IKEA Nearly Doubles China’s Weak Financial Donation To Philippines

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 14 2013 8:41 PM

IKEA Nearly Doubles China’s Weak Financial Donation To Philippines

U.S. military personel sleep on aid shipments at Tacloban Airport during relief effort.

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

China didn’t exactly spring into action to help its typhoon ravaged neighbor, the Philippines. Earlier this week, as the Philippines grappled with typhoon Haiyan, China pitched in a measly $100,000 in cash. By comparison, USA Today reports, the U.S. has pledged $20 million. Australia $30 million, the U.K. $16 million, and both Japan and the United Arab Emirates contributed $10 million. How paltry was China’s first offer? According to the Los Angeles Times, “even the Global Times, a Communist Party newspaper, editorialized against the Chinese government.”

After facing some heat for being cheap during a humanitarian disaster, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs upped the country’s aid offer to $1.64 million in tents and other relief goods. Along with the new pledge, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered these no-frills words of encouragement to his Filipino counterpart, Benigno Aquino. “May the Filipino people overcome the disaster and rebuild their homeland at an early date,”  China’s president told President Aquino during a phone call on Wednesday.


Underlying Chinese reluctance to pony up and help its neighbor is an ongoing political dispute between Beijing and Manila over territorial claims in the South China Sea. "Territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea have poisoned relations between Beijing and Manila since early 2012, and the Philippines is taking its case against China to an international arbitration tribunal,” the New York Times reports. “The Philippines angered China this year by accepting a gift of naval vessels from Japan and by supporting Japan’s plans to strengthen its military.” Another reason for the lack of assistance is, ironically, the opinion of Internet commentators, according to the Times. “Another factor in determining the initial size of the gift was the hostility among Chinese Internet commentators toward foreign aid, and to aid to the Philippines in particular,” Chinese experts told theTimes.

China’s new pledge still ranks the world’s second biggest economy pretty low among donor nations to the Philippines. This week, IKEA’s donation to relief efforts almost doubled China’s.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.