The outpouring of international aid to the Philippines makes China’s contribution for typhoon relief look like a trickle: even Swedish furniture chain IKEA and beverage giant Coca-Cola have done more than the world’s second-largest economy. That won’t help Beijing’s campaign to win over neighbors with its soft power.
China has pledged less than $2 million in cash and materials, compared to $20 million provided by the United States, which also launched a massive military-driven rescue operation that includes an aircraft carrier.
Another Chinese rival, Japan, on Friday pledged another $20 million in aid, raising its total to $30 million, and offered to send troops, ships and planes. Australia is giving $28 million, and IKEA has offered $2.7 million through its charitable foundation. The Coca-Cola Company said Friday it is donating more than $2.5 million in cash and aid material, including 129,000 cases of water.
China’s reluctance to give more — driven by a bitter feud with Manila over overlapping claims in the South China Sea — dents its global image at a time when it is vying with Washington for regional influence.
“China has missed an excellent opportunity to show itself as a responsible power and to generate goodwill,” said Zheng Yongnian, a China politics expert at the National University of Singapore. “They still lack strategic thinking.”
Source: US News