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China's top leadership urges unity, vows all-round quake relief

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The top leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Tuesday called for national unity and courage three days after a strong quake jolted southwest China's Sichuan, stressing restoration of infrastructures and supplies of necessities.

"Calamities always help to make a nation stronger. The more difficult situations we face, the more we need to boost the national cohesiveness and the courage to face up to hardships and dangers," according to a statement from the top leadership, issued after a key conference, which was presided over by President Xi Jinping.

The meeting was held by the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on relief work after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck Lushan County in Ya'an City Saturday morning, leaving at least 193 dead and 25 missing.

"As long as we are prepared and united, we will be fully capable to deal with all complex situations and overcome every potential difficulty," the statement said.

The leadership vowed that the government will continue searching for survivors and try its best to help the injured.

"Life is most valuable. We will mobilize rescuers to search door to door and make sure no corner is left," the statement said.

The statement pledged that the country will try its best to save injured people and provide them with immediate medical treatment.

"We will by all means avoid death caused by injuries and reduce the number of people disabled by injuries," the statement said, adding that earthquake relief is at a critical moment and should be considered a top priority.

"Supplies of water, electricity, oil, gas and telecommunication services must be ensured in the quake zone, and monitoring and prevention efforts should be strengthened against secondary disasaters in order to prevent further deaths and injuries."

According to the statement, daily necessities such as plank houses, clothes, quilts and rain gear should be transferred to the quake zone as soon as possible, with special focus on food and health safety as well as local people's psychological conditions.

"School buildings should be carefully checked and repaired, and new ones should be built if necessary in order to ensure students' safety and their return to the classrooms," said the statement.

The document urged to clean up ruins in the quake zone so as to pave way for the smooth operations of public health maintenance, infrastructures repairing and post-quake reconstruction.

According to the statement, timely surveys should be conducted on the impact of the quake on local agricultural and industrial enterprises before drafting policies to boost the revival of regional production.

Meanwhile, locals in the disaster-hit areas should be guided to take part in post-reconstruction efforts.

"The media should publicize quake relief progress as well as weather forecasts and disaster precautions in a timely, accurate and objective manner," said the statement.

It called upon Sichuan's provincial-level officials to scientifically coordinate the quake relief work while urging efficient cooperation among various departments under the State Council, or China's cabinet.

The statement also urged more efforts to ensure the safety and health of rescue and relief workers as well as strict management and supervision over the use of relief materials and funds.

In addition, the statement called on the army and armed police to continue search and rescue while contributing to local medical treatment, resettlement of locals and epidemic prevention.

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