Chinese President Hu Jintao offered flowers and expressed condolences to the quake victims Tuesday, marking the first anniversary of Wenchuan quake that left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing and 5 million homeless.
President Hu said that after the massive quake, China immediately launched post-quake reconstruction based on the principles of putting people first and respecting nature.
Officials said they had made remarkable achievements in rebuilding homes and public facilities including schools and hospitals as well as in industrial reconstruction and environmental recovery, and the President pledged strengthened support for rebuilding and prevention towards disasters.
The post-quake reconstruction efforts have made important progress and the quake survivors are marching toward a new life, he said at the ceremony.
After solemn music, President Hu said The country mobilized the fastest, widest and strongest relief efforts when the whole Chinese nation was faced with the unprecedented challenge from the quake disaster.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao arrived in Sichan hours after the quake hit the province to direct relief work.
Our quick response helped save lots of lives and minimize property losses incurred by the quake, the President said.
He also expressed respect and gratitude to all those who participated in the relief and reconstruction efforts, including civilians, military staff and the international community.
China has received total 76 billion yuan in quake donations, 10.3 billion yuan came from outside the Chinese mainland as of Oct. 10, 2008, official calculation showed.
According to official estimates, the massive 8.0-magnitude quake caused more than 800 billion yuan property losses ($117 billion) and more than 87,000 dead or missing.
President Hu called for stepped-up efforts to enhance international communication and cooperation in disaster reduction, prevention and international humanitarian aid.
He also encouraged people in the area to rely on their own efforts and work hard to live a better life.
We can not change what has happened, but we can build a future with our wisdom. By remembering this day, we know better the power and value of life, a Chinese citizen Wu Dan said in a Facebook-like social networking service portal.
The service attended by Hu and other senior officials in the quake-hit town was broadcast live on national television.
The Chinese government designated May 12 as the Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day to raise the country's overall preparedness for natural disasters.