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US envoy thanks China for rescue of compatriots

By WANG QINGYUN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-04-20 07:54

United States Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns expressed his "profound gratitude" to Beijing officials and residents on Friday for their efforts to rescue US citizens about two months ago.

Burns made the remark during an event held in Beijing on Friday to thank and honor the rescuers.

More than 10 US citizens suffered an accident when camping in suburban Beijing on Feb 9, which was also Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve.

Upon receiving an emergency call, local public security, fire and rescue personnel, alongside medical workers and locals, sprang into action, mobilizing more than 150 people for the rescue work, said Lei Xiaoning, deputy director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Beijing Municipal Government.

Burns praised the Chinese side for their "heroism, courage and right action" on "a very difficult evening in terms of the climate, the weather, the cold temperatures and the treacherous conditions".

Wang Zhenjiang, a firefighter who took part in the rescue work, was on duty that night.

Wang recalled that when the emergency bell rang, he and his colleagues were watching the Spring Festival Gala while making dumplings to prepare for Chinese New Year's Eve.

Wang and his colleagues, as well as others including police officers, wasted no time in arriving at the scene.

He said they determined the location of those in distress through a careful search, and carried them on their shoulders or in their arms to bring them to safety down a mountainside covered with ice and snow.

"Regardless of their nationality and ethnicity, whenever people are in need of help, we are always ready to rush to the front line," Wang said.

Thanking all those who took part in the rescue work, Burns said they proved that night that Chinese and Americans can work together to do great things.

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