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  • Updated: 8:24pm

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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113

This article is now closed to comments

HiggsSinglet
This is not politics, this is about human suffering. The amount and the comments from China shows how immature and childish these confucius minded thinkings are. Mixing politics with humanitarian aid. Sounded like a **** whining!!!
Joe Guy
Sadly China is not the first or the only offender here, American has done the similar things many many times, like mentioned here earlier, in 1991 the US government offered $10,000 aid to an unprecedented flood disaster in Eastern China.
whatever
You've been saying that all throughout the comments but a quick Google shows the US contributing more than $100k in cash and $250k in airlifted supplies in the first few weeks of the 1991 floods, and all this for something that killed a fraction of the death toll in the Philippines. Goto reliefweb.int and look at the actual situation reports of what was requested and donated. You can also find the US donating for floods in 1989 and 1990 in China. In fact, the US is still providing foreign aid to China, donating over $28 million last year alone.
webtruder@gmail.com
Seems nobody here realizes the ramifications of Beijing's worry here for international image and backlash.The following article should invalidate some of the idiotic comments here and make people realize that the Chinese government is humstrung on who to appease. All their work for good image and respect hangs in this fact alone:
****usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-10/19/content_15832099.htm
Even the popularly hated country in this hemisphere donated 200,000 usd for China's quake victims. This does not bode well as China has to maintain the image that it is on moral high ground in regards to its thorny relations to Philippines.While it also has to maintain the popular belief made by them locally that they are not bullying Philippines because of its size, but because they just decided to be not better. By the way, the article above is from China Daily.LOL
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.

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