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Cablegate: China Offers Official Donation for Hurricane Gustav Relief

VZCZCXRO5962
PP RUEHCN RUEHGH
DE RUEHBJ #3458 2490738
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050738Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9757
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 6414
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2281
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 9409
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 0627
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 9373
RUEHSH/AMCONSUL SHENYANG 9071
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 4317
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 3859
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 0862
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 7060
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2064
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS BEIJING 003458

STATE FOR EAP/CM
STATE ALSO PASS TO USAID/ODP
USAID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA ACONVERY, PMORRIS, RTHAYER
USAID/ASIA FOR CJENNINGS
BANGKOK FOR WBERGER, TROGERS, SKISSINGER, PDO
NSC FOR PMARCHAM
NEW YORK FOR FSHANKS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID SENV CH
SUBJECT: CHINA OFFERS OFFICIAL DONATION FOR HURRICANE GUSTAV RELIEF

REF: A) Beijing 3054 B) Beijing 2410 C) Beijing 1848

1. (U) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) North America and Oceania
Division Director General ZHENG Zeguang called the DCM September 5
to inform us that the Government of the People's Republic of China
has decided, as an expression of sympathy and support to the
government and people of the United States, to provide a USD 100,000
cash donation to the USG following the damage inflicted by Hurricane
Gustav and to alleviate victims' suffering caused by the event.

2. (U) Zheng separately said the Chinese Red Cross also has decided
to donate USD 50,000 to the American Red Cross for Gustav relief
efforts, as an expression of similar sentiments.

3. (U) Zheng further stated that the gesture of these donations
reflects genuine feelings of sympathy, and that it is done in the
spirit of mutual support for our common effort to confront natural
disasters.

4. (U) According to Zheng, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) will
handle the government-to-government transfer of funds. Post is
currently in contact with MOFCOM and will report any additional
details related to this transaction.

5. (U) NOTE: Earlier in the week, Ambassador Randt sent to Foreign
Minister YANG Jiechi a condolence letter expressing sympathy for the
August 30 earthquake disaster near Panzhihua, along the
Sichuan-Yunnan border. In May and June of this year, the USG
contributed a combined USD 4.9 million, and the American Red Cross
donated USD 10 million toward relief efforts for the 7.9 magnitude
May 12 Sichuan earthquake disaster (REFTELS). In September 2005, in
response to Hurricane Katrina, the Chinese government donated USD
5.1 million in cash, plus tents, generators, and bedding, toward
relief efforts. Previous to that, the Chinese government had played
an active role in relief efforts within the Asian region in the
aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami; however, the Katrina
donation marked the first time the GoC made a significant donation
to the USG to assist with natural disaster relief. END NOTE.

RANDT

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