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Typhoon Haiyan: China's Measly Relief Pledge

Lizzie Pereira |
November 14, 2013 | 11:28 a.m. PST

Executive Producer

Courtesy of Creative Commons.
Courtesy of Creative Commons.
As the Philippines begin what will be a long road to recovery, the need for humanitarian aid is crucial. 

The Philippine government has said that more than 2 million people need food aid. And according to the USAID, roughly 9.7 million people have been affected by the super storm. Thousands are confirmed dead. The unidentified bodies of hundreds of victims are being buried in mass graves. And many more are still missing. 

Nations across the globe have been quick to respond as rescue efforts have been pouring in to help the disaster-stricken country. In addition to sending military aid, the U.S. has pledged $20 million in aid. Britain has pledged $16 million. The European Union has pledged $4 million. And the United Arab Emirates has pledged $10 million.

SEE ALSO: Typhoon Haiyan: Countries Providing Aid for the Philippines 

China’s initial offer? Roughly $100,000. In comparison to the rest of the smaller nations who are offering a great deal more, this “aid” appeared lackluster at best. And while China has pledged an additional $1.6 million in supplies, the contribution still seems measly considering it is the second largest economy in the world with the largest population. After all the relief offer is less than that of the furniture store, Ikea, who has offered $2.7 million through its charity foundation.

It was only two months ago that it offered $5 million to Pakistan after an earthquake struck. So why is China being so stingy towards the Philippines? It seems that political disagreements between the two countries have put a hindrance on the desperately needed humanitarian aid. Islands in the South China Sea have created disagreements between the two nations, who both have staked their claim. Just last month the Chinese navy blocked Filipino fisherman from entering disputed waters. 

SEE ALSO: U.S. Pushes for South China Sea Talks

According to Chinese publication, the Global Times,  “China as a responsible power, should participate in relief operations to assist a disaster-stricken neighboring country, no matter whether it’s friendly or not. China’s international image is of vital importance to its interests…We call for extending disaster-relief assistance to Philippine victims, but it doesn’t affect our stand on the South China Sea issue. Chinese society can handle these two different matters. ”

In a press conference regarding the Affordable Care Act Thursday morning, President Obama briefly addressed the need for humanitarian aid in the Philippines, encouraging Americans to donate to the Center for International Disaster

What do you think? Should Chinese relief efforts and political disputes remain separate entities to help the disaster-ridden Philippines? 

SEE ALSO: L.A. Filipinos Struggle To Locate Familes Affected By Haiyan

Reach Executive Producer Lizzie Pereira here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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