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China to Create National Compensation System

China will establish a pension system for victims of natural disasters, under which the families of those killed in natural disasters will be compensated.

"The system will gradually cover all regions of China from next year," Wang Zhenyao, director of disaster relief of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, told a national conference on civil affairs in Beijing on Thursday.

Currently, pay-outs ranging from 5,000 yuan (about US$680) to 10,000 yuan are given to victims' families in regions with frequent natural disasters. These regions include the southern province of Guangdong and the southeastern Fujian Province.

Various natural disasters claimed more than 2,000 lives this year in China, government statistics show.

Wang also vowed to improve China's disaster prevention and relief next year.

"We will try our best to provide timely personnel and material assistance to disaster-stricken regions to ensure the safe relocation of people and their temporary accommodation," he said.

"We will also gradually increase the pensions for victims according to their difficulties," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 28, 2007)

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