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Hui Liangyu Stresses to Enhance International Cooperation in Early Warning and Jointly Promote Disaster Prevention and Reduction at the China-ASEAN Seminar on the Early Warning of Earthquake and Tsunami

2005/01/25

On January 25, 2005, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Premier of the State Council Hui Liangyu noted at the China-ASEAN Seminar on the Early Warning of Earthquake and Tsunami that the Chinese government would stick to the principle of "being a good neighbor and partner" and further enhance exchanges and cooperation with ASEAN countries and relevant international organizations to jointly prevent and reduce earthquake and tsunami in the earnest wish of boosting regional cooperation.

The China-ASEAN Seminar on the Early Warning of Earthquake and Tsunami was held in light of the initiative of Premier Wen Jiabao at the ASEAN Special Leaders' Meeting on the Aftermath of the Earthquake and Tsunami. Hui said in a speech on behalf of the Chinese government that facing with the abrupt disaster of earthquake and tsunami, the Chinese government and people initiated a donation movement of the largest scale in the Chinese history to actively contribute to the disaster relief and reconstruction efforts in disaster-hit areas which fully reflected the deep feelings borne by the Chinese people to their counterparts in disaster-stricken countries. China held the seminar exactly one month after the occurrence of the earthquake and tsunami to discuss how to improve the capability of Southeast Asia in earthquake monitoring and study how to set up a tsunami early warning system. This is an important step for the enhancement of international cooperation and joint promotion of disaster prevention and reduction.

Hui pointed out that the development of human civilizations often attributes to the revelation of disasters. Mankind can learn more during disaster periods. This earthquake and tsunami warn us once again that we have to conduct in-depth research in natural disasters and try to master their nature and regularity. We must establish and improve the early warning mechanism of severe natural disasters so as to make early precautions and preparations. We have to raise the awareness of disaster prevention and reduction in the general public in a bid to increase their capacity in self-rescue and mutual rescue. We have to strengthen international coordination and cooperation so as to jointly fight against natural disasters.

Hui indicated that as close and friendly neighbors, China and ASEAN countries have conducted broad cooperation in political, economic, cultural and social spheres and have worked out effective mechanisms for cooperation. China would like to enhance cooperation with ASEAN members in the establishment of an early warning mechanism for earthquake and tsunami so as to learn from each other and reduce the losses inflicted by natural disasters to the minimum.

Hui proposed four suggestions on the establishment of an early warning mechanism for earthquake and tsunami. First, to strengthen worldwide planning and coordination and support the United Nations to play a leading and coordinating role in the establishment of an early warning mechanism for earthquake and tsunami and the ASEAN to play an important role in the region. Second, to support the establishment of an early warning system for tsunami in the Indian Ocean. The system is expected to learn from the best practices worldwide so as to reduce disasters as early as possible. Third, to support the ASEAN's capacity building in the early warning of earthquake and tsunami. The Chinese government would like to provide technical facilities and human resources training within its utmost capacity. Fourth, to take the opportunity of cooperation in the early warning of earthquake and tsunami and enhance comprehensive cooperation in disaster prevention and reduction.

Senior officials from China and the ten ASEAN members, officials from the ASEAN Secretariat, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction Strategy, United Nationals Meteorological Organization as well as representatives from India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, the Seychelles, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea attended the meeting.

Prior to the opening ceremony, Hui met with representatives from various countries and international organizations.

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