Chinese Mainland to Offer All Possible Assistance to Taiwan People
The central government and the people around the Chinese mainland are very concerned about the health and welfare of the Taiwanese people and are willing to offer as much help as they can, said Health Minister Zhang Wenkang Thursday.

Zhang said at a press conference on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) "the Taiwanese people are our blood brothers, and blood is thicker than water."

The mainland is willing to cooperate with relevant international organizations to provide the necessary help for the Taiwanese people, he said.

Zhang said experts from the mainland are also ready to study SARS countermeasures and prevention with Taiwanese counterparts.

The communication channels are open, and it is very convenient to exchange information, he said.

Zhang said the claims by the Taiwan authority that Taiwan cannot get access to information and that the lives of the Taiwanese people are being neglected are unfounded and untrue.

The most important thing is to improve cooperation between the two sides across the Taiwan Straits and to take measures to effectively control the disease, he said.

"We hope that the leaders of the Taiwan authority no longer spread rumors with ulterior motives, or even use the disease as an excuse and in the name of human rights to try to enter the World Health Organization, which is only open to sovereign nations."

"This is very unwise and will not succeed," Zhang said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2003)