Senior Chinese official Chen Zhili on Sunday urged students from the quake-rattled Sichuan Province to help promote the friendly ties between China and the United States.
Chen, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, the top legislative body, made the remarks while meeting with 25 of 150 students who are studying in the State University of New York (SUNY) under a special program.
In May, the Wenchuan earthquake struck the area around Chengdu in China's Sichuan Province, causing grave loss of life, injuries and infrastructure damage, and severely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
As a friendly gesture, SUNY and New York Governor David Paterson welcomed 150 university students from Sichuan Province to study at 22 campuses of the University at no charge for the coming academic year.
Noting that the project is a symbol of friendship between the peoples of China and the United States, Chen said the Chinese leaders pay great attention to it and the Chinese people care very much about the school life of the students.
To live up to the expectations of both the Chinese and American peoples, Chen called upon all the students to work hard to acquire as much knowledge as possible, so as to better serve their motherland and repay the international community for its love and help after they finish their college study both in New York and in Sichuan as well.
At the invitation of US First Lady Laura Bush, Chen will attend the White House Conference on Global Literacy scheduled to open Monday in New York.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2008)