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Plan to Rebuild Yushu in 3 Years

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The Chinese government has given priority to the rebuilding and repairing of residential houses during post-quake reconstruction in northwestern Yushu.

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in northwest China's Qinghai Province on April 14, leaving at least 2,200 dead.

"Houses that are repaired must be repaired in a timely manner. For those that are to be rebuilt, residents' wishes regarding house style must be respected," the statement released after a regular State Council meeting on Wednesday said.

The statement noted the difficulties the reconstruction work faces: cold weather, low oxygen-levels, a fragile ecosystem, and inadequate construction resources. According to the statement, the country plans to spend three years finishing the "main reconstruction task".

The government vowed to build the "safest and most stable" schools and hospitals in the quake zone while protecting local ethnic and religious cultural heritage.

Infrastructure for civil aviation, postal services and communications are another focus of post-quake reconstruction, the statement said.

According to the statement, the rebuilding will mainly rely on 9 billion yuan (US$1.32 billion) from the central government in the first year.

The money, along with local funds and donations, will be managed by the local government in Qinghai in accordance with the demands of various projects and their priority level.

The State Council urged the Qinghai provincial government and other departments to carefully organize and coordinate the reconstruction work.

It also urged authorities map out scientific plans to ensure supervision of the use of funds and the quality of of reconstruction projects.

The meeting was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Also on Wednesday, the Ministry of Education said 5,074 local middle school students will voluntarily transfer to seven other regions to resume their studies as teaching resources and space in the quake zone are inadequate.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2010)

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