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U.S. students praise Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, "Uncle PLA"
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16:41, June 03, 2008

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Students from the United States wrote letters to China to pay their respect and gratitude to top Chinese leaders and convey their care and wishes to quake-hit Chinese fellow kids ahead of the Children's Day.

"I want very much to say thank," said Hannah Rudoff, a student from the Department of Chinese Studies at the Portland International School, Oregon, in a letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

"Dear Grandpa Hu and Grandpa Wen, your love to the quake-affected in Sichuan has again won worldwide respect for China, I hope all the leaders of other countries can also make it this way in their administration," wrote 12-year-old Hannah, who has witnessed the May 12 disaster and the rescue and relief afterwards via television and the Internet.

Hannah said she was deeply touched by those scenes from television showing Hu and Wen bringing confidence and courage to those unfortunate in quake zone. "I admire your people-first style and selfless spirit, and I pay my respect to you!"

The 2006 middle-school graduate said she feels very sorry for those kids of her age or even younger taken away by the devastating earthquake. She told the Chinese leaders they have held an art performance at Portland State University to help raise relief donations.

Elizabeth Krasch, also 12 and Hannah's schoolmate, wrote a poem to "Uncle PLA" to pay her tribute to the Chinese soldiers who have been fighting the war against the aftershocks and conducting nonstop rescue and relief work against the clock ever since shortly after the massive quake.

"Thank you, Uncle PLA!" said Elizabeth in the newly acquired Chinese vocabulary "Jiefungjun Shushu" meaning uncle soldier of the People's Liberation Army, "You saved many lives from ruins. You bring hope to each and every corner of China.

"We will never forget your love to the young, the old and to the people! I will never forget this new Chinese word that I learned today!" the 2007 middle-school graduate wrote in the last two lines of her poem.

Another American girl also sent a letter to express her wish to "hold hand in hand" with the quake-stricken children in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"You might have lost your dear father, mother, grandpa or grandma; you might have lost your dear teachers or classmates. I feel the same way you do," said Yzmari Duran, 13, "because we are all kids and facing this we will be scared and be crying.

"I want to tell you that you are very brave! You are not only strong but also brave! I will learn from you!" said the grade-2 student of junior high school, who claimed to be able to speak Chinese besides English and Spanish.

The Mexican-American girl wished to meet Chinese friends face to face someday, telling them that they are the children in the global village and that the children from other countries like her care about them and love them.

"Let's hold hand in hand in our minds, and make best wishes!" she wrote.

The death toll from the 8.0-magnitude earthquake three weeks ago in Sichuan increased to 69,019 as of Monday noon, according to the Information Office of the State Council.


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