Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 14:22 UK

China earthquake: One year on

A relative of earthquake victims cries as she mourns at the ruins of earthquake-hit Beichuan county on May 11, 2009
Relatives were allowed back to the site of Beichuan town to mourn their dead

Chinese President Hu Jintao has led the commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake.

In a speech at the event, the president said Chinese people had "written a great chapter" with their rescue and reconstruction work.

You have been telling us how you marked the anniversary of the earthquake.


I am a Chinese, and today is a special day for China. We send condolences to the compatriots who are the victims of the earthquake in Sichuan.
Levin Zhang, China

I also stood in silence for three minutes to mourn for the dead. Although it is just one year ago I hope their relatives will recover from their grief as soon as possible. I hope the government can monitor the handouts given to the earthquake hit area so that money can be used properly.
Zhang Xuemei, Shaanxi

As a Chinese, I really appreciate what our government has done for the re-construction of Sichuan. Our president and prime minister are responsible for their citizens. We Chinese have confidence in overcoming all natural disasters. Prime Minister Wen said: "Many disasters rejuvenate a nation." That's it!
Song Hanjiang, Guangdong Province

Juyuan Middle School just after the earthquake
Parents want to re-visit the schools where their children died

It affected me a lot last year when I was working hard for the national college entrance examination. People there have suffered a lot from the natural disaster already and they should have the rights to question the quality of school buildings because if you regard parents as "customers" and schools as "merchants", customers have the right to question the quality of goods and services provided by merchants, according to Chinese laws. So China should make a change, so do the Party.

I didn't watch the live broadcast of Hu's speech just because I think it was another Communist Party of China-style speech and I hate that style so much.

I'm marking the anniversary only by turning the wallpaper of my computer black. I don't know whether it can be called an anniversary-marking but as far as I know my fellows are playing online and offline games as usual.

I haven't visited any of the ruins and graves because I don't think it's a necessity for me, nor are most of my fellow classmates except those from quake-struck areas.
Anon, Hunan, People's Republic of China

I have not been to Sichuan, but I felt the earthquake last year. I was also in the classroom, I just do not know why the building moved so hard. I think the money which should have been used in buildings had been moved to somebody's pocket.
Yinzhong, Henan

As part of the student group in Beijing, we had our moment of silence today. It wasn't specifically happy or sad, but it was meaningful. I thank everyone who was part of the rescue team helping at the ruined areas, this thanks might not mean very much to you, but it means a lot to me. Thank you.
Dennis Li, Beijing, China

China is just trying to provide their people a good living standard

I think the Chinese government did a good job and deserve more positive attention among international communities. Problems might still exist, but efforts were astonishing, when one talked about the issues in China, the thing people should keep in mind is that China was not a developed country. China is just trying to provide their people a good living standard. Compared to the past, we have achieved a lot. But compared to western countries we have a long way to go. I think reminding the people the problems exist in the past is not important, people here are more concerned about what will be now, not what was then.
Yangyi, Beijing

I haven't been to the ruins of the earthquake, but all the Chinese were marking the anniversary at 1428 today. Buses stopped and people stopped working. God bless them!
Li Jia (James), Chong Qing

This year's commemoration actually began in April. There has been lots of media coverage about it. I think for myself, it is simply political propaganda for the merit of our communism and society. Our country's leaders spend a lot of money talking about its superiority. It is just a waste of our ordinary people's money and time.
Toby, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Chinese President Hu Jintao leads the ceremony in Yingxiu
Chinese President Hu Jintao leads the anniversary ceremony in Yingxiu

Today I watched the first anniversary commemorations, I can't help crying just like one year ago, I wish our reconstruction would be finished soon. The earthquake will teach us to love our life, love our country and cherish all we have now!
Gan, Wuhan

I'm a Chinese university student from Sichuan Province. When the earthquake happened I was not in Sichuan but, I was quite concerned and wanted to get the latest information. I'm a boy, and even I cried that night, as I saw the astonishing casualty toll figures displayed on the net. I couldn't believe how it could rise so rapidly in just a couple of hours?! Though I had called to ensure the safety of my family and friends, I was so overwhelmed during those days that I couldn't even focus on my studies. All I saw was the miserable scenes and my folks suffering the pain of both losing their loved ones the physical harm. Anyway, with the care and love and actions of the whole nation, especially the locals of great courage, I came over it, and did my part. I know there's still many unsolved problems and some questions concerning the government, that's a really big problem. But I saw the Chinese people's hope, courage, love, care and resolve. It takes time to make a better homeyard, but the most important thing is that they will.
Crayan Raya Eyes, China

I was in Sichuan and only 50 miles away from the epi-centre when the earthquake happened one year ago. It was a difficult time for everyone. I am really proud of what the government did after the disaster. No government could have done a better job to re-house tens of millions in a matter of days and weeks. There could be problems with some of the school buildings. We should blame those individuals who are responsible but not government. It is the same as people blaming the MPs that abuse the expense system, but do not blame the civil servants who approved the claims.
Vitaplus, London

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