(Taiwan quake) State says no thanks for China aid offers

Friday, February 09, 2018

Taiwan's government declined disaster relief aid from China and other countries, with the exception of Japan, in the wake of a magnitude 6 earthquake which struck Hualien County in eastern Taiwan late Tuesday, causing loss of life and serious property damage.

Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang said Taiwan has sufficient rescue personnel and supplies at its disposal.

The central government only accepted Japan's offer to send a 7-member specialist team to Hualien because it has high tech body-heat detection equipment Taiwan does not possess that can help rescue more survivors, according to Huang.

When asked whether the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top agency in charge of China policy, will accept disaster relief assistance from China, Huang said that Taiwan has ample rescue personnel and other supplies, "We, hereby, decline all offers of relief aid," he added.

However, Huang's statement applied only to the central government and its agencies, which apparently left the door open for such donations to private organizations and Hualien County government, the state news agency reports.

For example, China's Red Cross Society has pledged a donation of 1 million yuan (US$159,107) to its counterpart in Taiwan for disaster relief efforts.