Published: 16:31, December 24, 2021 | Updated: 16:33, December 24, 2021
China sends emergency aid
By Xinhua

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian (right) attends the handover ceremony for China-donated rice in Pasay city, the Philippines, on Dec 22. (LIU KAI / XINHUA)

MANILA — China offered $1 million in cash and 4,725 metric tons of rice on Dec 22 to help the victims of Typhoon Rai in the Philippines.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian announced the assistance at the handover ceremony for the rice, the last batch of the 10,000 tons that China donated to the Philippines.

The emergency cash assistance is to support the relief and recovery efforts of the Philippine government and people against the disaster brought by the devastating typhoon, Huang said, expressing hope that the fresh batch of rice will contribute to the Philippines’ humanitarian relief operations in typhoon-hit areas.

On Dec 21, Chinese President Xi Jinping extended condolences to his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, over the typhoon that battered the Philippines last week.

Xi said he was shocked to learn that the typhoon has caused heavy casualties and property losses to the Philippines.

Xi, on behalf of the Chinese government and people as well as in his own name, expressed deep condolences to the victims of the disaster and extended sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured.

China stands ready to provide assistance to the Philippines within its capacity, Xi said, adding that he believes the people in the disaster areas will surely overcome their difficuties and rebuild their homes.

The same day, the Chinese embassy in Manila prepared 20,000 food packages containing rice, canned food, and noodles packs. Ambassador Huang said the relief goods had reached typhoon-affected areas such as Cebu, Leyte, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, among others.

“China and the Philippines are close and friendly neighbors who always help and support each other through trying times,” the ambassador said.

Philippine President Duterte declared on the night of Dec 21 a state of calamity in several regions to speed up relief efforts for victims of Typhoon Rai.

Philippine Social Welfare Director Emmanuel Privado, who received the donated rice from China on Dec 22, thanked the Chinese government for its generosity.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude to the people of China for these donations. This is so timely. The typhoon victims will benefit from these,” he said.

Typhoon Rai, which battered the Philippines last week, affected more than 1.3 million people and is feared to have killed at least 375 in the central and southern Philippines and parts of the main Luzon island.