"I haven't seen or heard the comments you are talking about," he says, "so I don't want to get involved in reacting to what individuals might have said. But it would break my heart if anyone ever sought to justify so much suffering to so many people."
Gao Qiang, Vice Minister of the Chinese Health Ministry, shaking hands with Dr. Tony Redmond. Photo by Wang Pei.
On May 28 Gao Qiang, the Deputy Health Minister of China, visited the British team in person to thank them for their contribution. At a special ceremony to mark the occasion they were presented by the Sichuan Province Earthquake Relief headquarters with a banner reading "With sincere appreciation for your humanitarian assistance". Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi also met the team to pass on the thanks of the Government and the People of China.
As the Britons expect to return home on Saturday 31st May, this first phase of their work being complete, Dr Redmond took the opportunity to reciprocate by expressing the heartfelt sympathy of the whole team to the people of China, and their admiration for the efforts of those alongside whom they have worked. He concluded with an assurance that if upcoming events produce any further need for their assistance, he and his colleagues are more than willing to return and do their share.
Yang Jiechi and Dr. Tony Redmond holding a silk banner presented to the British medical team by Chinese authorities. Photo by Wang Pei.
(China.org.cn June 2, 2008)