INDIA AND CHINA: Neighbors In Need

Nepal’s two neighbors actively took part in rescue and relief operations side by side

May 8, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -21 May 08- 2015 (Baishakh 25, 2072)

Nepal’s prime minister Sushil Koirala reportedly knew that a major earthquake hit Kathmandu by way of a tweet sent by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.Modi not only tweeted about Nepal’s quake but also sent a strong rescue and relief squads to arrive within a few hours in Kathmandu.

The Indian team started the rescue operation, along with Nepalese security officers, and Nepali people just a few hours after the quake on April 25. Nepal’s northern neighbor China also quickly responded by sending a strong rescue team with a lot of relief materials the next morning.

Like Indian prime minister, Chinese president Xi Jingping also senta message to prime minister Sushil Koirala, who met Chinese leader just a day before in Indonesia.

Since he became prime minister, Modi has been showing a great concern about Nepal. His immediate response to the aftermath of earthquake is its reflection. Strong Indian rescue team not only saved the life of people but also started getting involved in the relief operation. 

Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae briefed the diplomatic community on India's ongoing assistance to Nepal, rendered in full coordination with the Government of Nepal, in wake of the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25. The briefing was attended by several Heads of Missions, including China and EU.

In his opening remarks Ambassador Rae pointed out that operation Maitri is the largest ever support operation by India in response to a natural calamity abroad. It represented not only the deepest commitment at the highest political level in India but also overwhelming outpouring of support from the people of India and over a dozen Indian states, including those bordering Nepal.

“A ten-member Chineserescue team was inducted and extricated from Pipaldanda, Sindhupalchowk by IAF. A medical team from Singapore was also inducted through IAF at Laprak,” said Indian ambassador to Nepal.

China’s Support

As soon as Nepal was hit by the deadly earthquake, China sent a strong rescue team to arrive here the following morning. China intensified the rescue operation and medical treatment in Nepal later.

According to Chinese Xinhua News Agency, as a responsible global power and Nepal's neighbor, China responded immediately to Nepal's call after the quake hit it, leaving more than 8000 people dead and many missing.

The first batch of Chinese aid material, which included tents, blankets and electric generators, arrived aboard a military plane in Kathmandu a day later. The aid was part of 186 tons of emergency aid worth 20 million yuan (3.2 million U.S.dollars) pledged by the Chinese government.

Moreover, China had decided to send a second batch of emergency relief worth 40 million yuan (6.4 million dollars) to affected areas in Nepal, including water purifiers, first aid kits, tents and blankets, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Meanwhile, 215 Chinese military personnel had arrived in Nepal in two batches. The Chinese teams were carrying out rescue operations with sniffing dogs, recovery vehicles and rescue equipment, and provided medical aid and psychological counseling.

The 62-member CISAR team that landed in the capital city Kathmandu as the first international heavy urban search and rescue team transferred its work focus to medical service and epidemic prevention as four days passed after the quake. A total of 328 patients were treated by them at that time.

The 58-strong Chinese Government Medical Team treated 83 people since it arrived. Besides that, more Chinese governmental and civil organizations such as the Red Cross Society of China arrived in Nepal or were standing by.

Chief Secretary of the Nepal government Leela Mani Paudyal said, "the government of China was the first to send international medical teams and rescue teams to Nepal. China International Search and Rescue Team (CISAR) is considered as one of the world's best teams during such natural calamities and the rescue operation has been expedited after the CISAR team landed in Kathmandu."

China also announces second Nepal aid supply. China will provide a second batch of humanitarian aid worth 40 million yuan (6.54 million U.S. dollars) to Nepal following Saturday's earthquake, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Wednesday.

The aid, including water purification equipment, first aid kits, tents and blankets, will be delivered to Nepal as soon as possible, the ministry said in a statement. Thousands of quake victims in Nepal living outdoors could face epidemic outbreak

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