UN official praises China's assistance to Nepal after quake

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BEIJING (AP) — The leader of the U.N. Development Program on Monday praised China's relief efforts in Nepal and said the country's importance to global development will only grow.

Helen Clark, the UNDP administrator, met with Premier Li Keqiang and commerce, economic planning and foreign ministry officials on Monday. On Tuesday she will meet with environment officials.

Clark said China had been "a very good neighbor" in assisting Nepal after the April 25 earthquake. Beijing has sent more than 200 military staff, 10 plane loads of tents, blankets and other supplies along with helicopter support. The defense ministry said last week they had moved 45,000 people to safety and made emergency repairs on more than 53 kilometers (33 miles) of roads damaged by the quake.

The former New Zealand prime minister said she was mindful that China had experienced serious earthquake disasters in recent years, and that China had learned from them, fine-tuned its response mechanisms and was willing to share its experience.

"China's importance in global development will only grow," she said, adding that the proposed Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was one example and would be welcomed by developing countries.

"This bank, as we would say in New Zealand, is a goer," she said.

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