China offers U.S. $5 million in aid ahead of Hu visit
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has offered $5 million in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina ahead of President Hu Jintao's U.S. visit, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
The Chinese government would provide the aid in addition to a batch of emergency relief goods, Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying.
If needed, the Chinese government would also send rescue workers, including medical experts, Qin said.
Thousands of people were feared dead after Katrina smashed into the U.S. Gulf Coast. Corpses rotting in the sun and uncontrolled looting presented images once thought unimaginable in the world's richest and most powerful country.
On Wednesday, Hu sent President Bush a telegram expressing "sympathy and confidence that the American people can certainly defeat the natural disaster and rebuild their beautiful homes."
China, an emerging economic powerhouse after more than two decades of market-oriented reforms transformed it from a centrally planned backwater, had been a recipient of WFP aid until April. But millions of Chinese still live in abject poverty.
Hu's September 5-17 tour of North America, which includes stops in Canada and Mexico, comes against a backdrop of heightened Sino-U.S. trade tensions, alarm over China Inc.'s courting of U.S. firms and a simmering concern over the rise of China on the global diplomatic stage.
Talks to hammer out a textile agreement ended in failure with both sides saying there were wide differences in their positions.
Qatar gives 100 million dollars for US hurricane relief
DOHA (AFP) Sep 03, 2005
The Gulf emirate of Qatar announced Saturday it will donate 100 million dollars to relief efforts for the US victims of Hurricane Katrina.
The aid was granted by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani "in the name of the government and the Qatari people," the official news agency QNA said.
Quoting a foreign ministry spokesman, QNA said: "Qatar expresses its sympathy and its solidarity to the US people and government in these painfiul circumstances and sends its condolences to the families of the victims in this humanitarian catastrophe."
Three other Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates -- have also offered aid to the United States.
The hurricane wreaked devastation on the three southern states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama and caused thousands of deaths.
A US-based risk management company that specialises in disaster recovery said that the damage caused by the storm in Louisiana and Mississippi is likely to surpass 100 billion dollars.
Canada sent the Vancouver urban search and rescue team (we have it for our earthquake) which was on site available for duty on Thursday. They spent the day indoors, due to the urban warfare, since they are not equipped for combat.
I understand they have been operating since Friday. Paramedics, doctors, engineers, firemen, dogs with their own supplies for 10 days so as to put no more strain on limited resources.
Our Prime Minister has also asked us to curtail our gas consumption by 5% so we can put more in the pipe for you. Can't say I have heard any of your politicians making that suggestion...but then you are so market driven.