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Facts on Taiwanese Separatists' "WHO Gamble" and Cooperation & Exchanges on SARS Battle across the Twaiwan Strait (15/05/2003)
A handful of separatists inside and outside Taiwan Island have launched a campaign of "Taiwan's WHO Entry". Their latest movement includes calling for Taiwan's entry to the WHO as an observer. One of the arguments toyed by them is that Taiwan has been deliberately victimized in the outbreak of SARS by mainland China as it blocks Taiwan's access to the WHO resources. The accusation is totally groundless.

The truth is as follows:

The United Nations General Assembly resolution 2758 of 25 October 1971 decided to restore all its lawful rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. The 25th World Health Assembly, on 10 May 1972 decided accordingly to restore all its rights to the People's Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the World Health Organization. In a nutshell, the WHO is an international organization for sovereign states. Taiwan, as part of China, has no right to participate in this organization in any capacity.

In the fight against SARS, the central government of China has been paying close attention to SARS development since it was first reported in the Taiwan Island in March. Premier Wen Jiabao has instructed personally that information exchange on SARS prevention and control across the Taiwan Strait should be enhanced, and the Mainland should support and care the health and well-being of the Taiwan compatriots through concrete measures.  

Though no such request has been made to Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China by the Taiwan authorities, the relevant departments and social and health organizations of the Mainland have actively promoted the exchange of information and experience on SARS through non-governmental channels, which have achieved noticeable results. Meanwhile, the updated SARS information in Mainland is easily accessible to Taiwan people. A simple click on the web sites of the Ministry of Health and the Chinese Centre of Disease Control and Prevention would help them gain the latest information.  

Apart from information exchange, experts from Taiwan are also welcome to the Mainland to work with their counterparts in combating the disease. Dr. He Meixiang, the representative of the Taipei Medical Association has recently visited the Mainland for such a trip. A SARS expert team of the Mainland always stands ready to go and work together with experts in Taiwan, if requested by Taiwan authority or medical society.

At the same time, several Cross-Strait Scientific Meetings on SARS prevention and treatment have been convened. Dozens of medical experts from both sides of the Strait have contributed vigorously to the meetings, with a common goal to hold SARS epidemic at bay. Dr. Henk Bekedam, the WHO Representative in China, also attended a seminar with experts from both sides of the Strait last April.

On May 1, as requested by the Taiwan Association of Preventative Medicine, the Chinese CDC donated the self-made SARS diagnostic reagent knits to Taiwan for its trial.

Since the outbreak of SARS, all provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in the Mainland have designated hospitals with better medical service and facilities to treat foreigners and compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. The list of these designated hospitals has been widely publicized.

To sum up, the central government of China, at each and every moment, pays close attention to SARS development within the Taiwan Island and the health and well-being of the 23 million plus Taiwan compatriots.

Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China. Any sinister movement to push for Taiwan's joining of the WHO in any capacity would be strongly opposed by all the Chinese in the world.

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