The Chinese leaders have always given top priority to the health and safety of foreigners living and traveling in China, same as to the Chinese people, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Beijing Monday.
Li made the remarks while meeting with Eleih-Elle Etian, head of the foreign diplomatic mission and Cameroon ambassador to China, and other foreign diplomats. He briefed them on the latest situation of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in China and on the preventive measures adopted by the government.
Li said General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao had issued instructions on SARS prevention for many times. They always put people's safety and health as a top priority, and it was the same for foreigners in China.
In line with the instructions of the Chinese government and leaders, the Foreign Ministry had adopted a series of measures to protect foreigners in China from SARS.
These measures included delivering brochures about SARS to foreign agencies, briefing them on SARS situation and preventive measures, and asking relevant departments to designate hospitals for foreigners and set up hotlines, including one specially for all foreign diplomats in Beijing.
The ministry also required all local foreign affairs offices to cooperate with the relevant departments and well prepare for SARS prevention work among foreigners.
In Beijing, the service bureau for foreign diplomats had undertaken the task to completely sterilize the embassy areas and the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse has also strengthened the sanitation and sterilization work in the residences of foreign guests.
On behalf of all foreign diplomats in China, Etian expressed his appreciation for Li's briefing on the latest SARS situation and spoke highly of the preventive measures adopted by the Chinese government. He said all countries were willing to join with China to combat SARS.
(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2003)