China stepped up the fight on Thursday to stave off disease among over five million earthquake homeless as it tried to boost morale with plans to bring the Olympic flame through the disaster zone. Ten days after the quake, China was faced with the challenge of how to reconstruct shattered communities after more than 74 000 people were confirmed dead or missing.
Thousands of terrified survivors of China's earthquake huddled in the open with their meagre belongings on Tuesday as an aftershock struck and the government warned of more powerful ones to come. The panic, which reportedly gripped a vast area, came as China entered its second day of official mourning over the quake.
China ramped up its massive military rescue effort in the quake-hit south-west on Thursday, where more than 40 000 people lay dead or buried under rubble and rescue teams fought to save the living. Premier Wen Jiabao ordered another 30 000 troops and 90 helicopters to the disaster zone to reinforce the rescue operation.
China's biggest earthquake for a generation left tens of thousands dead, missing or buried under the rubble of crushed communities on Tuesday, plunging the nation into an all-out aid effort. Rescue teams struggled by air, land and water to reach the areas of south-western China stricken by the huge quake that demolished schools, homes and factories.
A massive earthquake stunned south-west China on Monday, killing more than 8 000 people and flattening schools, factories and homes in a powerful tremor that was felt across a swathe of South-East Asia. The quake, with a magnitude of 7,8, struck close to densely populated areas of Sichuan province in what Premier Wen Jiabao called a ''major disaster''.
China said Wednesday at least 660 people had surrendered over deadly protests in and near Tibet as French President Nicolas Sarkozy raised the prospect of boycotting the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. More than 280 people had given themselves up to authorities following deadly protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa against Chinese rule.
China ramped up security on Thursday to quell a Tibetan uprising as it expressed concern over British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama. Huge military convoys were seen heading towards Tibet, while a build-up of troops took place in nearby provinces after a week of violent protests against China's rule of the region.
Premier Wen Jiabao rushed on Tuesday to oversee disaster relief efforts as China's leadership scrambled to limit the impact of the most brutal winter weather to hit the nation for half a century. The snowfalls and freezing temperatures across China have left dozens dead and paralysed infrastructure and power supplies in some areas.
China announced on Wednesday it will launch a joint mission with Russia to Mars in 2009, marking ''an important milestone'' in space cooperation between the two countries. A small Chinese satellite will take off on a Russian rocket, according to the agreement signed on Monday between the China National Space Administration and the Russian Federal Space Agency.
China's foreign exchange reserves officially hit a record-shattering -trillion on Monday, and they could top -trillion sooner rather than later, economists said. Even if Chinese officials have vowed to slow the growth in this huge stash of cash, they are up against vast and inexorable economic forces and, just as important, a national policy of keeping the currency stable.