|The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Solemn Ceremony to Mourn Quake Victims on the National Mourning Day|
From May 19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a range of memorial activities to mourn the victims in the Wenchuan earthquake.
Early in the morning, the Five-Starred Red Flag was slowly lowered to half-mast in front of the office building of the Foreign Ministry.
On the same day, the whole ministry staff held a solemn ceremony to mourn the victims. At 14:28, amid the wailing sirens, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi announced the beginning of the three-minute silent tribute. Over 300 people including ministry leaders and staff representatives in Beijing stood in silent tribute for three minutes to the victims. Other staff members at work halted what they were doing at the same time and observed the three-minute silence, facing southwest. Meanwhile, those working at Chinese missions across the world, either in daytime or late at night, all stood in silent tribute, facing to the motherland.
Since the Wenchuan earthquake, the whole ministry staff has been concerned about the quake-hit areas and has made all-out efforts to facilitate foreign-related disaster relief. They have opened green channel and worked overtime to receive condolences, donations, materials and professional rescue personnel from foreign countries, as well as arrange reporting trips by foreign journalists to the disaster-stricken areas. They have done their utmost to create a favorable international environment for disaster relief and provide urgently needed external assistance to the quake-hit areas.