Nope, not a typo.
According to the South China Morning Post, China has pledged just $US100,000 in cash to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which authorities estimated may have killed 10,000 and left physical damage “so great that it is even hard to tally.”
The U.S. has pledged 20 million. Australia has pledged $US10 million. HSBC bank alone has pledged $US1 million, according to The Telegraph.
“We will take into consideration the developments of the disaster and co-ordinate with relevant international organisations to see what we can do,” the SCMP quoted foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang as saying. China is also offering “”humanitarian emergency relief assistance.”
The stinginess stems from territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea.
Last summer, China and The Philippines had a maritime stand-off over the Scarborough Shoal (which is so small that it doesn’t even register on Google Maps) that saw vessels refusing to leave the area for weeks. The Philippines (along with Vietnam) also lays claim to the Spratly islands and objects to China’s claim to the Paracels. China says the area around the islands contain vast natural resource deposits, according to the BBC.
By comparison, because of sanctions the U.S. did not appear to offer any cash to Iran after an earthquake killed more than 300 last year. America did, however, pledge to expedite waiver applications from organisations wishing to provide relief.
Ugly begets ugly.