Officials say the death toll from Monday’s earthquake is estimated at 50,000, with most of the casualties in Sichuan.
102,000 are injured, and over 25,000 still missing.
A Japanese rescue team has arrived in Sichuan, the first foreign aid personnel to help China.
Pandas in Sichuan OK
All 86 pandas at the Wolong Nature Reserve are doing fine and were moved to a safer place after the earthquake.
The reserve, a research and breeding center, is located in Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the quake.
China sets up jumbo jet company
China has set up a company to build large passenger aircraft.
Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd will research, develop, manufacture and market the jets.
CACC’s goal is to deliver the ARJ21 aircraft, the first homegrown regional jet.
Torch relay helps relief efforts
Organizers of the Olympic torch relay have toned down the festivities out of respect for the earthquake victims.
The start of each ceremony now begins with a minute’s silence and donations are collected at each stop.
Putin names new government
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reshuffled the Russian government on Monday, his first major action since leaving the Kremlin.
He brought in some high-profile figures from his presidency, but left the prominent ministries unchanged.
This morning President Hu Jintao flew to Sichuan Province to console the victims of Monday’s earthquake.
The death toll in Sichuan alone is over 19,500.
Rescuers finished repairs on a quake-damaged road from Lixian County to the epicenter, Wenchuan County, at 9:30 pm Thursday night.
The newly-opened road ensures faster delivery of disaster relief materials.
Yesterday Premier Wen Jiabao went to Qingchuan County, near the badly-hit Beichuan County, by boat to oversee rescue work.
Latest relief efforts
China’s military conducted large-scale air drops on Thursday of key relief supplies.
They include 50,000 food packets, 54,000 articles of clothing, 25,000 pairs of shoes and 5,000 blankets.
Also the total number of soldiers, paramilitary personnel and rescuer workers has reached 130,000.
Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered 90 more helicopters to ferry the injured to hospitals as well as bring supplies.
Rescue workers have also cleared roads previously blocked by boulders due to landslides.
Generous donations for quake relief
Ordinary Chinese citizens and celebrities have pitched in for quake relief efforts.
NBA star Yao Ming has pledged 2 million yuan, and hurdler Liu Xiang and his coach 500,000 yuan.
People have also donated cash and lined up to give blood.
And Chinese outside of the mainland have given generously.
Hong Kong is donating HK$350 million or US$44.9 million.
Macao has pledged 100 million yuan, and Taiwan more than 200 million yuan.
Overseas Chinese are fundraising in Canada, the United States, Europe and Africa.
How you can help
You too can help with the earthquake relief by making a donation.
The Red Cross Society of China and China Charity Foundation are receiving donations.
The account number for renminbi donations is: 0200-00100-90144-13252, at the Beijing branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
For foreign currency donations, the account number is: 7112-1114-82600-000209 at Jiuxianqiao branch of CITIC Bank.
The Red Cross Society of China donation hotline is 6513-9999 or 6402-7620.
Jenna Bush gets married
US President George W Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas was the site of wedded bliss this past weekend.
His daughter Jenna married long-time boyfriend Henry Hager in a quiet ceremony in front of family and friends.
“Meet in Beijing” cultural festival
Beijing will not only host the Olympics, but also an arts festival from May to September.
Called “Meet in Beijing”, overseas groups will present over 100 performances and 60 exhibitions.
One group performing will be the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.
Qianmen Street reopened
After a year of renovations, Qianmen Street in Beijing was reopened to the public.
It is a pedestrian-only zone before the Olympics. Trolley buses have made a comeback and time honored brand Quanjude roast duck restaurant has returned as well.
About the broadcaster:
Bernice Chan is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Bernice has written for newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong and most recently worked as a broadcaster for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, producing current affairs shows and documentaries.
Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.
He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.