Mainland ministry would supervise Taiwanese health body The Ministry of Health has put forward four measures to help Taiwan take part in the technical activities of the World Health Organisation. But it would mean the island's health body involved in the work coming under mainland supervision. Quoting a ministry official last night, the semi-official China News Agency said 'the Taiwan area' could take part in the World Health Assembly - the decision-making body of the WHO - as part of the Chinese team. At present, the Chinese team comprises members from the mainland, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Taiwanese experts could also take part in technical conferences organised by the WHO under arrangements made by the Ministry of Health, it said. The ministry could also arrange for the visit of WHO experts to Taiwan should the need arise, and it was prepared to allow technical co-operation between the WHO and Taiwan, after its approval was sought. In a separate report, the agency also quoted a ministry official as saying that Beijing would be willing to take part in talks to make Taiwan a member of the WHO's Western Pacific organisation. The reports elaborate on earlier reports in Taiwan about President Hu Jintao promoting the island's WHO participation during his historic talks with Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan. Yesterday, Mr Lien also told a luncheon with Taiwan's businessmen in Shanghai that Beijing would soon move to open its economy to some of Taiwan's agricultural goods and move forward on cultural exchanges. In his speech, he also criticised Taipei for maintaining obstacles to trade with the mainland. But he urged Beijing to cease obstructing Taipei's negotiation of free-trade agreements with other countries. 'Cross-strait economic co-operation still has several barriers. This can't be denied,' he told a local Taiwanese business group, citing Taipei's ban on direct trade and transport links with the mainland. Taiwanese companies face the risk of losing out to foreign firms, which have rushed to the mainland to take advantage of cheaper costs and tap the massive potential consumer and trade markets. 'Under this kind of environment, if we keep this attitude to prevent and stop [investment] we might suffer a negative impact,' Mr Lien said. Although Taiwanese companies had already pumped billions of dollars into the mainland, there was still room to develop in other areas such as financial services, management and the technology sector, he said. Following a meeting with Mr Hu last week, Mr Lien said he had secured the backing for a 'common market' with the mainland. But he added it could take decades to create. The ultimate goal was to achieve the free flow of personnel, capital and goods, he said.