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Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Holds a Phone Conversation With British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

2003/05/07
On the afternoon of May 6, 2003, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held a phone conversation with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw by request.

Straw, on behalf of the British government, expressed sympathy and support for the Chinese people's fight against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and praised the measures taken by the Chinese government. Straw said Britain has decided to offer 5 million US dollars in aid to China and is willing to consider more assistance.

Li expressed his appreciation for the British support for China's prevention and treatment work against SARS and for the letter of sympathy sent from Britain previously. He said that the SARS epidemic, a mysterious new disease, is gravely threatening the human beings' health and safety. Adopting a highly responsible attitude, the Chinese government has been giving priority to the lives and health of the people while confronting the emergency.

Li said China attaches importance to international and regional cooperation in the struggle against SARS, and China has conducted positive and effective cooperation with the World Health Organization and that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attended a special China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit meeting on SARS during which he put forward detailed suggestions for cooperation. China is ready to cooperate with other countries, including Britain, to learn from their experiences on how to cope with, monitor, prevent and treat infectious diseases.

The two foreign ministers agreed on the necessity for the two countries to enhance consultation and communication on international affairs, including the Middle East issue, the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Iraq issue.



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