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Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing Attends the Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation in Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements

2005/01/29

On January 29, 2005, Chinese Foreign Minister led a delegation to attend the Ministerial Meeting on Regional Cooperation in Tsunami Early Warning Arrangements in Thailand's Phuket.

In his speech, Li pointed out that following the tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean the Chinese government and people actively contributed to the disaster relief efforts. Sharing the hardship of the people of disaster-stricken areas, we have donated more than RMB1.2 billion to those areas to support their reconstruction. The Chinese government supports and remains actively involved in the international and regional cooperation on the natural disaster early warning mechanism.

Li stressed that the reconstruction is a long and arduous task which requires the continuous efforts of the international community to turn promises into action and ensure the efficient, orderly and sustained reconstruction process. The disaster relief efforts should emphasize practical results, pay attention to the real needs of the disaster-hit countries, respect their will and adopt advanced technologies. To establish an effective regional tsunami early warning mechanism, it is necessary to carry out cooperation and coordination and capacity-building as well. The international community should reinforce cooperation in poverty alleviation, infrastructure construction, education training and HR development in a bid to enhancing the capacity of the developing countries. To help the disaster-struck countries to establish the earthquake and tsunami supervision and early warning network, China has proposed the initiative of developing a regional supervision, prevention and assessment mechanism of major natural disasters and held the China-ASEAN Earthquake and Tsunami Early Warning Seminar to exchange experiences with related countries in the region.

During the meeting, Li met with Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and conveyed the greetings of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand, noting that China supports Thailand's efforts in holding the meeting and promoting regional cooperation, supports the UN in playing a leading and coordinating role in the reconstruction process and supports ASEAN in playing a leading part. Sathirathai highly complimented the Thailand-China friendly relations and expressed gratitude to the Chinese leaders, government and people for providing Thailand with value support and help at the most difficult moment. Both sides also exchanged opinions on strengthening the role of China and Thailand in the international and regional cooperation on the disaster relief efforts.

Before leaving Phuket, Li asked the Thai government to express the sincere condolence and good wishes of the Chinese leaders, government and people to the Thai people in the disaster-hit areas.

Ministers or senior officials of more than 40 countries and regions and representatives of over 10 international and regional organizations attended the meeting. Thai Prime Minister Thaksin participated in the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. Thai Foreign Minister Sathirathai hosted the meting and UN Secretary-General Annan dispatched a special envoy to the meeting.

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