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China donates US$60m more to victims
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-31 00:15

China will donate an additional 500 million yuan (US$60 million) in aid as well dispatching more rescue teams to tsunami-hit countries in Southern and Southeastern Asia and Africa, said Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (C) meets with envoys from the tsunami-hit countries in Beijing December 31, 2004. Wen said China will donate an additional 500 million yuan (US$60 million) in aid as well dispatching more rescue teams to tsunami-hit countries in Southern and Southeastern Asia and Africa. [newsphoto]

"The catastrophe not only hit the people in those countries, but also harmed human beings as a whole," said Wen when meeting with diplomatic envoys from 10 countries surrounding the Indian Ocean and representatives of international organizations in Beijing.

On behalf of the Chinese Government and people, Wen expressed deep concern and sympathy to the people living in these countries as well as profound condolences for the victims who died in the disaster.

Besides the 500 million yuan (US$60 million) tsunami aid, China would pay close attention to the progress of the disaster and is ready to providing further aid, he said.

Being a victim of frequent natural disasters, China has received the humanitarian aid from friendly nations in the past, Wen said. "Chinese people could sense the same feeling as the people in those countries after the disaster," he said.

After the occurrence of the disaster, the Chinese Government immediately sent rescue teams, set up a special working group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments, as well as put in place emergency mechanisms, said the Chinese leader.

Jusuf Kalla (front right), vice-president of Indonesia, meets on Friday with the 35-member Chinese rescue team, which arrived on the same day in the North Sumatra capital of Medan. The team, headed by Zhao Heping (first left), deputy director of China Seismological Bureau, is to join the international relief efforts in Aceh Province, where more than 80,000 people were killed in the 9.0 earthquake-triggered tsunami. The team departed from Beijing on Thursday.[newsphoto]
Under the leadership of their respective governments and with assistance from the international communities, the tsunami-ravaged countries would recover from the disaster and re-build their homes, Wen said.

Indonesian Ambassador to China AA Kustia said the assistance of food, medicine and clothes provided by China as well as the medical teams has greatly inspired the Indonesian people in fighting against the disaster.

Sri Lankan Ambassador Devapriya E.N. Rodrigo said he was moved as his embassy received 200 yuan (US$30) donation from three Chinese students on Friday afternoon.

Though the donation is limited, the money given by the students equals millions (of yuan), he said.

On behalf of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Khalid Malik, the UN resident co-ordinator in China, thanked Wen for China's effort in assisting the disaster-hit countries and said a rescue system had been established in this region within the UN framework.

"China has set a good example (for others) by providing swift aid to the tsunami-hit countries," said Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative in China.

He expressed gratitude for China's support in organizing medical experts to the disaster-hit areas.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing also extended sympathy and cordial regards on Friday to the tsunami-hit countries during a phone conversation with his counterparts in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand on behalf of Chinese leaders.

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