As the USS George Washington aircraft carrier sailed out of Hong Kong on Tuesday for the Philippines to help the devastated nation recover from typhoon Haiyan, China was unveiling its own relief effort: a donation of $100,000 in cash.
The US response to the catastrophe – sending nine navy ships to help the relief operations – stands in stark contrast to China’s donation, which amounts to just 2 per cent of what South Korea has offered the Philippines.
Beijing was never likely to send huge amounts of money to Manila because of a bitter dispute over contested territory in the South China Sea. But experts say the Chinese military – despite rapidly improving capabilities – has a long way to go before it can perform overseas relief operations at the level that the US, Japan and Australia do now.
“They just don’t have the hardware, the equipment, the training that…
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