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16 Students from Quake-hit Area Rewarded in Russia for Heroic Deeds

The All-Russia Children's Care Center in Vladivostok on Sunday morning awarded 16 Chinese students from the quake-hit Sichuan Province with medals to honor their heroic deeds in relief work.

As the 16 Chinese students stepped on the presidium to receive the medals they were greeted by heartfelt applause from the over 600 Chinese and Russian students who all stood up to pay tribute to the young heroes.

Vitaly Marzoev, director of the children's center, himself conferred the medals to the Chinese children.

The excellent students include Zheng Xiaopeng, who continued to rescue his classmates although his fingers were scraped by bricks, and Deng Qingqing, who kept reading with electric torch when waiting for rescue under rubble.

After the ceremony, Zheng Xiaopeng said many of his schoolmates also excelled in relief work and the honor belonged to all of them.

"I'd like to share the honor with every one who has offered help to others," Zheng added.

At the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, some 1,000 students from China's earth-affected provinces have arrived in Russia since July 17 for their three-week rehabilitation.

A devastating earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale hit China's southwest region on May 12, leaving about 70,000 people dead, 374,000 injured and 18,000 missing.

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2008)

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