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  • Jul 13, 2014
  • Updated: 1:37am

Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, struck the Philippines in November 2013 with winds of up to 190 mph (305 kph). At least 10,000 people died in one Philippine province alone.

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DISASTER

State media: China ‘should help typhoon-ravaged Philippines despite row’

China has offered US$100,000 in aid to the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 4:34am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 6:25pm
 

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China should put aside its territorial dispute with the Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, state-run media said on Tuesday, adding that doing so was in Beijing’s best interests.

The two countries are embroiled in a long-standing dispute over islands in the strategically vital South China Sea - which Beijing claims almost in its entirety - and Manila says Chinese vessels have occupied the Scarborough Shoal, which it claims, since last year.

Watch: US marines join Philippines typhoon rescue, looters abound

China, the world's second largest economy, has offered to give the Philippines US$100,000 (HK$775,000) for relief efforts, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced on Monday.

It is the same amount as Vietnam, itself now battling to limit the damage from the storm which made landfall yesterday. Meanwhile, the US has sent US$20 million in aid, while Australia and Britain have pledged US$9.38 million and US$9.6 million respectively. 

The United Nations, Japan and the United States mobilised emergency relief teams and supplies after one of the biggest storms on record devastated the central Philippines on Friday. China's offer did not include personnel, but Qin said Beijing could proceed with further assistance after consulting Manila and relief agencies. 

The United States has sent 90 marines, aircraft, emergency shelters and 55 tonnes of emergency food. Tokyo is sending a team of 25 medical personnel.

The state-run Global Times newspaper said in an editorial on Tuesday the territorial row should not affect such decisions.

“It’s a must to aid typhoon victims in the Philippines,” the paper, which is close to the ruling Communist party, said.

But it added: “China’s international image is of vital importance to its interests. If it snubs Manila this time, China will suffer great losses.”

“Aid to the typhoon victims is a kind of humanitarian aid, which is totally different from foreign aid in the past made out of geopolitical concerns,” it said.

The donation comes a month to the day after China criticised the US for giving tacit backing to the Philippines’ stance after Manila had launched an arbitration case with the United Nations to challenge the legal validity of Beijing’s sweeping claims over the resource-rich South China Sea.

China’s decades-long boom has seen it become the world’s second-largest economy but Beijing has long been accused of using trade and aid to further its own agenda, particularly in Africa, where its influence has rocketed in recent years, and also in much of Southeast Asia.

It says it is open to friendly relations.

Video: Relief efforts intensify in Tacloban

As well as China and the Philippines, other countries also have overlapping claims to parts of the South China Sea, and tensions have risen sharply in recent years, with Manila and Hanoi accusing Beijing of increasing aggressiveness.

Typhoon Haiyan hit China after devastating parts of the Philippines, killing more than 10,000 people in one Philippine province alone. Reports out of China say the storm killed at least seven people in the southern province of Hainan and Guangxi region.

Despite an official death toll of 1,774, authorities in the Philippines fear that the toll could climb to more than 10,000. At least two million people in 41 provinces were affected by the disaster, with tens of thousands of houses destroyed.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity, allowing the government to use state funds for relief and rehabilitation and control prices.

Beijing's offer highlights the fine diplomatic line it needs to walk amid its ongoing territorial dispute with Manila in the South China Sea.

"Given the tense relationship between China and the Philippines, resentment among Chinese may be triggered if Beijing helps the Philippines," said Du Jifeng , a Southeast Asian affairs analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Qin denied any link between the aid and its relations with the Philippines.

Vietnam, despite itself being hit by a weakened Haiyan, offered emergency aid of US$100,000. It said it "stands by the Philippine people in this difficult situation".

Reaction to the news of China's donation among Chinese web users was mixed on Tuesday, with many commenting that Beijing should not have donated any aid.

"The Chinese government should not have offered aid in the first place to a country that’s unfriendly or even hostile to China. Instead, grass-roots organizations and individuals should be encouraged to offer aid," wrote a microblogger by the name of Mituofo.

IN PICTURES: Typhoon Haiyan leaves a trail of devastation

"China has so many impoverished areas that could use the aid money," said another called C_Q77

One commenter on the Global Times website wrote: “So many of China’s own children are starving and don’t have enough clothes to wear - Why would the government pretend to be a good guy to other countries while turning a blind eye to your own people?”

Agence France-Presse, Reuters

Video: More scenes of Philippines devastation

 

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113

This article is now closed to comments

oxymoron19
The Great Red Dragon shall trample its enemy with claws of destruction and breath fire to vaporize those that defies me. For those that seek mercy, I shall make you kneel before a great king and keep you alive with petty small change, for it is not in my nature to forgive nor forget, but punish those eternally with a bag of saline, so you all shall walk the fence between the living and the dead, that you would forever be in pain and cower like a wounded canine. Behold ! Our great empire has risen, to take its rightful place.
Arkaitz Aberasturi
Oxymoron you are truly a moron! Your dragon is a vindictive, petty and narrow-minded reptile. It's rightful place is some desolate grassland in the dark ages! I wish a group of Uighurs will find you alone in some dark alley.
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Need an ambulance to send you to a psychiatric facility?
andyphongtran
Only $100k? Why don't the Chinese slant eyes just stuff it in their ****. What a cheap **** race on earth.
jiawang@adb.org

The Chinese have a saying: "Distance shows the strength of a horse; time shows the character of a man."
The world is now seeing the "character" of China in how it treats its small, poor "enemy" that experiences a natural disaster.
Yes, China is a big, strong, and rich country. It will show the world how it deals with its enemies: big or small; weak or strong; rich or poor. China is powerful!!
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Powerful in persecution ? Nobody in the world cares how much PRC donate. It's insignificant news. Only CCP mouthpiece SCMDaily keeps reporting it. Just watch CNN reporting Sweden loading tons of medical supplies onto the cargo hold and heading to the Philippines.
jiawang@adb.org
Headlines in Western media:
"China's meager aid to the Philippines could dent its image"
****www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/12/us-china-philippines-aid-idUSBRE9AB0LM20131112
Chinese who call for a stingy, indifferent attitude on part of China towards the natural disaster in the Philippines, are causing damage to China's long-term interest.
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Great news indeed.
ling2777
cannot agree more with Tan's comments. This is the time we should do something we feel proud of
Tan
I find it rather disappointing how people here are simply commenting without any thought or sympathy. A disaster is a disaster, and yes, the amount China has put in can be taken as an insult.
But is this really what we should be talking about, much less arguing about at the moment?
Chinese this, Philippines that, just stop, it's not helping at all.
Have some respect and sympathy for what has just happened and send your condolences first before saying anything. Don't use this tragedy as an excuse to express your hatred of different races.
Of course, China's gesture can be taken as an offense; but in politics, can we really only say one party is at fault? It takes two hands to clap, it takes two parties to argue. Research, analysis of politics, why argue about it, why side with one party? At this point simple people can do nothing but sit and watch as nations go about their official business.
Enough of this "Cursing Chinese, Dissing Pinoy...". It's not helping at all. It's no different from what these nations and important people are doing. Making things WORSE.
Get off your computer, visit the local Red Cross and donate or do something to help these people. Take your political/critical behind elsewhere. This is not the place.
Pathetic how people use a tragic loss of human life to vent their anger.

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