Several hundred schoolchildren from quake-hit areas of Sichuan province will leave for Russia next month, for rehabilitation, the Russian ambassador to Beijing said yesterday.
They will be the first batch of students to recuperate in the country under an agreement between the presidents of China and Russia.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev extended an invitation to the youngsters during his visit to Beijing last month. He took office on May 7.
Ambassador Sergey Razov said the students will be sent to different Russian cities, including Siberia, and will stay for three weeks.
They will be provided with interpreters and Chinese meals. Medical professionals and psychologist will be assigned to ensure they receive the best treatment.
More students will go to Russia next year, Razov said.
"The students' visit will be this year's highlight of the Russia-China relationship and will enhance friendship between the young peoples of the two countries," he said.
He was speaking yesterday at a reception hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in appreciation for the sympathy and assistance offered by the international community.
Entitled "Love is boundless", the reception was attended by Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, and more than 170 diplomats and representatives of international organizations.
Li said the swift response by the international community after the devastating earthquake was an expression of the profound friendship of people around the world and their humanitarian spirit, which the Chinese government and people will never forget.
Under the leadership of the Chinese government and with support from the international community, China will recover from the disaster, he said.
Mohammed Abduldaim, charge d'affaires ad interim of the Saudi Arabia embassy in China, said he was confident China will overcome its present difficulties. "We sincerely wish for a safe, developing and prosperous China," he said.
More than 160 countries and 10 international organizations have participated in China's disaster relief.
(China Daily June 27, 2008)