Friday, January 15, 2010

China, Taiwan, and Haiti

As everyone is well aware, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti about 2 days ago, and aid has continued to pour into the country from all over the world. I wish the best for those in Haiti and a swift and uplifting recovery to those that are left behind.

In regards to China & Taiwan, what's interesting to note is the aid that has been pledged towards Haiti. Taiwan has pledged to donate US $5 million to relief efforts in Haiti, while the supposed current/future global superpower China, has also pledged US $1 million as well as US $4.4 million in supplies to Haiti (total of around US ~$5.4 million). Keep in mind, China has a GDP of about 10x as large as Taiwan's.

It is of note that Taiwan does maintain official diplomatic relations with Haiti (one of the few countries that recognizes Taiwan), and thus China does not. So, there's two ways you can look at this- sure, you can say, "Wow, even though China does not maintain official relations with Haiti, it still decided to help them out!" Or, you could say, "Wow, China is the up and coming global superpower and it comes up with a measly $5 mln, while countries like the U.S. are donating over $100 mln."

You decide how you want to view this situation, but it seems like China continues to play the role of a spoiled child in a big world, with things like the China-Google fiasco, as well as the disaster in Copenhagen showing just how disappointing they can be. China just can't seem to shoulder the responsibilities that comes with trying to assert itself as a global superpower. This is why there is such great applause for Google, deservedly or not, Americans feel like China is that little kid trying to grow up, but wants everything their way, like a spoiled brat. And this is what separates true superpowers from those like China- ones like the U.S. will utilize the resources and manpower that they thankfully have, towards helping others in a big way. On the other hand, a booming Chinese economy and a Chinese government with an increasing clout over global politics, fails to utilize their resources in a similar fashion.

Call it selfishness, call it cautiousness. In the end, it's simply what we've come to know, as China.

1 comment:

Michael said...

If you actually read the article, the first million was donated by an organization in China, not the Chinese government. So actually, Taiwan's government donated US$5 million, whereas China's government only donated US$4 million.