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China Realizes 65.5% of Planned Investment for Post-Wenchuan Quake Rebuilding

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China has invested 654.5 billion yuan (US$96.3 billion) for rebuilding the areas worst hit by a devastating earthquake in 2008, or 65.5 percent of the total planned investment, Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday.

Last year, the central government's public investment was 924.3 billion yuan, 503.8 billion yuan more than in the previous year's budget.

"Of this, ...14 percent (was invested) in post-Wenchuan quake recovery and reconstruction," Wen said in his government work report to the annual session of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

"Thanks to the government's strong support, the selfless assistance of people throughout the country, and the hard work of residents of the quake area, the badly damaged areas have taken on a brand-new appearance, with new towns rising straight out of the ground, and villages brimming with vitality," he said.

"All this fully reflects the boundless love of the Chinese nation and powerfully demonstrates the incomparable superiority of the socialist system," he said.

"We will steadily move forward with the recovery and reconstruction of quake-hit areas (this year), and make sure quality and quantity targets are met."

The 8.0-magnitude quake centered in Wenchuan County in southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008 left 87,000 people dead or missing and millions homeless.

In terms of the intensity and scope of destruction, the quake is believed to have surpassed the 7.8-magnitude quake in 1976 in Tangshan, northern Hebei Province, which claimed more than 240,000 lives.

(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2010)

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