Regional Asian Politics Play Out in Response to Typhoon Haiyan

U.S. gives $20 million in disaster relief to the Philippines, while China gives only $100,000, showing deep divides in the region.

A U.S. soldier assists an evacuee in Leyte, Philippines, four days after a typhoon devastated the region.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
Nov. 12, 2013, 6:16 a.m.

If you want to get a sense of the re­gion­al con­flicts in Asia, look no fur­ther than how China and the United States re­acted to the hor­rif­ic su­per typhoon in the Phil­ip­pines.

The United Na­tions es­tim­ates that 11 mil­lion people were af­fected by the storm, cul­min­at­ing in an 800,000 people dis­placed and an­oth­er 10,000 feared dead. That lat­ter num­ber may de­crease in the com­ing days, with Phil­ip­pine Pres­id­ent Be­nigno Aquino re­cently telling CNN that the num­ber is closer to 2,000 or 2,500 people.

Sur­viv­ors are in des­per­ate need of food, wa­ter, shel­ter, san­it­a­tion, and health ma­ter­i­als. The U.N. has already re­leased $25 mil­lion to as­sist sur­viv­ors, and is ask­ing for more.

That’s where some of the world’s largest eco­nom­ies can help out.

The U.S., an ally of the Phil­ip­pines, is giv­ing $20 mil­lion in hu­man­it­ari­an as­sist­ance, ran­ging from food to med­ic­al needs. Ad­di­tion­ally, the U.S. sent the nuc­le­ar-powered USS George Wash­ing­ton, which car­ries 5,000 sail­ors and 80 air­craft, and four oth­er Navy ships to the coun­try.

The U.S. is also un­of­fi­cially back­ing the Phil­ip­pines over China in its pur­suit to pro­tect its claim to re­source-rich is­lands in the South China Sea. Oth­er coun­tries, in­clud­ing Vi­et­nam, Taiwan, Malay­sia and Brunei, are in a sim­il­ar dis­pute with China over those is­lands.

For its part, China is only giv­ing the Phil­ip­pines $100,000 for hu­man­it­ari­an re­lief.

Com­pare this fig­ure to the amount of hu­man­it­ari­an re­lief Beijing has giv­en oth­er re­gion­al coun­tries dur­ing sep­ar­ate dis­asters. In Septem­ber, China pledged $5 mil­lion to Pakistan after a deadly earth­quake.

Beijing is hear­ing cri­ti­cism from its own state-run news­pa­per the Glob­al Times, which wrote in an ed­it­or­i­al:

China, as a re­spons­ible power, should par­ti­cip­ate in re­lief op­er­a­tions to as­sist a dis­aster-stricken neigh­bor­ing coun­try, no mat­ter wheth­er it’s friendly or not.

Ja­pan and Aus­tralia, two oth­er al­lies of the U.S., have also pledged hu­man­it­ari­an as­sist­ance to the Phil­ip­pines, giv­ing $10 mil­lion and $9.6 mil­lion, re­spect­ively.

If China wants to claim it can be a world lead­er, provid­ing little in hu­man­it­ari­an aid to a re­gion­al neigh­bor dur­ing times of dis­aster might hurt its case.

What We're Following See More »
AT ISSUE: BENEFITS FOR COAL MINERS
Manchin, Brown Holding Up Spending Bill
49 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are threatening to block the spending bill—and prevent the Senate from leaving town—"because it would not extend benefits for retired coal miners for a year or pay for their pension plans. The current version of the bill would extend health benefits for four months. ... Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday afternoon moved to end debate on the continuing resolution to fund the government through April 28. But unless Senate Democrats relent, that vote cannot be held until Saturday at 1 a.m. at the earliest, one hour after the current funding measure expires."

Source:
PARLIAMENT VOTED 234-56
South Korean President Impeached
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

The South Korean parliament voted on Friday morning to impeach President Park Geun-hye over charges of corruption, claiming she allowed undue influence to a close confidante of hers. Ms. Park is now suspended as president for 180 days. South Korea's Constitutional Court will hear the case and decide whether to uphold or overturn the impeachment.

Source:
CLOSED FOR INAUGURAL ACTIVITIES
NPS: Women’s March Can’t Use Lincoln Memorial
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Participants in the women's march on Washington the day after inauguration won't have access to the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service has "filed documents securing large swaths of the national mall and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration festivities. None of these spots will be open for protesters."

Source:
2.1 PERCENT IN 2017
President Obama Boosts Civilian Federal Pay
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Obama on Thursday announced a pay raise for civilian federal employees of 2.1 percent come January 2017. He had said multiple times this year that salaries would go up 1.6 percent, so the Thursday announcement came as a surprise. The change was likely made to match the 2.1 percent increase in salary that members of the military will receive.

Source:
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
20 hours ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login