by gabriel_heuvelink on November 17, 2013 - 10:52pm
In the article "China's Philippine aid controversy" by the BBC details strange reluctance to donate funds to aid relief missions helping the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. The amount donated by China adds up to only 100,000$, compared to 20 million dollar pledged by the U.S government and 10 million dollars promised by Japan. Although the news has made headlines in the rest of the world, citizens of China are not as shocked. One woman said "It doesn't matter how much the donation is, it's the thought that counts." Not only does the small donation compare badly to other countries, but also to China's previous donations. China gave 10 million dollars to Japan after its tsunami two years ago, and 40 million dollars for countries affected by the 2004 Asian Tsunami. The article then goes on to explain the possible reasons for this inadequate aid. The main reason is the territorial disputes about islands in the South China Sea, which have become worse in the past year. Furthermore, China's state media has been painting the Philippines as the villain in the dispute, and as a result, the Chinese people dislike the Philippines and are not bothered by this lack of financial assistance.
Personally, I find it a bit hard to judge this situation. I think that China definitely should step up to the plate and offer assistance to the Philippines even if they have territorial disputes, and not ignore the cries of help from the devastated Philippine population. However, I understand why the Chinese population might not understand the whole story, seeing as the state media has been controlling what they see.
link to the article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24938874