The mainland has offered to give technical support, train rescue workers and join multilateral agreements to help Southeast Asia build an early warning system for tsunami. Speaking yesterday at a China-Asean workshop in Beijing on an tsunami warning system, Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu said China was prepared to give further assistance to affected countries following its 'biggest external aid operation'. 'China is a country plagued with natural disasters. In terms of earthquake detection, prevention and emergency response, [we] have accumulated some experience.' Mr Hui said China intended to work with the United Nations on its early warning system initiatives for the Indian Ocean and to follow up on an agreement for the system reached last week at a summit in Kobe, Japan. More than 80 diplomats and experts from 10 Asean countries and nations such as Japan and the United States attended the conference in Beijing. Some critics have said the two conferences on the same subject following in quick succession were part of a growing rivalry between China and Japan to establish a leadership role in the region. A joint statement of co-operation is expected to be made at the closing ceremony today. Chen Yuntai, honorary director of the Institute of Geophysics at the China Seismological Bureau, said his agency would talk to Asean countries about how to set up an earthquake monitoring system which could analyse the chances of whether tsunami would follow. 'Such a system will be very costly but worthwhile. Money spent on prevention and disaster mitigation will be much lower than the loss brought about by the disaster.' Zhu Chuanzhen, president of the Asian Seismological Commission and geophysics professor at the China Seismological Bureau's Institute of Geophysics, said that the mainland also needed to boost its tsunami warning techniques, despite suffering from previous piecemeal tsunami. 'We have a quake monitoring system, but our techniques on tsunami are still not advanced,' Professor Zhu said. Indonesia will hold another international tsunami workshop at the end of next month.