The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) has expressed its sympathy and solidarity with the Communist Party and people of China following the Sichuan earthquake. On the same day the quake struck, our party officers addressed a letter to the Central Committee of the Chinese party, stating:
“On behalf of all members of our party and the British working class, we extend our deep condolences to your party and through you to the bereaved, injured and all the afflicted people in the devastated area.
“In such times of difficulty, the Communist Party and the People’s Government have the fine tradition and rich experience of mobilising all resources and leading the people to overcome disasters and rebuild their homes and lives; the People’s Liberation Army has the fine tradition and rich experience that befits its name, tradition and role as the sons and daughters and advanced detachment of the working class of fearing no challenge or ordeal in protecting and serving the people; and the working class, peasantry and all sections of the Chinese people, from all nationalities and all parts of the country, have the fine tradition and rich experience of uniting as one, of helping, supporting and cooperating with one another to overcome disaster.
“We are confident that with these fine Chinese revolutionary traditions, and under the leadership of the Central Committee of your party and General Secretary Hu Jintao, and with Premier Wen Jiabao personally directing the rescue work in the heart of the disaster area, you will once again be able to overcome this grave natural disaster at an early date.
“Please accept our condolences and the assurances of our full support and solidarity.”
China declared three days of national mourning from Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 May. On 20 May, a delegation of our party’s Central Committee visited the Chinese Embassy in London to express condolences.
Comrade Ella Rule, Vice Chairman and International Secretary, signed the Book of Condolences and handed over a financial donation from the party to support the relief efforts. The party’s entry read as follows:
“On behalf of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) we would like to express our deepest sympathy at the calamity that has stricken the Chinese people. We are sure that with China’s socialist system the suffering of the survivors will be kept to a minimum and those who are afflicted will soon be able to return to a happy life even though their loved ones are lost forever. We know that China’s friends all over the world will also wish to help as much as they can in appreciation of all the fraternal help that the People’s Republic of China has always extended to the people of the world.”
The delegation was received by the Ambassador, Comrade Fu Ying, and First Secretary, Comrade Xu Bin, who thanked our party for its support.
On 21 May, upon invitation, a delegation of our party’s Central Committee attended a memorial meeting held at the Chinese Embassy and addressed by the Ambassador and some friends of China and prominent figures. In her speech, the Ambassador stated:
“We have been watching with tears and sorrow as the tragedy unfolded. We felt nothing but admiration for our national leaders, who responded so quickly to the needs of the people …
“Indeed, the earthquake has neither robbed the people of Sichuan of their spirit nor their dignity. Instead, it has brought the whole country together.
“This same courage in the face of adversity, the respect for life, and the resilience that have sustained the Chinese nation through the ages continues to define who we are as a people.”
In a 20 May letter of thanks to all British people who had expressed their condolences, Ambassador Fu Ying wrote:
“Despite the pain, Sichuan has not fallen. China is not down. For a country whose President moved within an hour to organise the rescue, whose Premier left within two hours for the scene, a country which could put together a rescue force of more than 140,000 within a few days, whose businesses and individuals donated tens of billions of Yuan, and whose streets are congested with people queuing to donate blood and offer help, this country will always stand on its feet.”
The Xinhua News Agency also reported on the fundraising efforts of the Chinese community in Britain:
“Zhong Shuhong, chairman of the Chinese community centre in Brixton, south west London, came with £1,650 raised by his fellow workers at the local Chinese supermarket.
“‘Watching on TV how our compatriots in Sichuan suffered and get exhausted in their rescue efforts, the staff in our supermarket don’t even hesitate in donating money. We are all Chinese.’ …
“Three lads from south China’s Fujian province donated several hundred pounds of their hard-earned money through construction work. They would not mention their names, saying simply ‘It’s our obligation.’” (‘Overseas Chinese in Britain launch fundraising appeal for Sichuan quake victims’, 18 May 2008)