U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO BY CPL. ANTHONY J. DECAPITE
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Allen Minner pushed a large pallet of humanitarian supplies delivered by a C-17 cargo plane Friday to the People's Liberation Army at Shanghai International Airport, China. Minner's unit, the 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is based at Hickam Air Force Base.
Help wings to China aboard Hickam C-17
Humanitarian aid: 6,000 winter coats arrive
BEIJING » An Air Force C-17 cargo plane and crew from Hawaii delivered thousands of jackets, blankets and boxed rations Friday to help victims of China's worst winter storms in more than 50 years, the U.S. Pacific Command and the Chinese government Xinhua News Agency reported.
The supplies were handed over in Shanghai to the People's Liberation Army, which forwarded them for distribution to parts of the country's hard-hit eastern and central regions, Xinhua said.
Maj. Gen. Qian Lihua, head of foreign affairs for the Chinese Defense Ministry, said the transfer would "promote the friendship between the two peoples and the two armed forces."
The U.S. military has promoted such exchanges to build confidence between their armed forces, seen by some as potential regional rivals.
It also follows a period of tension over China's refusal to allow port calls by U.S. Navy ships in Hong Kong in November, apparently due to Chinese anger over Washington's arms sales to Taiwan and a decision by the U.S. Congress to grant its highest civilian award to Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
The U.S. aid was worth $820,000 and included 6,000 winter coats, 1,657 blankets and 87,552 ration packets, Xinhua said.
In a brief notice on its Web site, the U.S. Pacific Command said it coordinated the delivery of aid supplies, which were delivered by members of the 535th Airlift Squadron and 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, both based at Hickam Air Force Base, said U.S. Pacific Command spokeswoman Amy Derrick-Frost.
Photos on the Web site showed the U.S. air crew unloading supplies and exchanging salutes with Qian, who presented the plane's captain with a traditional souvenir for the Chinese Lunar New Year.