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Love without borders
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An 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit Wenchuan, in China's southwestern Sichuan Province, on May 12, 2008, causing an enormous loss to life and property.

In the past year following the devastating earthquake, reconstruction work in the affected region has been underway in earnest. Various aid, along with endless expressions of love and good wishes from the international community and overseas Chinese, has been flowing into the region.

The aid represents a kind of special support that shows broad strength in countering disasters. It also acts as an emotional bridge that links China and the rest of the world to enhance mutual understanding, and is seen as a crystallization of humanitarianism that reflects love across borders.

The deadly earthquake caused grave losses. Searching for survivors became the top priority. Foreign rescue and medical teams from countries like Russia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore joined their Chinese counterparts and worked with them side by side in rescue operations in defiance of the dangers caused by the frequent aftershocks. Their humanitarian spirit and professionalism deeply touched the Chinese people, which gave them confidence and new hope.

For its part, the aid from overseas provided timely assistance to the Chinese people, just as a Chinese idiom says "sending charcoal in snowy weather."

Official figures showed that more than 170 countries and regions, and over 20 international organizations offered more than 4.4 billion yuan (about 644 million US dollars) in cash aid and a large amount of relief materials, which has been seen as precious support to the Chinese people's relief efforts.

Overseas Chinese, regardless of their gender or age, also extended profound sympathies and provided valuable assistance to their motherland. They rushed to make charitable donations, including cash and goods, and did all they could to help the victims of the earthquake.

The care and support from overseas shored up the Chinese people's quake relief and rescue efforts and transformed it into a spiritual power which resonated between the Chinese and people of the world.

Just as Chinese President Hu Jintao put it, the Chinese people deeply appreciated the enormous support and precious aid given by the international community.

For those who supported, and are concerned about China's earthquake relief and reconstruction, the Chinese people will remember them forever.

Meanwhile, the Chinese people too have not failed to support others in times of distress and disasters.

Shortly after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Nargis tropical cyclone, as well as the A/H1N1 flu at present, the Chinese government and people have also extended a timely helping hand.

The back-and-forth help is noble and heart moving. It also shows the coordination and understanding of mankind.

Early this year, 100 quake zone kids visited the Philippines. After their unforgettable rehabilitation trip, they wrote a letter of gratitude to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, saying they would always cherish the friendship and warm hospitality they experienced during their visit.

A reporter with The Independent newspaper who recently returned to Beichuan, close to the epicenter of the 8.0-magnitude tremor, wrote an article entitled "Courage amid the rubble" to describe the present living conditions of the affected people.

All the various visits and stories have drawn a vivid picture of the indomitable spirit of the people. It is evidence of an unswerving recovery and the bonds of friendship between different countries and peoples.

The picture is in sharp contrast to the destruction and suffering caused by the earthquake. It represents faith and power that can be achieved when people unite to help each other.

This faith and power will continue to converge and encourage mankind to face up to a variety of challenges for the sake of a long-lasting peaceful, prosperous and harmonious world.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2009)

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