President Hu Jintao promised more backing for rebuilding efforts in Sichuan province as top Chinese leaders marked the first anniversary of the earthquake that left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing, AP reported. “The great tasks of earthquake rescue and recovery reminds us again that unity is strength, that victory can only be gained through struggle,” Hu said at a service of remembrance in the town of Yingxiu, before laying carnations at a memorial. The ceremony, which broadcast live on national television, followed a minute of silence beginning at 2.28pm, the time the magnitude-7.9 quake struck on May 12, 2008. Mourners also gathered at a destroyed middle school in nearby Beichuan under the eye of more than a dozen police officers. Parents who lost children in the disaster – and who have yet to receive answers to allegations that shoddy construction played a role in the collapose of many schools – shouted abuse at the police when a plainclothes officer tried to break up an interview.
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