China will help Indonesia extinguish forest fires, which are causing haze: Xinhua

An Indonesian soldier drags a hose while fighting a peatland fire in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra province.
An Indonesian soldier drags a hose while fighting a peatland fire in Ogan Ilir, South Sumatra province.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - China has indicated that it is in close contact with Indonesian officials to provide assistance in battling forest fires across the country, Chinese state media have reported.

During a press briefing on Friday (Oct 9), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China was going to send over rescue forces to Indonesia, and will try its best to extinguish the fires, Xinhua News Agency reported.

This was in response to a request for help from Indonesia, which is struggling to fight the forest fires that have shrouded parts of the country, as well as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, in haze.

"China is paying close attention to Indonesia's requests," Xinhua quoted Ms Hua as saying.

After weeks of trying to tackle the country's forest fires on its own, Indonesia on Wednesday (Oct 7) welcomed help from abroad, including from Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and Russia.