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China Sends Aid to Quake-Stricken Haiti

  • Stephanie Ho

China is rushing relief supplies and aid workers to quake-stricken Haiti, even in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The lack of official ties between Beijing and Port-au-Prince is not standing in the way of Chinese efforts to help quake-ravaged Haiti.

At a regular briefing Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said her country expresses sympathy to the Haitian government and people.

Jiang says the Chinese foreign minister has sent a telegram of condolence to his Haitian counterparts.

When asked about whether there have been any diplomatic difficulties, she said Beijing is concerned about Chinese citizens overseas, no matter where they are, and will, in her words, "spare no effort" to protect their safety.

Jiang says, in recent days, China has gotten information about the current situation through "various channels." She says China has contacted the Haitian government and is coordinating with "relevant authorities" to provide assistance with rescue work.

China has sent a 60-member search-and-rescue team to Haiti and the Chinese Red Cross is donating one-million dollars in emergency aid.

Eight Chinese serving with the United Nations peacekeeping mission there are still buried under the rubble. There are 125 Chinese serving as U.N. peacekeeping police.

The spokeswoman says China also is very concerned about the safety of Chinese compatriots from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Hong Kong and Macau are former colonies that have reverted back to Chinese rule. Taiwan is a separately-governed island that Beijing considers part of Chinese territory. Taiwan and Haiti have formal diplomatic relations and Taipei is also sending rescuers to help with quake relief efforts.

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