US President George W. Bush speaks during a meeting on China earthquake relief efforts at the American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, DC, June 6, 2008. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
US President George W. Bush said in Washington on Friday he is impressed by China's firm response to the earthquake disaster and he is happy with the progress of the relief efforts.
"There's no question this is a major human disaster that requires a strong response from the Chinese government, which is what they're providing," he said during a meeting at the headquarters of American Red Cross focusing on the US response to the May 12 earthquake in China's Sichuan province.
"There will be more work that needs to be done. My message to the Chinese government is, thank you for welcoming our aid. Thank you for taking a firm response to this disaster, and just know the American people care about the people of China. When a brother and sister hurts, we care about it," he said.
Bush also praised the US nongovernmental organizations, the business sector and charities for their compassion and donations in response to the earthquake.
The meeting is hosted by the American Red Cross, Business Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce.
The participants, including Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson as well as leaders from U.S. nongovernmental organizations, the business sector and charities, were briefed by China's ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong by the latest information on the situation in Sichuan and long-term relief and reconstruction needs.
Zhou later told Xinhua that China appreciated US help to the relief efforts, saying it is an example of the China-US constructive and cooperative relationship.
The two countries are always helping each other in times of need, and China has donated 5 million US dollars in aid to the United States when Hurricane Katrina struck southern US states in 2005, he said.
Zhou said a high-level US delegation headed by a deputy secretary of state will soon visit China and assess relief and reconstruction needs.
(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2008)