China Pledges Just $100,000 in Philippines Aid

The World
How It Works
Nov. 11 2013 11:55 AM

China’s Stingy Philippines Aid

Philippine and US military personnel unload relief goods from a US military C-130 plane at Tacloban airport in the central Philippines on November 11, 2013, after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the city on November 8.

Photo by TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

China’s foreign ministry says the country will provide $100,000 in cash and “humanitarian emergency relief assistance” to the Philippines, following the devastation of Tyhpoon Haiyan.

Joshua Keating Joshua Keating

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

To be fair, China is itself coping with the effects of the storm, which killed at least 6 people and forced thousands to evacuate in the southern regions of Hainan and Guangxi, but as Jane Perlez of the New York Times notes, amid ongoing territorial tensions in the South China Sea, China’s aid to the Philippines, where the storm took a vastly greater toll, seems modest compared to past disasters.


China gave $1 million to the Philippines after a tropical storm in 2011, before relations between the country deteriorated. It also gave a 1.5 million cash grant to Pakistan following an earthquake in September.

In addition to an immediate $100,000 in aid from the United States, the U.S. Pacific Command has deployed ships and aircraft to assist in the rescue mission and USAID has sent a team to the region. (Update: The U.S. now says it is providing $20 million in immediate aid.) Other countries have also offered substantial aid packages including US$10 million from Australia and $9.5 million from Britain.

As Rory Medcalf writes, while it may seem callous to think about geopolitics in the wake of a horrific humanitarian tragedy, but disasters like this one or the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami do have political consequences and with intense competition for influence in this region, countries like the Philippines are likely to remember which countries were more generous.  

Update 2: On Nov. 14, China announced it was increasing its aid to $1.4 million.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
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.