Foreign and Military Affairs

Wen says China willing to help quake-hit Japan

Updated: 2011-03-11 20:21
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BEIJING - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Friday expressed "deep sympathy and solicitude to the Japanese governmnet and the people" after a powerful earthquake hit Japan.

Wen, on behalf of the Chinese government, sent a message to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan that China is willing to offer necessary assistance to the country.

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Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi also offered his condolences to Japanese foreign minister Takeaki Matsumoto.

Chinese earthquake rescuers are prepared to go to Japan to join earthquake relief work if needed, director of the China Earthquake Administration Chen Jianmin said.

China's International Rescue Team has put its members, equipment, materials and medicines in place and are ready to depart for Japan at any time, Chen told Xinhua.

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan Friday afternoon and triggered powerful Tsunami. Nuclear power plants were shut up, traffic on the Shinkansen high-speed railway lines suspended and Narita International Airport closed.

"We are highly concerned about the earthquake in Japan and its consequences such as fires and building damages," Chen said.

He said early that the powerful earthquake will not affect the Chinese mainland "obviously," but most parts of the Pacific region should keep vigilant against a tsunami triggered by the quake.

Chen said Chinese seismologists are evaluating possible impacts on China's coastline after a massive tsunami had hit part of Japan.

"Experts believe that the coastal areas will embrace tides which will be less than 50 centimeters high, which would not cause damages," he said.

China's top political advisory body on Friday also sent its condolences to Japan and hoped that the Japanese people can recover from the disaster soon.

"We are deeply concerned with the well-being of the affected population and hope that they can surmount the difficult situation as soon as possible," said Zhao Qizheng, spokesman of the fourth session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"I still have vivid memory of the brave Japanese people who overcame the hardships after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995, therefore, I am confident that they can recover soon," Zhao said.

Qiu Lili, team leader of the Beijing Red Cross Blue Sky Rescue Team, told Xinhua that they have contacted the Japanese Embassy, expressing their will to help.