China's government has sent four plane loads of aid worth over $9 million to tens of thousands left homeless by this month's powerful earthquake in Ecuador
Ecuador's Defense and Foreign Ministers on Wednesday welcomed the arrival of the Air China cargo planes carrying 10,000 foldable beds, 5,400 tents and other supplies.
China is Ecuador's biggest creditor and last year alone lent the struggling oil-producing nation $7.5 billion.
"Before, China and Ecuador were perfect strangers, but now our relation has strengthened in cultural, social and political areas," Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said at Quito's airport surrounded by bright red Chinese flags and accompanied by China's Ambassador to the South American nation. "The Ecuadorean people will remember this show of generosity from the people and government of China."
The U.S. in contrast says it has provided $2.6 million in humanitarian assistance, including an airlift of 80 tons of supplies as well as the deployment of a team of disaster-response experts to hard-hit areas.
Also on Wednesday the government raised its death toll from the 7.8 magnitude quake, saying that 659 people had been killed and 29,000 left homeless.