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International Humanitarianism Shines in Rescue Efforts

In the monumental rescue efforts following the 8.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province, the international community has demonstrated a highly commendable spirit of humanitarianism by extending helping hands, materials and sympathy.

Foreign rescue teams from Japan, Russia, South Korea and Singapore joined their Chinese counterparts in searching survivors and their professionalism was highlighted by their defiance of danger, around-the-clock work and scientific ways of rescuing.

Also heart-warming are the performances of international volunteers, many of whom are studying or working in China. They rushed to the earthquake-struck areas on their own to offer medical and other kinds of help, supplementing the rescue and relief efforts carried out by the Chinese government, army and people.

The heroic deeds of foreign rescuers and volunteers have so impressed the Chinese people and their leaders that Chinese President Hu Jintao took time after greeting visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Beijing on Saturday to meet Russian rescuers and express his appreciation to them on behalf of the Chinese people.

While inspecting the disaster scenes in Sichuan shortly after the earthquake, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also grasped the hands of international volunteers to express his gratitude after encountering a group of members of the US-based aid organization Heart-to-Heart International.

To help China overcome one of the worst natural disasters in its recent history, the world has immediately started a donation campaign.

By the evening of May 21, 15 countries and regions had flown to Sichuan more than 1,000 tons of aid materials, while cashes worth nearly 500 million yuan (US$72 million), besides private donations, have been donated from abroad to China through diplomatic channels, according to official statistics.

International organizations as well as countries have been responding swiftly to China's appeal for help. Upon China's request, the International Maritime Satellite Organization has widened the wavelength over Sichuan, and some countries have shared satellite pictures with China. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of tents from abroad have been rushed to the affected regions.

Up to 17:00 Beijing time (09:00 GMT) Friday, heads of state and government, parliamentary leaders, officials of international organizations and people from all walks of life from 153 countries visited Chinese embassies, consulates or missions to mourn the victims of the earthquake.

Ever since the news of the earthquake broke out, public opinions as well as media around the world, besides extending full sympathy for China, have expressed their high respect for the rescue and relief efforts carried out by China itself.

All in all, such an unprecedented natural disaster as what happened in Sichuan has made people in the world care more for each other and humanitarianism, which is nature to us human beings, shines more than ever. Just as the lyrics of a Chinese song go, the world will be better off if everyone can give more care to others.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)

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