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China thanks India for earthquake aid
Raghavendra in Beijing | June 06, 2008 17:26 IST
China's top leadership on Friday thanked India for its support in dealing with the aftermath of the devastating May 12 earthquake in southwest Sichuan province that killed nearly 70,000 people.
During a meeting with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the ornate Great Hall of People in Beijing [Images], Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping noted that India had offered relief supplies worth $5 million soon after the magnitude 8.0 quake struck.
He also recalled that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], Vice President Hamid Ansari and Mukherjee had conveyed messages of condolences.
"We are confident that with the entire Chinese community people united and strenuous efforts being made and with the solidarity and support offered by friendly countries like India, we will be able to overcome the difficulties and rebuild our communities," Xi said.
He also thanked Mukherjee for extending an invitation to him on behalf of Ansari to visit India.
On his part, Mukherjee said, "We stand by the people and the government of China in this hour of crisis."
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and India's Foreign Secretary Shivashankar Menon and the country's Ambassador to China Nirupama Rao were also present during the meeting.
The meeting with Xi came after the one scheduled with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was called off after he rushed to the earthquake-shattered southwest China.Mukherjee's meeting with Xi was considered significant as the latter, who was appointed the Vice President in March, is tipped to be the successor of President Hu Jintao when he completes his second term in 2012.