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FM joins ASEAN-UN pledging conference in Myanmar
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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attended an ASEAN-UN international pledging conference in Myanmar's biggest city of Yangon Sunday, conveying China's deepest sympathy to the people of Myanmar hard hit by a cyclone storm early this month.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks at the ASEAN-UN International Pledging Conference held in Yangon, Myanmar, May 25, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Reflecting the profound goodwill of the Chinese people and feeling even more strongly the pain of the Myanmar people at a time when the whole Chinese nation are engaged in an all-out rescue and relief efforts on China's earthquake in Sichuan, the Chinese government has promptly provided 1 million U.S. dollars and 30 million Chinese yuan in emergency aid to Myanmar along with donations by the Yunnan province, Guangxi Autonomous Region and the Red Cross Society of China as well as the sending of a Chinese medical team to Myanmar cyclone-hit areas, Yang said.

"All this reflects the profound goodwill of the Chinese people to the people of Myanmar," he noted.

Pointing out that at a crucial stage in China's own earthquake relief effort, however to help the people of Myanmar through this difficult period, he said, the Chinese government has decided to provide another 10 million dollars in emergency aid to Myanmar, believing that the aid, which embodies the profound friendship of the Chinese people for the people of Myanmar, will be of some help in the country's reconstruction endeavor.

Yang expressed strong support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations in playing a constructive role in the relief and reconstruction efforts and support for the ASEAN-led coordinating mechanism.

He highlighted the importance of three aspects -- honoring Myanmar's assistance commitment; giving full play to the role of ASEAN and the UN and strengthen regional and international cooperation; and taking note of the need for Myanmar's long-term development and serving the vital interest of its people.

China welcomes the outcome of the special ASEAN foreign ministers meeting and supports ASEAN's leading role in coordinating international assistance, he said, adding that China supports the UN in playing a bigger role.

Yang called on the international community to provide all forms of assistance as reconstruction unfolds and in the light of the actual needs of the people of Myanmar, stressing that these humanitarian undertakings should not be politicized.

He hoped that a stable and democratic Myanmar enjoying development serves the fundamental interest of the people of Myanmar and the common interest of all countries in the region.

The international pledging conference, co-organized by the ASEAN and the UN, was held to seek further international financial aid commitment for Myanmar's cyclone aid relief and rehabilitation efforts. The conference, hosted by Myanmar, was participated by 51 countries and 24 UN organizations and international non-governmental organizations.

Besides China, other countries at the meeting also have pledged to provide extra assistance to Myanmar for its immediate relief and reconstruction.

Attendees included Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ASEAN Chairman and Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi along with other delegates from ASEAN member states, donor countries as well as those from UN agencies, international financial institutions and non-governmental organizations totaling over 360.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)

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