China is deeply grateful for the messages of support and the earthquake relief aid coming from the international community, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday.
As of 2 p.m. on Thursday, 151 countries and 14 regional or international organizations had offered support in various forms.
"We hope people in the quake-hit areas will recover from the catastrophe and reconstruct their homes as soon as possible," Qin said.
The quake-hit areas urgently needed tents, quilts, food, medicines and equipment for satellite communications and rescue.
The Chinese government had agreed with the Japanese government's sending a professional emergency relief team to the affected areas, Qin said.
The offer showed the Japanese government and people's care and the relief team was expected to set off as soon as possible, Qin said.
Qin said China had expressed gratitude to willingness and offers from other countries to send relief teams, and officials were considering the offers according to the situation in the quake areas.
Meanwhile, the central and local governments were actively searching for and trying to assist foreign nationals in earthquake zone, Qin said.
Officials had located 31 Britons, 12 U.S. travelers and two Israelis, all safe and sound, in Sichuan, Qin said, noting that China had notified their embassies and consulates.
However, a German man working in Deyang city had died of illness in the aftermath. Qin expressed condolences, saying the German consulate in Chengdu had been informed.
No other foreign casualties had been reported so far, Qin said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2008)