EM­BAR­RASS­ING RELIEF

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

China, the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy and a key mem­ber of the Asia-Pa­cific com­mu­nity of na­tions, is pro­vid­ing the Philip­pines with an ini­tial dis­as­ter relief pack­age to­tal­ing $100,000 — an in­ter­na­tional ex­am­ple of the gov­ern­ment’s stingy re­sponse to hu­man­i­tar­ian dis­as­ters.

In the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of Typhoon Haiyan, a wave of in­ter­na­tional res­cue and hu­man­i­tar­ian aid poured into Manila, es­ti­mated to be as much as $100 mil­lion in pledges.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment pro­vided an ur­gent hu­man­i­tar­ian as­sis­tance of $20 mil­lion and dis­patched the USS Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton air­craft car­rier bat­tle group to the Philip­pines to de­liver help.

An ad­vance team of 90 U.S. Marines and sailors ar­rived quickly to con­duct res­cue and relief op­er­a­tions. The U.S. Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment also launched a com­pre­hen­sive aid op­er­a­tion in the Philip­pines to help the tens of thou­sands of vic­tims of the deadly storm.

Ja­pan pro­vided $10 mil­lion — 100 times greater that the aid ini­tially pledged by China. Tokyo also sent a 25-mem­ber team of med­i­cal and relief work­ers to the na­tion. Aus­tralia, Great Bri­tain, the United Arab Emi­rates and the Euro­pean Union have each given $10 mil­lion. South Korea pledged $5 mil­lion and New Zealand of­fered $1.7 mil­lion.

On Tues­day, Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Qin Gang tried to jus­tify China’s relief pack­age.

“China is a vic­tim of Typhoon Haiyan, too,” he told re­porters. “We are will­ing to see any fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of the dam­age as­sess­ment and con­sider, within our ca­pa­bil­ity, some fur­ther hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port and as­sis­tance.”

Ac­cord­ing to China’s of­fi­cial news agency, Haiyan had weak­ened sig­nif­i­cantly to a “trop­i­cal low pres­sure zone” when it landed on a small area of China’s south­ern mar­itime prov­inces, with­out caus­ing any sig­nif­i­cant prop­erty dam­ages or ca­su­al­ties.

On Wed­nes­day, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping sent a be­lated con­do­lence note to the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment, and China — the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy — an­nounced another aid pack­age of tents and tow­els said to be worth $1.6 mil­lion.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has been fan­ning an­tiPhilip­pine sen­ti­ment through its pro­pa­ganda out­lets for the past sev­eral years, of­ten belit­tling the coun­try’s lead­ers and peo­ple.

The online mil­i­tary fo­rum of Sina.com, China’s most pop­u­lar In­ter­net site, is run­ning a dis­cus­sion about help­ing a coun­try “as de­spi­ca­ble as the Philip­pines?” The post­ings in­clude vit­ri­olic and racist com­ments against the Philip­pines.

“Coun­tries like the Philip­pines are serv­ing the U.S. They are the run­ning dog and slave of the United States,” said one post from a user called “xiaoqi.”

A post from “yh­scy” de­clared: “Who­ever gives dona­tion to the Philip­pines is a traitor to China.”

Miles Yu’s col­umn ap­pears Fri­days. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com and @Yu_miles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.