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Overseas Chinese donate to help fight snow havoc
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11:34, February 07, 2008

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Chinese around the world have donated money in recent days to their compatriots in snow-stricken areas of China.

The Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council said that until Feb. 4, donations for snow-hit areas of China from overseas Chinese have exceeded 45 million yuan (about 6.16 million U.S. dollars).

The Overseas Chinese group in Spain Tuesday donated 30,000 euros to the Chinese embassy for disaster relief in snow-stricken areas.

Chinese Ambassador to Spain Qiu Xiaoqi expressed appreciation for their donations, saying the Chinese government is actively combating the disaster and providing disaster relief to the victims.

"I believe that with the concerted efforts of the Chinese people and support from overseas Chinese, we will overcome the snow havoc," Qiu said.

The Spanish group said their compatriots are suffering the worst snow disaster in 50 years, adding that they are willing to make an effort to help their fellow countrymen and women fight the crisis.

Three overseas Chinese associations in Pakistan also donated money Tuesday to their homeland's disaster relief efforts.

They said the snow disaster in China is pulling the heart strings of Chinese in Pakistan and believed that the Chinese people will achieve an overall victory in fighting the snow disaster and the disaster-relief work.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Luo Zhaohui informed the groups on the situation of the snow-hit areas in China, adding that the donation would be well utilized in the disaster relief work as soon as possible.

The federation of overseas Chinese students in Japan has donated 70,000 yuan (about 9,722 dollars) to the Chinese embassy in Japan and collected data and information from the relevant Japanese institutions to help China restore power supply and transportation.

The Chinese embassy to Japan Monday also staged a donation ceremony for disaster relief.

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Fu Ying said Sunday that the snow disaster is a massive challenge for China. The disaster-relief work demonstrates the strong sense of affinity among Chinese people, she added.

The Chinese Students and Scholars Association, United Kingdom, also called on some 100,000 Chinese students in Britain to make a contribution to the disaster-relief work and presented the donation to the Red Cross Society of China.

Some overseas Chinese enterprises and associations, including the Charoen Pokphand Group and the Thai-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, donated Monday about 2.6 million yuan (360,000 dollars) to help China fight the disaster.

Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Zhang Jiuhuan said all circles in Thailand have made a contribution to China and encouraged the Chinese people to combat the disaster with the help of the Chinese government.

Persistent snow since mid-January, the worst in 50 years in central, eastern and southern China, has caused deaths, structural collapses, blackouts, accidents, transport problems and livestock and crop destruction.

According to the latest figures, the snow disaster has hit 19 provinces, killed 80 people, toppled about 300,000 homes and damaged over 800,000, resulting in direct economic losses of about80 billion yuan (11 billion U.S. dollars).

From Jan. 25 to Jan. 31, a total of 5.8 million people were stranded throughout the railway system and more than 8,000 cargo trains were affected.

In addition, some countries and foreign friends have sent messages of sympathy over China's worst winter weather in decades.

Source: Xinhua

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