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Cover Stories Series 2011> Wenchuan Quake:Three Years Later> Wenchuan in Retrospect> 2008
UPDATED: May 21, 2008 NO. 21 MAY 22, 2008
Support From Afar
World leaders have expressed sadness and offered help in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake

STANDING TOGETHER: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf goes to the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad to extend his condolences and support to the Chinese Government and people on May 14, after the deadly earthquake hit Sichuan Province. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui thanked the president for his sympathy and support

World leaders and government officials have extended their condolences to China over the deadly earthquake that jolted heavily populated Sichuan Province in the southwest of the country on May 12. They also expressed their support for the efforts made by the Chinese Government and the Chinese people in disaster relief and rescue.

The same day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon expressed sadness and sympathy for the victims of the earthquake.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a message of solace to Chinese President Hu Jintao over the earthquake, expressing his sympathy with the quake-hit victims.

FOREIGN HELPERS: Japanese rescue professionals arrive in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province, to assist local disaster relief efforts on May 16. The 31-member rescue team is the first group of foreign aid personnel to China, following the devastating quake

Medvedev asked the Chinese leader to convey his words of solace to the relatives and friends of those who were killed in the quake and wished a speedy recovery to the survivors. "We are ready to help if necessary," said the Russian president.

U.S. President George W. Bush also extended his condolences to China over the earthquake. "I extend my condolences to those injured and to the families of the victims of today's earthquake in China's Sichuan Province. I am particularly saddened by the number of students and children affected by this tragedy," Bush said in a statement. "The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the Chinese people, especially those directly affected. The United States stands ready to help in any way possible."

Officials from the EU also conveyed their condolences to the quake victims of China.

In a message to Premier Wen Jiabao, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said, "The European Union is ready to support your work in whatever way it can, and our humanitarian experts are already on standby to assist, if the need arises."

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, said, "On behalf of the European Union, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the government of China," adding that the EU was ready to assist.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also offered support. "I would like to let you know that I am deeply moved and would like to assure you of France's support for the Chinese people in this difficult moment," Sarkozy said in a letter to President Hu.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to Premier Wen. She said the German Government was ready to provide speedy assistance to China.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he valued China's rapid and effective reaction to the disaster highly.

British Queen Elizabeth II expressed shock and regret over the human and property losses caused by the quake, and extended deep condolences and solace to the Chinese people.

Japanese Emperor Akihito sent deep condolences to the victims of the earthquake and extended sincere solace to the Chinese people, in particular the relatives of the dead.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda extended his condolences to the quake-affected people in Sichuan, and said that he hoped they could resume their normal lives and reconstruct their homes soon.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani sent their condolences to China following the earthquake. "I am deeply shocked and grieved at the loss of precious lives of our Chinese brethren and damage to property caused by the severe earthquake that hit China," said Musharraf. "We are sure that the resilient people of China will recover from the aftermath of this disaster in the shortest possible time. At this difficult time, we stand by the great Chinese people and assure them of our full support and solidarity."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd offered expert help, including the search and rescue capabilities of Australia, through Emergency Management Australia, on May 13, and expressed his country's sympathy.

Canada offered condolences to China over the heavy loss of life and property in the earthquake. "We are greatly saddened by the news that thousands lost their lives and that hundreds of children who were at school at the time are trapped in the debris," said a joint statement issued by Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier and Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation. "Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible tragedy and their families. Canada stands ready to help should China request any assistance in its humanitarian relief efforts."

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