|The Chinese Government Decides to Sharply Increase the Emergency Assistance to Tsunami-Hit Countries|
The devastating earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia resulted in a tsunami that inflicted heavy casualties and property loss to Indonesia, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and other countries. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao prioritized the issue and instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries to rescue and assist the Chinese citizens caught in the tsunami and provide aids to the people in the victimized countries. The first batch of relief goods and foreign exchange in cash offered by China has arrived to related countries.
On the evening of December 29, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing organized an emergency meeting jointly participated by leaders from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Health, the China Earthquake Administration, and the military in light of the latest development of the disaster and the instruction of the leadership. The meeting decided to sharply increase the relief goods and foreign exchange in cash to the tsunami-torn countries. The meeting also decided to take further rescue measures, including creating a team of 100 medical staffs on call who may arrive at the affected area within 24 hours according to the needs of those countries. The field hospital and the relief team of China International Search and Rescue Team (CISRT) are ready to go anytime. The Ministry of Commerce and related ministries will be responsible for the preparation and dispatch of the relief goods. The Chinese experts will participate in the International relief team to the Tsunami-hit regions organized by World Health Organization (WHO).
Gao Qiang, Executive Vice Minister of Health, Liao Xiaojun, Vice Minister of Finance, Wu Dawei, Vice Foreign Minister, Chen Jian, Assistant Minister of Commerce, and other leaders attended the meeting.