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Chinese embassy to US mourn earthquake victims
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Chinese embassy to the United States on Monday held a solemn ceremony to mourn the victims of the May 12 earthquake in southwest China which claimed more than 32,000 lives.

About 350 Chinese diplomats, including Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and representatives from other Chinese institutions to the United States, gathered in the mourning hall of the embassy located in downtown Washington D.C..

Beginning at 2:28 a.m. EDT, all participants stood in silence for three minutes to mourn the victims of the magnitude-8.0 earthquake.

Addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Zhou mourned the deceased, conveyed deep condolences to the injured and saluted all those fighting in the ongoing earthquake rescue and relief operations.

He said the rescue and relief operations have fully reflected the national spirit of the Chinese people to unite and help each other in a time of test.

The ambassador believed that the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, would overcome all difficulties and win a final victory in battling the unprecedented disaster.

Chinese consulates to U.S. cities such as New York and Chicago also held similar mourning ceremonies on Monday. Meanwhile, Chinese national flags in the embassy and consulates have been lowered to half-mast.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2008)

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