News / Asia

China Offers Earthquake Condolences to Japan

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers questions during a press conference after the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Monday, March 14, 2011.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gestures as he answers questions during a press conference after the closing session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People Monday, March 14, 2011.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered condolences to Japan, which is recovering from a massive earthquake and resulting tsunamis. His comments came Monday at a news conference that is regularly held at the end of the annual session of the country’s legislature. 

In spite of a recent territorial dispute with Japan, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made a special effort at the end of his two-hour news conference Monday to say something about the recovery efforts there.

Wen extended China’s condolences for the lives lost in Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunamis and expressed sympathy to the Japanese people.

He says China has empathy because it is also an earthquake-prone country and he pointed to Japanese aid to China after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

China has provided $4.5 million in humanitarian aid to Japan and a Chinese rescue team arrived there, Sunday.  Wen says China is ready to provide more assistance, as needed.

Wen’s comments came at the end of the lengthy news conference that marks the end of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.

Earlier Monday, the legislature’s nearly 3,000 delegates approved China’s next five-year plan, which sets out the Communist leadership’s overall goals from this year through 2015.

Wen says one of the government’s main concerns for this year is controlling inflation.

Wen says inflation is like a tiger - once it has been set free, it will be, in his words, "very difficult" to put it back in its cage.

He says there are external reasons for inflation - specifically higher global prices for oil and grain.  He also blames the so-called quantitative easing monetary policies in countries like the United States for causing what he describes as "drastic fluctuations" in currency exchange rates and commodity prices.

The Chinese premier says rising labor costs and rising prices of basic goods inside China are also fueling inflation.

Wen acknowledges the need for political reform as essential for the continued success of economic restructuring.  But he gave few details and said political reform in China would be a gradual process.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wen says it is not right to draw an analogy between China and the turbulent political situation in the Middle East.  He says the government feels that the lives of ordinary Chinese people have improved to the point that the country is now the second largest economy in the world.  At the same time, he acknowledges several potential problems - including the fact that China is a developing country with a large population and what he calls a "weak economic foundation and uneven development".

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid