China hasn’t exactly overwhelmed the Philippines with kindness after Typhoon Haiyan left much of the country in ruins; while the United States and Britain have pledged aid into the millions, China has floated a humble US$100,000. For context, that’s 22% of the US$450,000 that the Philippines gave China after the Sichuan earthquake or about .002% of the money spent on random Taobao-shit during Singles’ Day.
No one seems quite sure why the Chinese donation is so small; even China’s state media has been disagreeing with the government’s position on this one, and something has gone terribly awry when the Global Times becomes the voice of reason. South China Morning Post translated some of the Chinese outlets, and reports:
“If China gives meagre aid to the Philippines this time, our own losses may well outweigh the losses inflicted upon them by insufficient aid,” the Beijing-based Global Times said in an editorial yesterday.
The newspaper added that it was in China’s interest to show generosity to a neighbour in need and that providing humanitarian aid to the victims was not in conflict with defending China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. […]
In contrast to the Global Times, Southern Daily, the official newspaper of Guangdong province and one that tends to be more open-minded, published an editorial on the same day entitled “China never short of ‘love’ for the Philippines”.
The article said territorial disputes and unresolved grievances arising from the 2010 hostage crisis involving a Hong Kong tour bus in Manila did not affect China’s love for the Philippines. […]
The US$100,000 the Chinese government has offered is not only dwarfed by other countries’ pledges but is also modest compared to China’s own record of humanitarian aid to the Philippines before relations deteriorated this year. In December 2011, China provided US$1 million after Severe Tropical Storm Washi killed hundreds in the Philippines.
For more context; US$100,000 is .3% of what Wang Jianlin paid for his Picasso painting last week, 51% the price of China’s most expensive bed, and 70% the cost of a Tibetan Mastiff doggie-facelift.
[Image via Xinhua]