New Zealand’s prime minister has denied China’s request for extra compensation for Chinese families who lost children in the Christchurch earthquake. Chinese ambassador Xu Jiangguo had made repeated “indications” that the Chinese would like more money, citing the one-child policy and claiming Chinese families would suffer more from the loss of their only breadwinner. While no official request was actually submitted for more money, here’s what New Zealand prime minster John Key had to say in response:
“Our greatest sympathy goes to those families… We have a policy under ACC and it applies to internationals just as much as it does locals…. The Government’s made it clear it will help in terms of repatriation of bodies and helping families so, outside of that, at this stage we don’t have any intention to make any other changes.”
To which Chinese embassy official Wang Xin immediately replied: Hey man, don’t shoot the messenger, we were just, you know, communicating the wishes of the families…
Chinese embassy official Wang Xin said Mr Cheng had been relaying the desire of the families rather than an official request.
The Chinese embassy was working closely with New Zealand government agencies involved in the relief efforts and would continue to do so, Mr Wang said.
“It’s a tragedy not only to New Zealanders but to Chinese families … in China most of them are only one child.
“We believe, with the best good wishes of the New Zealand Government, that we can resolve our issues relating to the Chinese victims in a very sound and smooth way.”
And finally, New Zealand’s labor minister made the observation, painfully obvious from the very beginning, that “there may be many students here that are only children in their families, whether they be Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Filipino.”