China provides three more batches of emergency supplies to Tonga: FM
Published: Jan 24, 2022 10:23 PM
Photo: WeChat account of the Chinese Embassy in Fifi

Photo: WeChat account of the Chinese Embassy in Fiji

China has decided to send three more batches of materials, including drinking water, food and cash, as emergency aid to Tonga, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Monday.

The three batches of supplies include emergency aid worth 20 million yuan ($3.2 million), cash assistance, and some other supplies gathered through the Chinese Embassy in Fiji - such as drinking water, food and power generators, Zhao said at a routine press conference on Monday.

Shipment of the supplies gathered through the Chinese Embassy in Fiji, worth 1 million yuan, started on Monday and is estimated to arrive in Tonga on Thursday, according to a statement the embassy released on Monday. 

Qian Bo, Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, and 50 other representatives from Chinese enterprises, as well as Chinese and foreign media, attended a ceremony for the shipment at Suva port in Fiji.

A volcanic eruption on January 15 triggered a tsunami and caused catastrophic damage to Tonga, with power, communications and air routes temporarily cut off. Houses, facilities and crops were destroyed, water sources were polluted, and daily supplies saw severe shortages.

On January 19, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to King of Tonga Tupou VI over the grave disaster caused by the volcanic eruption.

China and Tonga are comprehensive strategic partners with mutual support and mutual assistance. China is willing to provide support within its capacity to Tonga to help the Tongan people overcome the disaster and rebuild their homeland, Xi said.

On the same day, Premier Li Keqiang sent a message of condolence to Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni.

China is paying great attention to the situation in Tonga in the wake of the disaster and is trying to provide aid to the country via various methods, Zhao said Monday. 

The first batch of supplies provided by the Chinese government had arrived earlier in Tonga. It was the first batch of relief supplies Tonga received after the volcanic disaster.

The Red Cross Society of China has also provided $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the country, Zhao noted.  

China will continue to provide aid to Tonga depending on the conditions and needs of the country, Zhao said. 

The volcanic eruption in Tonga is drawing global attention, including that of the Chinese people, Ambassador Qian said at the Monday ceremony. 

Qian noted that China will continue to help Pacific island countries enhance their ability to respond to major public health events and natural disasters as well as protect people's lives and health, in order to promote the construction of a community with a shared future for China and Pacific island nations.    

Global Times