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Remarks by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at UN Flash Appeal for Earthquake in Haiti

2010/01/15

New York, 15 January 2010

Mr. Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for OCHA,

Thank you for convening this meeting and launching the flash appeal for Haiti. I wish to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, our deep sympathy and condolences for the heavy casualties and loss of property caused by the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. The Chinese government is also deeply saddened by the casualties suffered by the UN staff and peacekeepers in Haiti and mourns for the victims.The Chinese government highly commends the timely and effective response made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the relevant UN agencies in disaster relief. China will work in solidarity with the rest of the international community to provide support and assistance to Haiti to the best of its ability.

From a country prone to earthquakes, we feel strongly about the sufferings of the Haitian people in the aftermath of the earthquake. Despite the geographical distance between China and Haiti, the Chinese government reacted immediately after the earthquake.

On January 12, right after the quake, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao instructed the Chinese departments concerned to make speedy preparations for the relief efforts in Haiti. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sent a message of condolences to Haitian Foreign Minister Alrich Nicolas.

On January 13, the Chinese government sent a 60-member rescue team to Haiti, which started disaster relief immediately after its arrival. The team is carrying out search and rescue efforts at the headquarters of MINUSTAH, and its subsidiary medical teams have set up several floating medical stations in Port-au-Prince.

On January 13, the Red Cross Society of China decided to donate one million US dollars to Haiti.

On January 15, the Chinese government announced its decision to provide 30 million yuan (about 4.4 million US dollars) worth of humanitarian emergency supplies to Haiti. The two charter planes loaded with the first batch of 90 tons of supplies, including medicine, tents, portable emergency lights, water purification equipment, food, drinking water and clothes, will depart for Haiti on January 16 Beijing time. In addition, the Chinese peacekeeping police working for MINUSTAH are also fully engaged in the relief efforts on the ground.

The Chinese government will closely follow the developments of the disaster in Haiti, and will provide its further response to the flash appeal of the United Nations.

Thank you, Mr. Under-Secretary-General.

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