable of defeating even cancer.
It is a sickening, cannibalistic and illegal trade that the Chinese authorities do not want the world to know exists.
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