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Earthquake relief headquarters holds last meeting
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China's State Council, the country's Cabinet, on Tuesday declared the termination of its "General Headquarters for Earthquake Relief","five months after the May 12 quake that left more than 80,000 dead or missing and millions homeless in the southwestern Sichuan Province and some neighboring areas.

This was announced at the 26th and last meeting of the headquarters, presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu, State Councilor and State Council Secretary-General Ma Kai, and State-Councilor and Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu attended the meeting.

Wen heads the headquarters, while Li and Hui are his deputies. Both Wen and Li are members of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau.

At the meeting, the officials discussed a report summarizing the quake relief of the Wenchuan quake, concluding the headquarters had organized the relief efforts in a strong, orderly and efficient manner, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

The relief work has made a major victory through the joint efforts by local people and officials in the affected areas, members of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Chinese People's Armed Police Force (PAPF), and people from all circles under the direct leadership of the Party organizations and governments in the affected areas, according to the meeting.

It emphasized the earthquake relief had come to a phase of rehabilitation, which was scheduled to take about three years to complete, so as to make the basic living conditions reach or surpass the level of the pre-earthquake days.

It pledged to accelerate the pace of the rehabilitation, which was both helpful for the restoration of production and life in the affected areas and the enlargement of domestic market demands. Major infrastructures and public facilities in the areas should be newly constructed or rebuilt as early as possible, it said.

It called for efforts to ensure the implementation of central policies regarding the rehabilitation. Under the leadership of the State Council, local governments in the affected areas would be responsible for the rehabilitation job.

The State Council will set up a coordinate working group to guide reconstruction work.

(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2008)

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