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China to Set Up 'International Drought Prevention Center' with UN

China will adopt a series measures to conduct disasters relief works with other countries, including building up an "International Drought Prevention Center" with a United Nation's organization, a Chinese official said at the Asian Conference on Disaster Reduction opened here Tuesday.


The center is to be set up in collaboration with the Secretariat of International Strategy for Disaster Reduction of the United Nations, according to Hua Jianmin, China's State Councilor.


"China is now negotiating with some Asian countries and regional organizations on bilateral or multilateral agreements on disaster relief," Hua said.


"We are ready to share with other Asian countries and related international organizations our data from satellite 'Fengyun II' and the small satellite constellation on environment and disaster monitoring and forecast, and parameters measured by China's seismic stations network," he said.


Besides, China will hold the "China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Seminar on Disaster Prevention and Reduction" in 2006, to enable the exchanges in disaster reduction among Asian countries.


The country also vowed to sponsor the "International Workshop on Disaster Prevention and Relief," for the 26 members of the International Civil Defense Organization next year.


"Though China is a developing country with limited economic and technological power, we would offer a helping hand to other developing countries in building their disaster reduction capability," Hua said.


China is annually blighted by large-scale floods, landslides, droughts and other natural disasters. So far this year, the country has claimed 1,630 lives, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.


More than 450 representatives from 42 countries in Asian Pacific region and 13 international organizations have attended the three-day meeting, aiming to share experiences of Asian countries' disaster control, specifying the priority areas of disaster-reduction and promoting regional cooperation in the field.


(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2005)


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