Chinese military offers assistance to Japan
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 22:35
Beijing: Setting aside sticky maritime dispute, Chinese military on Tuesday offered to send quake-relief materials and rescue teams to Japan where thousands have been killed in earthquake and tsunami.

There has been public outpouring of sympathy for the Japanese people in the Communist nation.

Apart from relief materials, the armed forces could also send medical, rescue, or disease prevention teams or a hospital ship to the quake zone as soon as possible to "help the Japanese overcome the difficulties," Chinese Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie has already conveyed his condolences to his Japanese counterpart after parts of Japan was hit by massive earthquake followed by deadly Tsunami and offered help.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao too conveyed his condolences to his Japanese counterpart stating that China stands ready to give Japan more help, besides sending rescue teams.

China and Japan went through tense period last year over the control of disputed of the Diaoyu/Sankaku islands in South China Sea after Japan detained the skipper of a fishing trawler.

He was let off after a prolonged standoff between the two countries denting the bilateral ties.

"I want to extend our deep condolences for the loss of life in this disaster and to express our sincere sympathy to the Japanese people," Wen said at the end of his annual press conference yesterday.

"China is also a country that is prone to earthquakes and we fully empathise with how the Japanese people feel now," he said recalling help extended by Japan when China was hit by a massive Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008.

"We have provided relief supplies to Japan.

We will continue to provide further necessary aid to Japan in accordance with their needs," he said.

Besides dispatching a 15-member rescue team arrived in Japan on Monday China has donated 30 million yuan (USD 4.56 million) in relief supplies to Japan.

China's Red Cross Society has donated a total of 6 million yuan (around USD 909,000) in emergency aid to its Japanese counterpart.

The offer of more help by Chinese military was announced today amid spontaneous campaign by public in China to mobilise help and assistance for Tsunami victims in Japan.

Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Chen Guangbiao is currently in Japan to participate in the rescue operation.

He said he would donate cash and emergency medicine. "The efforts of the Japanese rescuers during the Wenchuan quake moved me a lot.

Now that they are in trouble, we must help them, too," he said Chinese official media also carried reports of spontaneous efforts by Chinese public to mobilise relief funds for Japanese victims.


First Published: Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 22:35

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