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China hopes Mexico understands its precautions against A-H1N1 flu

CHINA today defended its medical quarantine of some passengers who had traveled on the same flight with a Mexican man who was infected with A-H1N1 flu.

"The measures concerned are not targeted at Mexican citizens and there is no discrimination," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu in a press release.

"This is purely a medical quarantine issue," Ma said, adding China understood Mexico's concern over the rights and interests of its citizens in China.

Ma's comments came in response to Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano's remarks on Saturday. Espinosa said China's quarantine of some Mexican citizens with no symptoms of the virus was discriminatory and short of scientific evidence.

The Mexican Foreign Ministry had reminded Mexican citizens not to travel to China until it corrected the discriminatory measures.

Ma said China hoped Mexico would be understanding of the measures adopted by China and handle this matter objectively and calmly given the overall situation of jointly addressing the epidemic.

He also emphasized that China and Mexico were friendly countries and China attached great importance to diplomatic relations with Mexico.

"China is willing to enhance cooperation with Mexico and make joint efforts to combat the epidemic situation," said Ma.

A 25-year-old Mexican man, who arrived in Shanghai last Thursday aboard flight AeroMexico 098, was later diagnosed within A-H1N1 flu in Hong Kong.

The Mexican became Hong Kong's first confirmed case of A-H1N1 flu infection Friday. It was also the first such casein Asia.

All the 176 passengers and 13 crew aboard have been located and those who remained in China have been quarantined.

The week-long quarantine in Shanghai affected 68 people, including 48 passengers whose destination was Shanghai, seven who intended to go on to other destinations, and 13 crew members.


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