Chinese enterprises in Myanmar have joined the country's relief efforts in flood-hit areas, while relief aid from the Chinese embassy and companies are being transported in, Chinese ambassador Hong Liang has told Xinhua following his tour in the worst-hit Sagaing region and Rakhine state.
Noting that the China-Myanmar relationship is based on the friendship between the two peoples, Hong said, "As a Chinese ambassador to Myanmar, my prime duty of coming to Myanmar is to enhance such traditional friendship between the people of the two countries."
"This year, Myanmar experienced such a great flood disaster which hasn't been seen in the past four decades. The flood victims were moved and excited on witnessing the urgently needed relief materials reaching them.
"Myanmar needs the assistance rendered by neighboring countries and the international community. As a friendly neighbor of Myanmar, China should extend a helping hand."
The ambassador said Chinese enterprises investing in Myanmar have actively and aggressively turned out to help and are currently carrying their relief goods to the flood-stricken areas.
President of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lv Dexing told Xinhua that the organization has arranged the first shipment of urgently-needed relief materials to the Magway region in central Myanmar, which will be followed by two more batches.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said since the occurrence of the flood, the South-East Asia Crude Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline Co. Ltd. have launched fund-raising activities and will start traveling to Rakhine state and Magway region for donations on Friday.
Hong, the ambassador, said the first large batch of urgently- needed relief materials extended by the Chinese government will be transported to Myanmar from Beijing by chartered plane, adding that China has also provided Myanmar with weather-related satellite data and disaster-assessment equipment which Myanmar said are useful in disaster prevention and management.
He said the Chinese flood relief aid shipment from the Yunnan provincial government has arrived in Mandalay via the border gate at Muse and a handover ceremony will be launched.
The relief aid include tents, milk powder, instant noodles and rice.
Hong added that Chinese civil organizations at home are also joining in Myanmar's relief efforts with the Blue Sky Rescue team having arrived in Sagaing region to begin the search and relief operation for people trapped in the flood waters.
Zhang Yong, leader of the rescue team, Myanmar President U Thein Sein expressed thanks to the members of the team when he inspected the areas, urging local authorities to coordinate with the team in operation.
Hong said China has disaster management ability and is ready to enhance cooperation with neighboring countries in management.
"Natural disasters pose the biggest threat to the region, more so than clashes between countries," he pointed out, calling for common challenges to be dealt with by jointly establishing a communal relief system.
Severe floods, triggered by heavy rainfall since June, have affected 13 regions and states out of 14 in Myanmar, destroying houses, farmland, railway lines, bridges and roads.
The Myanmar government has declared four disaster zones namely Rakhine, Chin, Sagaing and Magway, of which Rakhine state was the worst hit.
The flood has brought the death toll nationwide to 88, affecting more than 330,000 people across the nation and flooding 474,000 hectares of farmland.
In the latest development, flood water has begun to gradually retreat in the north and move southwards and is likely to expand and affect the southern part of the country.