Bush offers help to China, signs condolence book

May 20th, 2008 - 11:46 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
Washington, May 20 (DPA) US President George W. Bush visited the Chinese embassy here Tuesday to sign a condolence book for the families of thousands who perished in the devastating earthquake a week ago. Bush said the United States stands “ready to help” and praised the courage of Chinese rescue workers who continue to search for survivors.

“We extend our deepest sympathies,” Bush said.

China’s Sichuan province was hit by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake May 12 and a series of aftershocks since then, leaving at least 40,000 people dead and as many as 30,000 missing. The Chinese government has said the death toll could top 50,000.

The US released an immediate $500,000 in aid and was assessing additional ways to contribute to the ensuing humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Tuesday praised China’s response to the massive earthquake in Sichuan province as “magnificent” and said Britain would send tents for 30,000 people as part of its initial aid contribution.

Brown made his comments as he signed a book of condolence for the earthquake victims at the Chinese embassy in London, where Conservative leader David Cameron and other top politicians also paid their respects Tuesday.

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