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Students from quake-hit Sichuan to fly to Mongolia for rehabilitation
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11:25, July 29, 2009

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A total of 60 pupils from the quake-hit Sichuan Province will fly to Mongolia Thursday for an eight-day recuperation tour, the local government said.

The students, aged 15 to 17, were invited by the Mongolian government to visit Ulan Bator, where they will study Mongolian culture and customs, go on sightseeing tours and play sports with local children, said Zou Mingyuan, an official with the Sichuan Provincial Education Department.

The students are all from Qingchuan and Anxian, two of the worst-hit counties in last year's devastating earthquake. They have stood out among their peers for their good performances at school, as well as bravery and selflessness demonstrated in the quake.

"They have prepared gifts for their Mongolian friends, mainly handicrafts such as embroidery pieces, 'Chinese knots', Sichuan opera masks and Chinese paintings and calligraphy," said Cheng Jinsong, a teacher from Anxian Middle School.

Mu Zhiyuan, a second-year student from Beichuan High School, has written "Black Dragon" with brush and Chinese ink as a gift for his Mongolian friend. "Dragon symbolizes China, and I hope Mongolia and China will both be developing rapidly."

The 8.0-magnitude earthquake jolting Sichuan and the neighboring provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu on May 12 last year left about 87,000 people dead or missing and more than 370,000 injured.

Last year, more than 1,000 Chinese children from the quake-hit regions were invited to Russia for rehabilitation, said Yu Jihai from the International Cooperation and Exchange Department of the Ministry of Education.

"We hope such trips would broaden students' views and tighten the friendship among young people from different countries," Yu said.


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