Overseas Chinese mourn compatriots killed in earthquake

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese diplomats in overseas embassies and consulates held commemoration ceremonies Wednesday to mourn their compatriots killed one week ago in the devastating Qinghai earthquake.

Overseas Chinese students, emigrants and representatives of Chinese companies posted abroad also joined the ceremonies to express their condolences for the 2,064 people killed in the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on April 14.

The Chinese flag was lowered to half mast in all Chinese embassies and consulates overseas on Wednesday, during which the whole China carried out national mourning activities for the victims of the earthquake that was centered in Yushu County in western Qinghai province.

People paid tribute with three minutes of silence in front of overseas Chinese embassies and consulates as sirens and horns wailed in grief to commemorate the dead and the more than 12,000 others injured in the region.

Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia, said Russia and its people were deeply concerned about the earthquake and poured out their solace and support to the people in the earthquake-ravaged area.

All of the Russians were astonished by the indomitable spirit, the tenacious struggle, the endurance, and self sacrifice that the Chinese people have put into relief efforts under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the government, Li said.

He hoped that those affected by the earthquake could overcome the tragedy quickly and rebuild their hometowns under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council.

Cheng Yonghua, the Chinese ambassador to Japan, said China has fought the disaster with solidarity. China's relief efforts, Cheng said, have featured a fine national tradition that when disaster strikes, help comes from all sides.

Student representatives joined diplomats at the Chinese embassy in South Korea to mourn the earthquake victims.

Ambassador Zhang Xinsen said that trips by Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to the disaster area and overwhelming assistance from across China has demonstrated China's spirit of solidarity and helping each other in times of trouble.

"Although we are working or studying in a foreign country, our hearts are always with the homeland and the people," Zhang said.

Liu Hongcai, the Chinese ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), said all Chinese in the the DPRK are greatly concerned with the natural disaster in their homeland and the fate of their compatriots.

"We believe that people in the disaster area would overcome all difficulties and rebuild their hometowns under the leadership of the central government and with the help of the people of the whole country," Liu said at the commemoration ceremony.

In Cambodia, Chinese Ambassador Pan Guangxue also expressed his conviction that the people at the epicenter of the Yushu earthquake are capable of conquering the disaster rapidly with firm leadership and strong help.

Yang Xiuping, the Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives, said both Sri Lanka and Maldives are friends of China. Yang said the messages of condolences from the leaders of the two countries sent to Hu showed the two countries' concern about the disaster in China.

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