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China shows great concern over earthquake-hit Indonesia

    BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese leaders, government and society showed great concern over earthquake-hit Indonesia, with messages of condolence and cash assistance provided timely on Tuesday.

    A sub-sea quake, measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale, struck at midnight Monday some 90 kilometers southeast of the island of Sinabang, which lies off the southern coast of Indonesia's Sumatra Island. Casualties are estimated at up to 2,000.

    After the earthquake occurred, Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday sent a message of condolence to his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, extending sincere sympathy for bereaved families in the region.

    The Chinese president said in the message that he believes the Indonesian government and people will succeed in tackling the consequences of the disaster under the leadership of President Susilo.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing also telegraphed to Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda to express his condolences.

    "We are deeply sympathetic toward the Indonesian people ravaged by the disaster and would like to express our sincere condolences to the victims," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a regular press conference, adding that the Chinese government and the Red Cross Society of China are considering providing emergency relief materials to the victims.

    The Chinese government has decided Tuesday to provide 500,000 US dollars in cash to support Indonesia's disaster relief work in the earthquake-hit area, and the Red Cross Society of China, a non-governmental organization and principal donation collector, has also decided on the same day to provide its Indonesian counterpart with 300,000 US dollars in cash to contribute to the disaster relief work.

    China has been greatly concerned with the calamity in the region. Three months ago, a 9.0-magnitude quake off Aceh in the Indian Ocean unleashed a tsunami which struck 11 countries and left 220,000 people dead or missing in Indonesia alone. China provided assistance in its capacity to relieve the aftermath.

    President Hu Jintao sent messages to leaders of seven Asian nations affected by the tsunami to offer condolences to the victims right after the disaster occurred. Premier Wen Jiabao met and conferred with diplomatic envoys from the tsunami-hit South and Southeast Asian nations in Beijing, consoling those victimized.

    Meanwhile, China had donated 1.27 billion yuan (approximately 153.4 million US dollars) of aid to tsunami-hit countries in South and Southeast Asia by March 1, including 686 million yuan (82.6 million US dollars) of government aid and 576 million yuan (69.6 million US dollars) of donations from all walks of life.

    In addition, China also sent two international rescue teams, four medical teams and one DNA testing group to the tsunami-hit countries. Enditem

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