Taiwan makes private, state donations to China

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Apr 23, 2013 - Page 1

The Executive Yuan yesterday announced that Taiwan would donate US$1 million to help with relief efforts in China’s Sichuan Province after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit the region.

“The money is to be taken from the government’s second reserve fund and will be transferred by the Straits Exchange Foundation to its Chinese counterpart,” the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, Executive Yuan spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said.

Cheng said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was concerned about the situation in Yaan City, the epicenter of the earthquake.

In addition to expressing concern for all those affected by the quake, Ma asked the Mainland Affairs Council to convey to Beijing Taiwan’s offer to send a search-and-rescue team to China to help with rescue operations, she said.

Acting on Ma’s instructions, the council asked the foundation to convey Taiwan’s condolences to China on Saturday, Cheng said.

A three-member team of the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China was headed to Sichuan later yesterday to assess rescue and relief efforts.

A Chinese official in Sichuan on said Sunday that several Taiwanese businesses operating in the province have made generous donations to relief efforts.

An official with the Taiwan Affairs Office in the province said drinking water donated by the Uni-President Group (統一集團) and instant noodles donated by the Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團) arrived in affected areas at night on the day of the quake.

Want Want China Holdings (中國旺旺控股), the biggest rice cracker roducer in China, sent milk and crackers, in addition to making a donation to the Sichuan government.

Relief materials donated by RT-Mart (大潤發) have also arrived in affected areas, the official said.

Earlier reports said Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), which goes by the trade name Foxconn in China, donated 50 million yuan (US$8 million) to Sichuan, while Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) donated 1 million yuan.

Information collected through various channels showed that no Taiwanese had been injured in the disaster, she added.

“The Mainland Affairs Council will continue to keep close track of the situation in Sichuan and offer assistance as needed,” Cheng said.

Also yesterday, a Taiwanese business association in China’s Sichuan Province reported that its members did not suffer major losses or production interruptions Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang (梁國新) said.

“We’ll keep a close eye on the situation and will be in touch with the association on a daily basis,” Liang said.