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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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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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This article is now closed to comments

cardcardso@yahoo.com
Does PRC really has friends? What sort of images they are trying to project besides their economic prowess? The CCP keeps sending mixed signal that they are the second biggest economy in the world and they are going to bypass US in no time yet there are still many poverties in the country . Are those Chinese leaders suffering from Schizophrenia, insecurity or what? Or they think the rest of the world are fools? ASEAN nations, Japan, Korea are all US allies. India is definitely no friend to the CCP, Even Singapore founding father LKY is wary of the CCP PRC and this negative sentiment heightened after the pretty unpleasant Suzhou Industrial Park experience. As of now only Russia, Pakistan, North Korea and the brutal Assad regime are Middle Kingdom ( temporary) friends.
bm10017
The United States just donated $20 million and sent an aircraft carrier with a fleet of ships, aircraft, military personnel and humanitarian supplies to assist the emergency response effort in the Philippines. Britain, Japan, Norway, Germany and many other nations all over the world have responded equally and with the utmost generosity. China wants to save face, but in truth they just made themselves look total jackasses. Bravo!
artdig18
Too little - too much ... its the freedom of speech we enjoy with electricity and internet connections ... there are many thousands in the islands with no such benefits who would say Thanks You for helping and for those sitting on their **** doing nothing more than bicker find a cause and do some good.
realestate
When I read China donated USD 100,000 I was kind of shocked because the offer looked more mocking that lacked generosity from a big and rich country like China. It also portrayed a lack of sensitivity to the loss of life and property to an otherwise impoverished Philippines.
I believe the Filipino helpers in Hong Kong would have raised much more money than China's generosity.
chaz_hen
USD 100k...the price of a corrupt Chinese official's car...
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Who decide to publish this insignificant news has an ulterior motives. SCMDaily is a CCP mouthpiece. This paper no longer represent HK people. How much PRC donate to the Philippines is none of HK business. Don't drag HK into the PRC camp. PRC could easily keep quiet and let the world go unnoticed of their petty gesture.
norodnik
Another 50 cents garbage mouth comment....can't even post up a name!
cardcardso@yahoo.com
My name is Card So. I am an extremely controversial public figure in HK. I am very obsessed with giving out my little name cards profusely .Since it is HK taxpayer money, I could print as many as I want. When my helper was about to renew her visa, I instructed her to hand my name card instead of my salary slips and tax returns to the immigration officers :D
cardcardso@yahoo.com
I know you are 50cent lap sap dispatched by the CCP. It's so obvious :)
Joe Guy
can someone find the SCMP's editorial during 91' Eastern China flood? I am particularly interested in what they have said when US government offered $10,000 aid to China.

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