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Print Edition> World
UPDATED: August 13, 2010 NO. 33 AUGUST 19, 2010
Diplomatic Dynamics (33)

China and Pakistan

China's 90-ton emergency humanitarian aid package arrived in Pakistan, which has recently been battered by severe floods, on August 4.

The package, valued at 10 million yuan ($1.5 million), included 30 tons of water purifiers and medicine, 50 power generators and 1,000 tents. The People's Liberation Army Air Force used three aircraft to transport these materials. China was one of the first countries to announce assistance to Pakistan after devastating floods hit the country in late July.

"We are grateful to the Chinese Government for providing timely and swift relief assistance to Pakistan," said Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khan at an August 6 press conference in Beijing. "China has thus met our most urgent needs."

Khan stressed Pakistan and China enjoy a time-tested friendship and said the Chinese Government and people have always helped Pakistan in difficult times. "We are grateful to many Chinese individuals and businesses who have been moved by the suffering of the people of Pakistan and have volunteered to provide humanitarian assistance."

The floods, the country's most serious since 1929, have caused destruction in large parts of Pakistan, according to the Pakistani Government. More than 1,600 people have been killed, thousands have been wounded and many others remain missing. Over 250,000 houses have been rushed away and a total of 4 million Pakistanis have been seriously affected.

Many standing crops have also been washed away and more than 1,000 schools have been destroyed. Much of the country's infrastructure, especially roads, bridges, electricity transmission lines and telecommunication networks, was badly damaged.

"What we need at the moment is tents, blankets, food items, drinking water, medicine, generators, sanitary kits, dewatering pumps and water filtration plants," Khan said. Unfortunately, he said, the rainy season has not yet concluded, and the country is preparing for even more rain.

More than 260 Chinese workers at a hydropower station project in northwest Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province were rescued, while three others were killed during the flooding.

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