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China 'grateful' for international help after earthquake
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China and its people were deeply grateful for the international help they received after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, said a white paper issued Monday.

The white paper on "China's Actions for Disaster Prevention and Reduction," issued by the State Council (cabinet) Information Office, said donations came from more than 170 countries and more than 20 international organizations.

Cash donations totaled 4.4 billion yuan (644.94 million U.S. dollars) and there were also large amounts of relief materials sent to China.

Professional rescue and medical teams from Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore came to help with emergency relief.

Nine medical teams comprising 223 medical and technical workers were sent by the governments of the United Kingdom, Japan, Russia, Italy, France, Cuba, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Red Cross of Germany to participate in medical aid in devastated areas of Sichuan and Gansu provinces.

The paper said in Beichuan County, Sichuan, one of the worst-hit areas, 16 volunteers from countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Mexico started rescue work immediately after arrival. A UK rescue team of 10 volunteers also searched for victims and the missing in the same area.

Satellite operators in Japan, Italy and the United States offered remote-sensing images of the quake-hit areas to China, the paper added.

China released the white paper Monday to mark the first anniversary of the devastating Wenchuan earthquake and its first "Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day", which both fall on May 12.

(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2009)

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