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The Delegation of the Chinese Government with the Mission of Offering Condolences and Taking Stock of the Situation in Countries Hit by the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami Visits Maldives

2005/01/11

From January 9 to 10, 2005, the Delegation of the Chinese Government with the mission of offering condolences and taking stock of the situation in countries hit by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami visited the Republic of Maldives. Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Sun Guoxiang and other officials of the Chinese Embassy accompanied the delegation to Maldives.

During the visit, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of Maldives met the delegation. Head of Delegation and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wu Dawei indicated that the Chinese government and people were deeply sympathetic over the occurrence of the tsunami disaster to the Maldivian people and concerned about the situation, saying that this visit to Maldives is, according to the instructions of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, just to take stock of the needs of Maldives for international assistance so as to effectively carry out the assistance pledged by the Chinese government to help the Maldivian friends out.

Gayoom said that this tsunami disaster brought tremendous trauma to Maldives. The assistance offered by the Chinese government and people is as timely as charcoal in snowy weather, and the power generators, tents, drinking water and food are just what Maldives is in dire need. The visit by the delegation reflects the sincere friendship borne by the Chinese government and people, for which Maldives is deeply indebted. Maldives will well utilize the assistance provided by China and believes that Maldives will surely rebuild the homes with the support of the international community, including China, and the concerted efforts of the Maldivian people.

On January 9, the delegation also met Maldivian Foreign Minister Fathulla Jameel, Minister of Planning and National Development Hamdun Hameed and relevant officials of Maldivian National Disaster Management Center. The delegation carefully studied the disaster situation in Maldives and held discussions with the latter on how to make use of the assistance rendered by the Chinese government.

On January 10, the delegation made a special trip to Genmendhoo Island that was most severely hit by the tsunami in Maldives to review the aftermath of the disaster and visited the disaster-hit people there. Architectures on the island have been totally wiped out by the tsunami, with 8 residents killed, including 4 children, and over 400 displaced. Vice Minister Wu expressed condolences to the disaster-hit residents. He said that despite the long distance between China and Maldives, the Chinese people are deeply concerned about the difficulties the Maldivians are in and have not forgotten them. The Chinese government and people will provide assistance to them within available resources. The residents expressed their gratitude to the Chinese friends for the friendship with a thunder-like applause.

During the visit, the delegation also visited all the staffs of Shanghai Construction Group who are undertaking the Chinese assistance project in Maldives. The company also suffered losses from the tsunami, with many equipment and construction materials damaged, but its staffs are still trying to carry on the work regardless of the difficulties, which won high praise from Maldives.

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