Helping hand offered

Updated: 2013-11-15 06:39

(China Daily)

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With Super Typhoon Haiyan wreaking havoc in China, the Philippines and Vietnam this week, it seems a storm of China bashing has been gathering too, as some foreign media are pointing an accusing finger at China's aid to the Philippines.

They claim that China's humanitarian relief to the island country is meager in comparison with countries such as the United States, and have wrongly assumed China's skirmishes with the Philippines over islands in the South China Sea are the reason.

True, the amount of cash China has offered so far in aid to the Philippines might not look as impressive as that of other countries. But the helping hand China has extended to the Philippines should not be undervalued.

Those China bashers must harbor ill intentions, aimed at either tarnishing China's image in the world arena or sowing further seeds of discord between China and the Philippines - as if the territorial dispute was not enough.

Let's not forget that China was also hit by Haiyan, which has affected more than 3 million people in China's southern provinces of Hainan and Guangdong and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

While organizing its own relief work, China is still carrying out its international humanitarian obligations. Twice this week the government announced it would provide cash and goods to those affected in the Philippines. The material aid will help several thousands of people in typhoon-devastated regions.

The country has also vowed to work more closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in disaster prevention and reduction. In fact, disaster relief has become a major area of cooperation between China and ASEAN since the end of 2004 when a strong tsunami from the Indian Ocean hit Indonesia and some other ASEAN members.

As a country that has been actively providing foreign aid through multiple channels and platforms for more than six decades, China understands well the importance of providing aid to the best of its capacity to those in need.

Considering its developing country status, China can only provide aid within its capability, and it has chosen a different path to developed countries when conducting foreign aid. Though its donations in cash do not match those from donors in the developed world, its material aid and program-based development assistance have catered to the demand of recipients and helped build up their own disaster response capacities.

China's aid model also helps those in need.

(China Daily 11/15/2013 page8)