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Don't reject China's skin donations for burn victims: DPP heavyweight

Don't reject China's skin donations for burn victims: DPP heavyweight

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) An opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politician said Wednesday that if skin donations are offered by China to help treat the hundreds of victims of a flash fire last weekend, Taiwan should not reject the offer. The issue of skin donations is a humanitarian matter that calls for professional assessment, Frank Hsieh (???), a former premier and DPP chairman, said at a party meeting "So don't say that if the skin is from China we should turn it down," Hsieh said in response to a DPP spokesman's speculation that China may be working with the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to provide cadaver and artificial skin to help treat the hundreds of mostly young victims of the flash fire at Formosa Coast Water Park. At the meeting, DPP spokesman and former legislator Cheng Yun-peng (???) raised the question of why KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) was in contact with China over the supply of artificial and cadaver skin, as local hospitals struggled to cope with the need for skin grafts. Chu said he had asked his special advisor, former deputy minister of mainland affairs and vice chairman Kao Koong-lian(???) of the Straits Exchange Foundation, to forward his request to the Chinese authorities. In Tianjin, China's Taiwan Affairs Minister Zhang Zhijun(???) told reporters that his government was willing to share China's expertise in treating burn patients. "We hope all the necessary medical assistance can reach Taiwan as soon as possible," Zhang said. Cheng, however, expressed skepticism over China's quick offer, saying that medical assistance is a "highly professional matter" that should be handled by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. "I don't understand why Chu is making such a specific request to that specific body at this moment," Cheng said. But while Hsieh agreed it is a professional issue, he said a downright rejection of an offer of skin donations by China would be unwarranted. Hsieh and Cheng were attending a DPP conference on beefing up the capabilities of DPP-led local governments to be able to better handle emergencies like the water park fire in New Taipei, whose mayor is Eric Chu. DPP Chairwoman and 2016 presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (???) said the party was not aiming to criticize anyone or any local government, and there was no need to politicize such matters. "What we're doing here is looking at any deficiencies in our local governments' emergency rescue and medical systems, and coming up with solutions," she said. After the discussion, she said the party had concluded that there was a need for updated contingency plans for large public places, regular safety drills, improved risk management and emergency evacuation programs, and a system to identify the most urgent cases in the event of a disaster. "We must be alert to what could be done if such an incident were to occur in eastern or southern Taiwan where medical resources are scarcer than in northern Taiwan," she said, referring to the DPP strongholds in southern Taiwan. (By Sofia Yeh and S.C. Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-23 22:55 GMT+08:00