China announced yesterday that the comments circulating Chinese social media criticizing the country’s donation of 10 million yuan in aid to the Philippines is not representative of most Chinese people’s views, who are sympathetic toward the people of the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
According to Reuters:
Many Chinese took to Sina Weibo, the country’s answer to Twitter, to say that the government should give nothing to a country with which China is locked in a bitter diplomatic dispute over islands in the South China Sea.
“For God’s sake, give them nothing,” wrote one user. “We’ve given them enough in the past.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said he was certain most people were actually saddened by what had happened in the Philippines, where up to 10,000 could have died when Typhoon Haiyan tore through the middle of the country last week.
The Chinese government came under fire earlier this week after announcing that it would be giving only 200,000 USD in aid to the Philippines, a contribution outdone even by Swedish furniture company Ikea.
On Wednesday, Xi Jinping stepped up and offered his belated condolences to the people of the Philippines, as well as an announcement that China would be sending 10 million yuan (1.64 million USD) worth of relief supplies to the country.
“I don’t know how much comment you saw on the internet, but believe me that the Chinese are a nation who have a lot of sympathy, a people who love peace, who are happy to do good deeds,” Qin Gang was quoted as saying in a news briefing.
“I believe that the vast majority of the Chinese people are understanding and sympathetic towards the situation of the Philippine people.”