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Red Cross slams mainland-Taiwan charity extortion report


19:03, April 22, 2013

TAIPEI, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan's Red Cross organization on Monday rubbished a press report that its mainland counterpart had demanded it pay a hefty "admission fee" before its volunteers could lend assistance in post-quake Sichuan Province.

The organization said the report is "misinterpreting, misleading and totally untrue."

Taiwan's Red Cross organization announced on Saturday that it will donate 5 million yuan (809,000 U.S. dollars) to the southwestern mainland areas rocked by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake earlier in the day.

It also said that medical and rescue teams are on standby to assist the mainland's quake relief efforts.

A report on the online Chinese version of the International Business Times (IBTimes) claimed that the mainland-based Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has told the Taiwan charity that the donation of 5 million yuan is a prerequisite before it lets rescue teams from Taiwan enter the mainland quake zone.

However, Spencer Chen, an official with the Taiwan Red Cross, told Xinhua in an interview, "The 5 million donation has nothing to do with the rescue teams' admission to the mainland."

The mainland Red Cross did contact its Taiwan counterpart, stating that it needed donations, Chen said, but it did not say that the donations are required for the admission of Taiwanese rescue teams.

Chen said he was interviewed via email by the IBTimes reporter, and had already pointed out some mistakes in the story before its release, asking the reporter to correct them. However, the writer still published the report with false information.

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