Xi pledges China’s full support for flood-hit Pakistan

People navigate through flooded roads after heavy monsoon rains, in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Aug 24, 2022. (PERVEZ MASIH / AP)

President Xi Jinping pledged on Monday to offer continuous support to Pakistan as the nation copes with major flooding that claimed over 1,000 lives and damaged or destroyed almost 1 million homes.

In his message of sympathy to Pakistani President Arif Alvi, Xi said that as all-weather strategic cooperative partners and ironclad friends, China and Pakistan have stood in solidarity and helped each other in response to major challenges, including natural disasters.

The president, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in his own name, expressed deep condolences over the deaths from the disaster and extended sincere sympathy to the injured, the families of the bereaved and people who were affected by the disasters.

Beijing responded immediately to the incidents, and will continue to support Pakistan in its disaster response, Xi said.

He expressed his belief that the people hit by the disasters, with the joint efforts of the Pakistani government and people, will get over these challenges and rebuild their homes at an early date.

Premier Li Keqiang also sent a message of sympathy to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday.

The death toll in separate accidents caused by heavy rains across Pakistan has surged to 1,000 since the start of monsoon season on June 14, Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday, citing figures from the National Disaster Management Authority of Pakistan.

The authority said 1,527 people were also injured in separate incidents, while 949,858 homes were partially or fully destroyed and over 33 million people and 72 districts have been affected by the ongoing flooding.

China, after having donated 4,000 tents, 50,000 blankets and other daily necessities under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, will donate another 25,000 tents and other emergencies supplies in humanitarian assistance to Pakistan, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a news briefing on Monday.

The Red Cross Society of China will donate $300,000 to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, he added.