U.S. President George W. Bush visited the Chinese embassy here Tuesday, mourning the victims of a devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, and conveying his condolences to the Chinese people.
"We extend our deepest sympathies, and pray for recovery and pray for the strength of those whose lives have been torn apart during this terrible tragedy," he told U.S. and Chinese reporters.
"We stand ready to help in any way that the Chinese government would like," he said.
Bush and the first lady Laura Bush observed a moment of silence before a black banner which reads "Our deepest condolence goes to the victims of the May 12 earthquake."
Both the president and his wife signed the book of condolence.
"On behalf of the American people, Laura and I extend our sincere condolences to the Chinese people who have suffered as a result of the earthquake that struck your country," Bush wrote.
He also wrote: "We stand with you during this tragic moment as you mourn the loss of so many of your loved ones and search for those still missing. I admire the generosity of spirit and the strength of character shown by the Chinese people as you confront this natural disaster. Our country stands ready to assist in any manner that China deems helpful."
"And with love and sympathy to the people of China from the people of the United States," Laura wrote.
Bush also told Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong that he is looking forward to meeting Chinese president Hu Jintao during the G8 meeting in Japan and the Beijing Olympics.
(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)