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UPDATED: September 2, 2008  
Wen Attends Opening of Temporary Quake Zone School

Along with more than 3,000 teachers and students, Premier Wen Jiabao attended the opening of a temporary middle school in southwest China's quake zone as the new semester started on Monday.

Beichuan Middle School was among the hardest-hit schools in the May 12 earthquake. Wen visited students and teachers at the school three times prior to the Monday event.

Following the flag raising and national anthem, Wen said: "Students and teachers, it's been exactly 110 days since the May 12 earthquake. Beichuan survives, and the Beichuan Middle School survives. We stand on our own feet, tough and unafraid.

"The quake brought considerable misfortunes, and it brought experience and strength, too. Now we know one thing, and it's that as long as we choose to confront adversity with courage, we will surely overcome any disaster.

"As we hold this ceremony, we can never forget the students and teachers who died in the disaster ... I hope all of you at the school will win respect and pride with hard work and tough spirits. I believe you can do it."

The temporary Beichuan Middle School is located in the courtyard of the Changhong training center in Sichuan's Mianyang City.

Upon departure, Wen told teacher Li Jun to give his best regards to those of Li's students who took this year's college entrance exams in tents. Among the 69 students in Li's class, more than 50 went to college.

The May 12 earthquake killed more than 69,000 people with nearly 18,000 still missing.

Meanwhile, a 6.1-magnitude tremor on Saturday forced the suspension of classes at some primary and middle schools in Sichuan and neighboring Yunnan Province. At least 40 people were killed.

The municipal government of hard-hit Panzhihua City, Sichuan announced on Monday that schools and kindergartens would not open for another week.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2008)


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