Wed, May 07, 2003 - Page 3 News List

PFP puts forward video-conference plan to fight SARS

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

PFP lawmakers yesterday proposed holding cross-strait video-conferences in an effort to join forces with China in the fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

"Video-conferences between cross-strait experts and medical practitioners will help give the anti-SARS efforts the best result," Legislator Kao Ming-chien (高明見) said.

Kao said that, by video-conferencing, medical officials from Taiwan and Hong Kong will be able to share in China's clinical observations of SARS while Chinese experts can benefit from their counterpart's advanced medical technology.

"Video-conferencing is the safest alternative for cross-strait cooperation regarding the battle against the epidemic as it takes away the face-to-face aspect of communicating," Kao said.

Kao's suggestion was seconded by Jeff Yang (楊家駿), director of Mainland Affairs Council's Legal Affairs Department who was invited to the press conference yesterday.

"The council endorses every proposal that will benefit us as well as other people," he told the lawmakers.

PFP Legislator Tsao Yuan-chang (曹原彰) said that he had been informed by contacts in China that the country is prepared to hold video-conference sessions with Taiwan.

Tsao added, however, that the Chinese expressed a wish to carry out the video-conferences with "non-governmental sectors."

Yang said that cross-strait collaboration against the SARS outbreak needs to be reinforced.

"Up until now, we've gone all out to provide SARS information to China," Yang said.

"But we need more sincere cooperation from our Chinese counterparts to help us get hold of the travel records in China of SARS," he said.

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