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U.S. diplomatic missions in China join mourning for quake dead
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21:45, May 12, 2009

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· Anniversary of May 12 Quake
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U.S. diplomatic missions in China Tuesday joined in the mourning for those who died in a massive quake in southwest China last year.

The May 12, 2008 quake, centered in Sichuan Province, claimed 68,712 lives and left 17,921 missing.

At the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, more than 200 Chinese and American staff, led by Don Q. Washington, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, attended a 20-minute ceremony Tuesday afternoon, Susan N. Stevenson, press attache and embassy spokes woman, told Xinhua.

The embassy community observed a minute of silence as the American flag was lowered to half-staff at 2:28 p.m, Stevenson said in an e-mail.

In the U.S. consulate-general in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan and one of the cities hit by the powerful quake, the U.S. flag was lowered at 6 a.m., said Kuang Peijing with the cultural section of the consulate-general. The staff observed a minute of silence at 2:28 p.m.

U.S. consulates-general in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenyang held brief ceremonies as well.

Foreign diplomats present flowers during the commemorative service to mark the first anniversary of May 12 Earthquake in Yingxiu Township of Wenchuan County, southwest China's Sichuan Province, May 12, 2009. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

Source: Xinhua

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