Top legislator Wu Bangguo said on Thursday that China mobilizes the whole nation in the shortest period of time to deal with the aftermath of the devastating May 12 earthquake in an effective way.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, made the remarks in a speech addressing the opening ceremony of the fifth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP).
"One important reason that we have been so effective in handling the aftermath of this severe earthquake is that we have brought into play the advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics," Wu said.
Wu said China mobilized the whole nation and ensured that policies and decisions made at the central level are followed through and acted upon at all local levels.
More than 139,000 soldiers and officers from the People's Liberation Army and the Armed Police, over 28,000 police officers, fire fighters and special police officers, 75,600 militia and reservists, 96,800 medical workers and over 5,200 Chinese and foreign professional earthquake rescue workers are organized as quickly as possible, he said.
More than 200,000 volunteers from across the country rushed to the quake-hit areas to join the rescue and relief efforts, he said.
President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao and other state leaders went personally to the frontline and fought side by side with the affected people, Wu said.
Officials at various levels in the affected regions, those at the grassroots in particular, were the first to rush to the scene at the risk of their own safety, he added.
"They have won the trust of the people and become their backbone in the relief and reconstruction efforts," said Wu.
(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2008)