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Taiwan Rejects China's Earthquake Aid Offer

03.04.2024 20:57

‘We greatly appreciate its concern, but there is no need for the mainland side to assist us in disaster relief,’ says Taiwan, rebuffing Beijing’s offer of assistance.

Taiwan's government on Wednesday declined China's offer of assistance following a magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck off Taiwan's eastern coast.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office proposed disaster relief to the island in the quake's aftermath, but Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council stated that they did not require assistance.

"We noticed that the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office had expressed concern about the earthquake in waters off Hualien this morning. We greatly appreciate its concern, but there is no need for the mainland side to assist us in disaster relief," it said.

Taiwan, which China sees as part of its territory, has operated independently since the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

While Taiwan has permitted cash donations from China in previous earthquakes, it has not allowed Chinese teams to take part in disaster relief and rescue efforts.

Aid offers from other countries

Meanwhile, numerous countries, most notably Japan, extended offers of assistance to Taiwan for disaster relief and rescue efforts.

In a post on X, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed condolences for those who lost their lives in the earthquake. Citing Taiwan's assistance after past quakes in Japan, he said now it is their turn to extend help and that Japan is ready to provide any necessary assistance.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron also conveyed his country's readiness to help, saying on X: "The UK stands ready to support in any way we can."

"Sincere condolences to the families of the victims and to all Taiwanese affected by the earthquake. We wish for the swift recovery of the injured and stand ready to offer assistance in the disaster response efforts," said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.

Among the few countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, leaders of the Central American country Guatemala and the South American country Paraguay also shared messages of support.

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake that struck off Taiwan's eastern coast early Wednesday killed fewer than 10 people at the latest count and injuring hundreds.

The quake is the strongest to have hit the island nation in 25 years. Around 2,400 people were killed in 1999 when a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan in the middle of the night. -

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