China: A Ma­jor Player in In­ter­na­tional Char­ity

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Ru Yuan

Over the years since it opened its door wider to the out­side world, China has be­come more in­volved in in­ter­na­tional char­ity cam­paigns through com­mu­ni­ca­tion, co­op­er­a­tion, and var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

Hu­man­i­tar­ian Aid

In re­cent years, China has ac­tively con­trib­uted to in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian aid.

On Jan­uary 12, 2010, for ex­am­ple, a 7.3-Richter scale earth­quake rocked Haiti, a Caribbean is­land na­tion. De­spite the fact that it has no diplo­matic ties with China, the Red Cross So­ci­ety of China do­nated US$1 mil­lion for the sake of hu­man­i­tar­i­an­ism.

In Fe­bru­ary 2011, Libya suf­fered from se­vere hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis with in­ten­si­fied sit­u­a­tion caused by armed re­bel­lion. In both Au­gust and Oc­to­ber, China pro­vided emer­gency hu­man­i­tar­ian aid goods to Libya.

In Fe­bru­ary 2014, 10,000 boxes of hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance were de­liv­ered from China to Kachin, a con­flict area in north­ern Myan­mar.

In re­cent years, China has launched phi­lan­throp­i­cally in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian aid many times. The year 2004 saw its es­tab­lish­ment of an emer­gency hu­man­i­tar­ian aid re­sponse mech­a­nism, draw­ing more phil­an­thropic or­ga­ni­za­tions, en­ter­prises and in­di­vid­u­als to be part of the ef­forts thanks to the great sup­port and guid­ance of the gov­ern­ment. Over the past five years, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has par­tic­i­pated in more than 200 cam­paigns, be­com­ing a ma­jor force in in­ter­na­tional aid in Asia, Latin Amer­ica, and Africa in par­tic­u­lar.

China has spared no ef­forts in in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, gov­ern­men­tally and non-gov­ern­men­tally. Take dis­as­ter re­lief: In 2001, it es­tab­lished Chi­nese In­ter­na­tional Search and Res­cue Team (CISRT), spe­cial­iz­ing in ur­gent search and res­cue for vic­tims buried un­der fallen struc­tures after earth­quakes and other dis­as­ters.

In 2003, when Al­ge­ria was stricken by an earth­quake that mea­sured 6.9 on the Richter scale, CISRT was sent for its first mis­sion abroad. By the end of 2014, CISRT had worked in many coun­tries, in­clud­ing Al­ge­ria, Iran, In­done­sia, Pak­istan, Haiti, New Zealand, and Ja­pan, sav­ing dozens of lives and pro­vid­ing med­i­cal ser­vices for over 40,000 wounded.

Blue Sky Res­cue, founded in 2007, is a non-gov­ern­men­tal non-profit pro­fes­sional emer­gency in­sti­tu­tion. To­day, it is staffed with over 30,000 vol­un­teers, many of whom per­formed ex­cel­lent work dur­ing the typhoon re­lief in the Philip­pines in 2013 and the cat­a­strophic earth­quake in Nepal in 2014.

For­eign Aid

For­eign aid ac­counts for a big part of China’s char­ity ac­tiv­i­ties over­seas. In a broad sense, it cov­ers projects in set, or­di­nary ma­te­ri­als, tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion, hu­man re­source de­vel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion, med­i­cal teams and vol­un­teers, emer­gency hu­man­i­tar­ian aid, and re­mis­sion of debts of the re­cip­i­ent coun­try.

Over the last few years, how­ever, more fo­cus has been placed on in­ter­na­tional aid in a “nar­row” sense, such as re­source in­te­gra­tion, non-ur­gent de­vel­op­ment projects in the re­cip­i­ent area, and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment pro­grams in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas in the re­cip­i­ent coun­try.

On this ba­sis, Africa, Asia-pa­cific, and Cen­tral Asia have be­come ma­jor tar­gets of China’s for­eign aid and co­op­er­a­tion. So far, China has made and is go­ing to make col­lab­o­ra­tion with many coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Myan­mar, DPRK, Cam­bo­dia, Kirghizs­tan, Ta­jik­istan, and Kaza­khstan, with cap­i­tal and tech­ni­cal sup­port as well as peo­ple-to-peo­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion, aiming to sup­port lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in car­ry­ing out re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, en­hance the com­mu­ni­ties’ re­silience and raise lo­cal peo­ple’s liv­ing stan­dard.

Through­out its in­ter­na­tional aid, China has high­lighted the con­struc­tion of in­fra­struc­ture in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. Dur­ing 2010 and 2012, it helped for­eign coun­tries with 156 eco­nom­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture projects, 70 of which are trans­porta­tion, 20 en­ergy re­sources, and 60 in­forma­ti­za­tion.

Over the past few years, China has in­creased its in­vest­ment in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion as well as the eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment in the re­cip­i­ent coun­tries.

Chi­nese Phi­lan­thropists Over­seas

With re­spect to Chi­nese groups, in­sti­tu­tions, and or­ga­ni­za­tions ac­tive abroad, more Chi­nese peo­ple have joined the team of in­ter­na­tional phi­lan­thropy, es­pe­cially movie stars.

In 2008, for in­stance, Zhou Xun be­came China’s first good­will am­bas­sador in the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme; in 2009, Li Bing­bing was des­ig­nated as an in­ter­na­tional good­will am­bas­sador by the UN En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gramme; in 2010, Yao Chen was ap­pointed honorary pa­tron for the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees; in 2013, Lang Lang, an em­i­nent pi­anist, be­came a UN peace en­voy; Gong Li, one of the coun­try’s ear­li­est movie stars to co­op­er­ate with the United Na­tions, has served and serves as am­bas­sador for the UN Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion and the UNESCO Good­will Am­bas­sador, UN World Food Pro­gramme Am­bas­sador, and the global en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion am­bas­sador for the UN Head­quar­ters.

Co­op­er­a­tion with the United Na­tions and other in­ter­na­tional pub­lic in­ter­est or­ga­ni­za­tions has in­spired more Chi­nese stars to be part of the phil­an­thropic cam­paigns. In 2013, Yao Chen, who had served as an honorary pa­tron for the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees for three years, was ap­pointed China’s good­will am­bas­sador thanks to her sus­tained pas­sion and ex­cel­lent per­for­mance.

“On many oc­ca­sions, celebrity pa­trons and am­bas­sadors work­ing for the UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees have to go to re­mote ar­eas with poor con­di­tion,” re­veals an of­fi­cer from the China of­fice. “With­out any salary, they have to pay their round-trip, food, and ac­com­mo­da­tion. Their mis­sions can­not be ac­com­plished with­out great love and pas­sion for work.”

Some Chi­nese en­trepreneurs have also started do­nat­ing over­seas. Pan Shiyi, chair­man of SOHO China, the coun­try’s largest and only pure prime of­fice de­vel­oper, and his wife, do­nated US$15 mil­lion to pro­vide schol­ar­ships for Chi­nese stu­dents at­tend­ing Har­vard Univer­sity. Niu Gen­sheng, founder and honorary pres­i­dent of the Lao­niu Foun­da­tion, es­tab­lished the Bethune Schol­ar­ship at Toronto Univer­sity.

Still, more or­di­nary Chi­nese peo­ple have joined the team of char­ity over­seas: More and more young peo­ple have par­tic­i­pated in char­i­ta­ble pro­grams or worked as in­terns for in­ter­na­tional or phil­an­thropic or­ga­ni­za­tions, con­tribut­ing what­ever they can to char­i­ta­ble en­deav­ors across the world.

July 3, 2010, Bukavu Air­port, South Kivu, Congo: The med­i­cal team of China's peace­keep­ing force goes to work after an ex­plo­sion of an oil tanker truck. Xinhua 2010, Africa: Chi­nese movie star Yao Chen vis­its a refugee camp in Ethiopia. In re­cent years, mo

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