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Philippine president to visit China quake victims during Olympic trip
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20:44, August 05, 2008

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· 8.0 Richter scale earthquake hits SW China
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Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is scheduled to visit China's quake-hit Sichuan province to console families of quake victims on Thursday before she leaves for Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Aug. 8, the Philippine government announced Tuesday.

The president will leave at Thursday dawn for Chengdu, capital of the southwestern Sichuan province, as her first stop to "commiserate with the earthquake victims" in the upland city which she first visited in June last year, a press release issued by the office of Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said.

The province was devastated by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12 and nearly 70,000 people lost their life in the quake.

After meeting with Sichuan provincial officials, Arroyo will be "motoring" to Dujiangyan, one of the most devastated areas hit by the killer quake, and visit the shrine built in memory of the earthquake victims.

She will visit the resettlement site for the victims and present Philippine-made goodies to the children who survived the disasters.

Arroyo is among the heads of the states around the world who expressed condolence to Chinese President Hu Jintao immediately after the quake hit Sichuan.

"We share in the suffering of our Chinese brethren. On behalf of the Filipino nation, we reiterate our heartfelt sympathies to the earthquake victims," Arroyo was quoted by local media as saying when she attended the Sino-Philippine Friendship Day celebration held in Manila this June.

Arroyo said she believes the Chinese people, under the leadership of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, will recover swiftly from this tragedy, rebuild their lives and march on towards greater progress.

The government press release said Arroyo will fly to Beijing on Thursday afternoon and fete the 15 Filipino athletes participating in the Beijing Olympic Games.

She will end her three-day visit on Saturday after touring the Olympic Village and meeting with the Filipino community in Beijing.

Source: Xinhua

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