|A plane carrying China's first batch of humanitarian aid to the United States for victims of Hurricane Katrina left here Wednesday afternoon. (Photo: Xinhua)|
LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, the United States, Sept. 7 (Xinhuanet)-- A total of 104 tons of relief aid from China arrived Wednesday afternoon at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, the United States, on board a Boeing 747 airplane.
The relief materials provided by China include tents, light power generators, bedsheets and clothes.
The US side extended warm welcome to the arrival of the aid. "Welcome our People's Republic of China friends" and "Thanks for your support" were written in electric bulletins around the air base.
Commander for Little Rock Air Force Base, General Joseph Reheiser, greeted at a civil airport in Little Rock China's Consul General at Houston Hu Yeshun, who arrived here to receive the cargo plane.
Reheiser told Xinhua, "It (the airlift)'s quite unusual. I'm not a historian, but I can't think of a time when China has airlifted relief supply to the United States. I think it's a historic event and we're very appreciative that China has done it."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency would arrange cargo trucks and see to it that the relief materials be sent to the stricken areas, he added.
Hu said the airlift showed deep sympathy and condolences of theChinese Government and people to the American people who have suffered a severe natural disaster.
General Reheiser had expressed the hope for increased exchangesbetween the armed forces of China and the United States, apart from the efforts to boost the governmental and non-governmental exchanges between the two countries, said Hu.
According to General Reheiser, Little Rock Air Force Base has been the sole distributing center for international relief materials for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, which ripped through the southeastern part of the United States on Aug. 29 and inflicted heavy casualties and damages.
So far,the base has received 14 air cargos loaded with relief materials from Russia, Spain, France, Italy, Britain and other countries, said General Reheiser, adding that another 13 dispatches of relief aid are expected to pour in in the next two days. Enditem