Foreign and Military Affairs

Students move to donate to quake-hit Japan

Updated: 2011-03-16 22:54


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BEIJING - Two donation boxes were set up in front of canteens in Beijing's Tsinghua University, one of the top universities in China, to collect money for earthquake victims.

One box was for victims of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake last Thursday in southwest China's Yunnan Province that left 25 dead and hundreds wounded. The other is for victims of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami that wreaked havoc on Japan.

"We should care for and help each other since we are close neighbors," Meng Xiaoxiao, a 19-year-old freshman from the School of Humanities and Social Science of Tsinghua, said while donating money to Japan.

"Humanity always comes before nationality, and it is pointless to let historic problems deter relief work when natural disasters strike," Meng Xiaoxiao said.

"We talked a lot about the earthquake in Japan and it was really a catastrophe," said Li Keqian from the School of Information Science and Technology. "It is natural that we give them a hand."

Li said that the money collection was organized by the student union and the graduate student union of Tsinghua University. The campaign gained wide support from lecturers and students.

Some Japanese students who study in Tsinghua University helped with the donation. Each time a student comes and donates, they will bow deeply to express their thanks and appreciation.

Nakayama Chie has been in China for 10 years and is studying journalism at Tsinghua.

"Many of my classmates inquired and comforted me when they heard about the earthquake. I am so grateful for their kindness," Chie told reporters.

She said that she donated to the victims of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in southwestern Sichuan Province that killed tens of thousands of people. She also worked as a volunteer during the Beijing Olympic Games that same year.

Learning that Chinese rescue teams have arrived in Japan, Chie bowed a second time. "The disaster is not over yet, and I just hope that my country will recover soon," she said.

Similar donation collections were organized in other universities around the nation.

Starting Sunday, about 200 volunteers from seven universities in northeastern Changchun City took to the streets with 29 donation boxes to request donations for victims in Yunnan, as well as in Japan.

"All human beings are equal when it comes to life and death. We should not only aid those in Yunnan, but also send our assistance to the Japanese people," said Du Yumeng from the Changchun University of Technology.

In Shanghai's Fudan University, donations also attracted a crowd of students who opened their purses without hesitation.

Yang Yujia, a freshman who majored in economics, said she studied in Japan for a year with an exchange program when she was in middle school.

"I have a beautiful memory about Japan, and I hope my contribution could bring a little comfort to those heart-broken," Yang said, emptying her purse.

There are 454 Japanese students in Fudan University and 33 of them are from the most severely hit northeastern regions, said Yang Zengguo, a staff member with the foreign students department.

After the earthquake, the department contacted all Japanese students and offered psychological counseling to some of them, said Yang.

"We will never forget the aid provided by Japan during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and China will never hesitate to stretch out a helping hand to Japan's quake-hit zone," said Liu Jiangyong, a professor at the Institute of International Studies of Tsinghua University.


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