China condemns terrorism, offers aid to Russia
Top Chinese leaders strongly condemned terrorist acts in Russia on Wednesday and decided to provide aid to Russia to help the those affected by the hostage tragedy.
Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message Wednesday to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin strongly condemning last week's "atrocious terrorist acts" in the hostage-taking crisis in southern Russia. Premier Wen Jiabao also condemned the hostage-taking of civilians in Russia's North Ossetia and extended his support to the Russian government.
In the message, conveyed by Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang, Hu also expressed his deep condolences over the killing of innocent adults and children in the tragedy and offered his sincere sympathies to relatives of the victims.
To show China's sympathy and support, the Chinese government is making available goods worth 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) to assist those affected by the tragedy, he added.
Hu reiterated that China firmly supports Russia's efforts to maintain national unity and territorial integrity, and to protect people's life and property.
The president also expressed China's willingness to strengthen cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism to safeguard peace, safety and stability in the region and the world as a whole.
Hu said he believed that under the leadership of President Putin, the Russian people will overcome any obstacle to rejuvenate the nation and achieve prosperity.
Some 30 heavily-armed terrorists seized a school in Russia's southern republic of North Ossetia last Wednesday, holding about 1,000 children and adults hostage for over 51 hours.
The crisis ended in a chaotic climax when terrorists set off explosives and the security forces moved in to seize the gymnasium of the school held by the terrorists.
Scared children, most of them wounded and half naked, dodged the bullets and fled the school building. At least 350 dead and hundreds wounded.
Also, Premier Wen Jiabao condemned on Wednesday the hostage-taking of civilians in Russia's North Ossetia and extended his support to the Russian government.
The premier said in a telegram to his Russian counterpart Mikhail Fradkov that the Chinese government strongly condemns this terrifying atrocity and persistently supports the efforts of the Russian government to maintain national security and defend justice and peace.
Wen also expressed his willingness to work with the Russian government to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism in order to maintain peace in the region and the world as a whole.
In the terrorist attack by some 30 gunmen on a Beslan school in North Ossetia from Wednesday to Friday, some 1,000 children and adults were taken hostage and over 350 people were killed.