Anybody who really wants to understand China's attitude today would benefit from reading Chapter 5 of this excellent book:
According to this table from the WHO update of the 16h March SARS had nothing to do with China. No case officially reported - just some unrelated atypical pneumonia.
SARS clearly must have started in Hong Kong or Vietnam.
Anyway according to Chinese scientists these atypical pneumonia cases in China were Chlamydia pneumonia, which can be treated with antibiotics - no worry it's all under control.
Keep moving and check Hong Kong instead.
But to the very end Beijing tried to cheat its way through.
After agreeing to the WHO team visiting some key hospitals, Beijing started moving the patients out to other facilities or even moving them around in ambulances for the duration of the WHO visits.
Things only started improving at the end of April.
In all 5 months were wasted due to Beijing's obfuscation - all the way paved with reassurances of its honesty and transparence.