Typhoon Jebi relief operation was no time for China-Taiwan debate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 4:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2018, 5:15am

I am writing in response to the article, “Taiwanese stranded in Japan by Typhoon Jebi ‘given evacuation help only if they considered themselves Chinese’” (September 6).

The article referred to claims by state media in mainland China that transport sent by the Chinese embassy for tourists stranded at Kansai International Airport in Osaka was for Chinese only, and Taiwanese were made to declare whether they considered themselves Chinese in order to receive help. I disagree with this practice.

Japan arranged bus and boat evacuations to Osaka’s main train stations for tourists regardless of nationality. But mainland media reports said some Chinese tourists told visitors from Taiwan to board the buses provided by the Chinese embassy only if they identified as Chinese.

I think this was not the time to quibble over whether Taiwanese are Chinese. The Chinese embassy and people should have tried to help everyone that needed help. At this time, it would have been best to put aside any conflict between Chinese and Taiwanese; both are part of a family and need to help each other.

Watch: Typhoon Jebi smashes into Japan leaving trail of destruction

I also hope that Japan can recover soon from the latest deadly natural disaster to hit the country this summer, as it has endured a two-month ordeal of typhoons, floods, heatwaves and a severe earthquake. The latest, Jebi, was the country’s strongest typhoon in 25 years.

Angel Lok, Kwai Chung