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ARATS chief praises Taiwan charity for quake aid
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Chen Yunlin, chairman of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), has praised a Taiwan charity for its support to southwest China's quake-stricken areas.

Chen made the remark in meeting with Dharma Master Cheng Yen of the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation in the island on Thursday. He also conveyed appreciation of many mainland leukemia patients to the foundation.

Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the foundation is a volunteer-based welfare organization that operates in Taiwan and the mainland.

The foundation helped many mainland leukemia patients acquire donated bone marrow before the mainland established its own marrow donor program.

The foundation provided support and aid to the areas hit by the8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12 in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

Chen said people living on both sides of the Straits were compatriots in flesh and blood. They should take care of each other and have more mutual understanding, although many disputes still exist.

The master introduced the foundation's welfare development and its achievement and effort in environmental preservation. She also presented gifts to Chen and members of his delegation.

The meeting was part of Chen's visit to Taiwan.

(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2008)

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