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Thai Princess, Thai Red Cross Donate for China Earthquake Relief

Thailand's Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on Thursday made a personal donation of 100,000 yuan (some US$14,286) in cash to help disaster relief in China after a strong earthquake hit the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Earlier on the day, representatives of the Thai Red Cross Society and the Chaipattana Foundation under royal patronage, also passed on a donation of US$200,000 to China Red Cross Society.

Princess Sirindhorn, met Zhang Guoqing, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy, at Bangkok's Chitrada Palace Thursday afternoon to hand him her letter in Chinese to Chinese President Hu Jintao, expressing her condolence to victims of the 7.8- magnitude earthquake on May 12 that has claimed over 15,000 lives and left many villages and towns in debris, and good wishes for the Chinese' relief work.

The Princess also handed a box of cash of 100,000 yuan to Zhang, as a personal donation to support relief efforts by Chinese.

The Thai Princess, known in Thailand for her keen interest in Chinese culture and wide-extending trips to China, told Zhang that she was among the earliest ones in Thailand to know about the disaster on May 12, recalled her visits to Sichuan Province, where the earthquake occurred, and asked about the casualties, damages and rescue work after the earthquake.

Princess Sirindhorn has also instructed the Thai Red Cross Society, in her capacity as Executive Vice President, and the Chaipattana Foundation, to which she is Executive Chairperson, to donate US$100,000 respectively for China's disaster relief.

The two organizations passed on the donations to Chinese embassy on Thursday. The Thai Red Cross also passed a cash donation of 4,565 baht (about US$143) from 83 tsunami survivors from the Chinese Friendship Village Project in Pang Nga province in southern Thailand.

The 83 survivors have benefited from the rebuilding and relief projects sponsored by China Red Cross Society in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that hit Thailand's southern coast, and the donation is their return to the goodness of Chinese, their message said.

Phan Wannamethee, Secretary General of the Thai Red Cross Society, said Thai and Chinese have a family-like friendship, and the two should help each other especially when encountering disasters.

The Chinese Charge d'Affaires Zhang said he was moved by the deep regard and kindness shown by the royal family, the government and people in Thailand towards the earthquake victims and the relief efforts in China.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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