BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Monday that he hoped New Zealand would speed up efforts to search and rescue Chinese nationals who were still trapped under earthquake debris in the country's South Island city of Christchurch.
During a phone conversation with his New Zealand counterpart Murray Mccully, Yang said the Chinese government appreciated the support rendered by New Zealand in searching and rescuing Chinese citizens after the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that had killed 147 people.
Yang expressed the hope that New Zealand would continue to overcome all difficulties to speed up efforts to search and rescue the trapped Chinese nationals and search for the missing.
The Chinese government is willing to keep close contact with New Zealand and provide support within its power for the relief efforts, Yang said.
Mccully, for his part, said New Zealand would spare no efforts in searching and rescuing the trapped Chinese citizens.
Twenty-three Chinese citizens remained missing nearly a week after last Tuesday's earthquake.