Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the earthquake-rocked region of Qinghai in western China on Sunday as official estimates of the damage to human life rose to 1,700 dead, with 256 missing and 12,128 injured.

The earthquake affected the region bordering Tibet, and many of those who are suffering are Tibetan. –JCL

The Guardian:

China’s president, Hu Jintao, today flew into the western town devastated by an earthquake, pledging swift rebuilding in the predominantly Tibetan area, as the death toll climbed to 1,700.

Chinese state television showed him cradling an injured young Tibetan survivor and assuring her: “You will have a bright future. Grandpa will be thinking of you.”

Hu cut short an official trip to South America because of the disaster in Yushu county, Qinghai province. State news agency Xinhua reported today that 1,706 people have died, with 256 still missing and 12,128 injured.

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