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China's vice premier arrives in quake-hit Sichuan: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 18, 2008
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday became the latest top leader to visit quake-hit Sichuan province to oversee disaster relief work, state press said.

Li arrived after a four-day visit by Premier Wen Jiabao, who flew in hours after the 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Monday. President Hu Jintao, China's top leader, is also in the disaster area.

Li, widely seen as Premier Wen's successor in five years time, arrived in Mianyang -- one of the cities worst hit by the earthquake -- at lunchtime on Sunday, Xinhua news agency said.

State-run television has broadcast countless images of Wen, Hu and other leaders talking to victims and encouraging rescue efforts, in a bid to show the goverment's concern and good work in the disaster.

The strategy has apparently worked, with people in China and abroad praising the government's swift response to the quake, which officials estimate has killed more than 50,000.

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American tourist joins pandas in 'surreal' earthquake ordeal
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An American tourist who survived China's deadly earthquake says he is not only lucky to be alive -- he had a "surreal" experience of sharing the moment with giant pandas.

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