President Bush thanked China on Friday for "welcoming our aid" in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck there last month.

"No question, this is a major human disaster that requires a strong response from the Chinese government, which is what they're providing," Bush said on a visit to the American Red Cross headquarters. "But it also requires a compassionate response from nations that have got the blessings of life, and that's us."

Bush praised Americans — both individuals and groups — for helping victims of the May 12 earthquake.

"The response so far of our American citizens has been, you know, impressive and unprecedented and unparalled in its compassion," he said.

The magnitude 7.9 quake killed about 70,000 people and more than 15,000 still are missing. It left 15 million people homeless. Growing public anger over the deaths of children in more than 7,000 collapsed schoolrooms has fueled accusations about corruption in school construction, putting the government on the defensive.

"My message to the Chinese government is: thank you for welcoming our aid, thank you for taking a firm response to this disaster and just know the American people care about the people of China."