(Koji Sasahara - AP)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced that Japan was getting his "deep sympathy and solicitude," and now China’s state-run media is getting on board.

Relations between the two Asian powers have long been strained but reached a new low in September when a straying Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels, Keith Richburg reported.

But when news of Japan’s disaster spread, all was but forgotten. The Chinese defense minister offered Japan military assets. China’s Red Cross Society pledged more than $150,000 to help. Jiabao called Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan personally to offer condolences and supprot.

Richburg writes:

China's show of sympathy and solidarity toward an Asian neighbor in distress stands in sharp contrast with the heated rhetoric of the past half-year, which saw noisy anti-Japanese demonstrations and the canceling of some ministry-level exchanges and tour groups.

China’s media coverage of the quake reflects that new sentiment. ChinaSmack, a blog that translates Chinese content on the web, has posted a collection of photos and captions that show the Chinese media admiring the Japanese people. Mostly, they praise the unflaggging sense of propriety of the Japanese people despite the crises they’re faced with.

Here, the media praises Japanese passengers for not making “a mess”:

(Screen grab)

See the rest of the photos and captions on ChinaSmack’s Web site here.

Note: The Washington Post cannot independely verify the photos and captions on this site.