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  • Nov 21, 2014
  • Updated: 5:23am

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

oxymoron19
@Camel below
Darn! You have blown my cover!
Confession: I just stole my employer's credit card, hacked into his computer when he is sound asleep and paid a subscription fee here just to make a statement. BTW, please do not abuse our kind, we are called Filipinos not PHILLIPINOS. We are poor but we have dignity. The heck with all you Hongkongnese !!
---------
cardcardso@yahoo.com
Camel is not a HKer just some **** typical brainwashed PRC Chinese.
clchau
Itˊs just a dimplomatic way to increase China's image.
andyphongtran
Philippino should not eat food given by Chinese. They will poison you to death.
SpeakFreely
It is not just money from government counts. If you tune into American channels like CBS, NBC, CNN etc you will see many coverage and they actually send reporting teams to cover very touching stories. CBS has a whole page of article talks about how to help the victim by providing contact info of rescue websites for donation. Actually the coverage has been since last Friday. This is much bigger coverage in HK where we have hundred of thousands of Philipine maid working here.
Joe Guy
well in comparison, in 1991 Japan offered an aid of US$300,000 cash and relief goods worth another US$170,000, Germany US$270,000 cash, Norway US$280,000 cash... An amount of $25,000 aid from the largest economy in the world said a lot, don't you agree here? And when the US finally realized how embarrassing their "good gestured" aid really was, they increased it to US$100,000 but not after almost a month. Too bad for them, it was too little and too late when you have a country like Italy offered more than $280,000 cash aid.
oxymoron19
China may be the world's 2nd largest economy but it is most definitely a 1st class **** with a capital "D". They don't only think like an under-developed country but act like one. They've got no class ! Why don't they just invade this ravaged country while it is still in a state of shock. They have stooped to a new low.
gopladz72
Yap! They can keep their money, they it need it more pay for their fancy mistresses and baijus!
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.
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.

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