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9 Chinese Confirmed Dead in Tsunami

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said in Beijing Sunday night that nine Chinese had been confirmed dead as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday in Thailand after the fatal tsunamis.

The nine dead include two from Jiangsu Province, one from Inner Mongolia, four from Hong Kong and two from Taiwan, said spokesman Kong Quan, quoting the latest report from the Chinese embassy in Bangkok.

Two people from the Chinese mainland are hospitalized in Thailand and 15 others remain missing.

Another 60 from Hong Kong were also reported missing in Thailand, Indonesia and other countries, according to the spokesman.

He said that Liao Hui, head of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, phoned Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa Sunday afternoon, conveying the concern of the Central Government and saying the Central Government fully supports the government ofthe Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in its rescue work.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council had also expressed condolence to families of the Taiwan victims, Kong said.

Meanwhile, relevant local governments had also expressed condolence to the victims' families and provided assistance to them in dealing with the aftermath.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have asked the Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates in related countries to make their utmost effort to help Chinese citizens stranded.

As part of the emergency measures, Kong said, the Chinese embassy to Thailand has established a service station at the international airport of Bangkok, to serve Chinese people concerning accommodation and air ticket booking, among others.

(Xinhua News Agency January 3, 2005)

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