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China Offers Help, Condolences to Chile

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China was ready to provide emergency relief assistance to earthquake-hit Chile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Sunday.

After the catastrophic and deadly quake, President Hu Jintao on Saturday sent a message of condolence to Chilean counterpart Michelle Bachelet on behalf of the nation.

Hu said China was ready to offer relief to Chile to help those affected by the quake through their difficulties.

He said he was confident that under the leadership of the government, Chile would be able to overcome the disaster and reconstruct its homeland.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi also contacted his Chilean counterpart, Mariano Fernandez, to express sympathy.

There had been no report about any death or injury of Chinese nationals in Chile so far, Qin said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has launched two telephone hotlines round the clock for public consultation. "Our staffers have received several hundred phone calls seeking help," Qin said.

The Chinese Embassy in Chile is going all out to check the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in Chile and offering assistance to those in need, according to Qin.

(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2010)