Hubei Media Group: The volcanic eruption in Tonga has caused a severe disaster. Could you share some details of China’s disaster-relief assistance to the country?
Zhao Lijian: China has been closely following the situation in Tonga and has acted swiftly to render disaster-relief assistance to the best of its capability. The Red Cross Society of China has provided USD 100,000 in cash as emergency humanitarian assistance to the Tongan side.
The Chinese government, through the Chinese Embassy in Tonga, has managed to put together in the shortest time possible some emergency supplies including drinking water and food and delivered them to Tonga on January 19. Speaking at a ceremony marking the occasion, Deputy Prime Minister of Tonga Poasi Tei thanked the Chinese government for the swift assistance, which is the first batch of emergency supplies the Tongan government has received since the disaster stroke and embodies the special friendship between the two countries. Many Tongan people expressed heartfelt thanks to the Chinese embassy, calling China a true friend in need.
Going forward, China will continue to provide assistance in cash and supplies based on the situation and Tonga’s needs and strive to overcome unfavorable meteorological conditions such as the volcanic ash to deliver the supplies as soon as possible.