Press release of the Embassy of China in the United States
2008/02/09

Progress in snow storm disaster relief

After a week of continuous and strenuous efforts against disasters caused by the rare stormy and icy weather, the Chinese Government led the people throughout the country to gratifying progress in the disaster relief and reduction.

According to the plan of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee on February 3, the various levels of governments in China continued to focus their efforts on disaster reduction and relief, giving top priority to transportation, power supply and daily necessities. During their visits to a few more provinces/autonomous regions where the devastation was most severe, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao directly led the disaster reduction and relief and urged the relevant government departments to focus on concrete results on improving the livelihood of the people in the disaster areas, make vigorous efforts regarding reconstruction and "work for relief", and plan for the improvement of long-term emergency management mechanism. They also spent the Spring Festival respectively in Guangxi and Jiangxi, the worst-hit places. This greatly boosted the morale of the local people. By February 8, the State Council emergency command center on rescue, relief and coordination of transportation and coal, petrol and power supplies has issued 15 bulletins, urging the local governments to ensure transportation and power/coal supply, the supply of daily necessities and stable prices, and alerting them of and requiring countermeasures against sudden outbreak of incidents of public health, environmental pollution and possible secondary geological disasters caused by melting snow and ice.

In line with the plan of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, the local governments and the relevant departments have intensified the communication among them and pooled the best of their strengths in all the disaster relief efforts. By February 8, nation-wide railway, motorway and highway, main provincial highway and nation-wide civil airports have resumed normal operation. The national power grid is once again supplying power to all the disaster-hit counties after an overall emergency repair. The provinces suffering from the disaster have earmarked special emergency relief fund, purchased, transferred and allocated daily necessities such as quilts, winter clothes, rice and edible oil, and mobilized the local people to work their way to relief. Except for a few places where the damages were especially serious, the supply of daily necessity in the disaster-hit regions is well guaranteed. Donations continue to come in from various other parts of the country during the Spring Festival holidays. By February 7, donations, including the equivalence of donations in kind, have reached over 1 billion RMB yuan (US$ 143 million).

Many more foreign governments, international organizations and their leaders expressed sympathy to the Chinese Government and people over the past few days. They also commended the Chinese Government and leaders on their care for the people and outstanding leadership at this testing time. Quite a few foreign governments, institutions, companies and individuals, including those from the United States, and a few international organizations and a large number of overseas Chinese and people of Chinese origin continued to send donations in cash and kind to the disaster areas. The Chinese Government and people deeply appreciate this.

The Chinese Government has expressed sympathy and condolences to the US counterpart regarding the serious casualties and property losses during recent tornadoes in five central and southern US states. We believe that the American people, led by the US Government, are surely capable of rebuilding their homes at an early date.

After strenuous efforts, the situation in the disaster-hit areas in China is noticeably improved. Throughout the country, daily work and life are returning to normal and the economy and society are stable. Although the weather in the southern provinces/regions is turning for the better, this remains a critical time for disaster reduction and relief, and the tasks remain arduous. The local governments in China will continue working in full gear according to the requirements of the central government and focus on disaster reduction and relief until an overall victory is achieved in the battle against national disaster.

 

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