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Premier Wen Jiabao Meets with Diplomats to China of 10 Countries and Representatives of International Organizations, Declaring that the Chinese Government will Provide another RMB 500 million to Assist Countries Hit by the Earthquake and the Tsunami

2004/12/31

On the afternoon of December 31, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council held an emergent meeting in Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai, with the diplomats to China of 10 countries including Indonesia and the representatives of international organizations, declaring that the Chinese government will provide additional assistance worth RMB 500 million to the countries hit by the earthquake and the tsunami.

Wen said that not long ago the strong earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggered tsunami, inflicting devastating disasters to many countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, on behalf of President Hu Jintao and in my own name, I'd like to once more extend deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the countries and their people hit by the disaster and deep grief to the victims.

Went told the foreign diplomats that the disaster has hit all human beings. China is a developing country suffering frequently from natural disasters, and when we were in difficulties, many friendly countries extended support and help to us. Today your countries are inflicted by huge disasters which the Chinese people can feel deeply in our heart. The pains you are experiencing and difficulties you are facing touch the heart of each Chinese person. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Immediately after the outbreak of the disaster, the Chinese government provided related countries with assistance, dispatched rescue teams and set up a special task force composed of staffs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government departments and launched the emergency mechanism. Here, on behalf of the Chinese government, I solemnly declare that in addition to the existing assistance, we will provide additional assistance worth RMB500 million. Meanwhile, we are paying close attention to the developments of the disasters and stand ready to offer further help needed. We firmly believe that with the leadership of their governments and the support and help of the international community, people of the disaster-torn countries will surely overcome the difficulties, defeat the disaster and rebuild their home. I'd like to ask the diplomats to convey the good will of the Chinese government and people.

The foreign diplomats present at the meeting highly complimented the deep friendship and timely assistance of the Chinese government and people to the people of the disaster-hit countries. Aa Kustia, Indonesian Ambassador to China, said that the assistance materials including food, drugs and clothes provided and the medical teams sent by the Chinese government greatly encouraged the Indonesian people. Nihal Rodrigo, Sri Lankan Ambassador to China specially mentioned that he was deeply moved by the act of three Chinese students who went to the embassy to donate RMB200. Henk Bekedam, the WHO representative in China said that the quick and timely rescue efforts of the Chinese government indicated the deep friendship between China and the people of disaster-hit countries.

The ambassadors of Indonesia, Somali, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Tanzania and Kenya to China and the representatives of the WHO, the UNDP, the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), the World Bank and UNICEF in China attended the meeting.

Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai and Executive Vice-Minister of Health Gao Qiang were also present at the meeting.

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