Chinese approve of relief aid to Japan

08:23, March 18, 2011      

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Nearly 80 percent of Chinese respondents said they support the government's efforts to aid Japan despite frictions between the two Asian neighbors, a survey suggests.

The survey, conducted by the news portal, polled more than 1.5 million netizens on the devastating earthquake in Japan last Friday, which triggered a tsunami and crippled a nuclear plant.

The survey showed about 1.2 million respondents back the government's humanitarian aid to Japan, saying the two countries have a "shared culture" and China should offer help "despite historical and existing disputes".

A netizen, who hails from Northwest China's Shaanxi province and goes by the name of zuoguandiaoyutai, commented on the website that human beings are without borders when facing natural disasters, and he hopes the Japanese people can step out of the shadows soon.

However, some had reservations about the friendly gesture because of historical and present disputes.

Ning Peikai, a college student in Tianjin, told China Daily he supports the government's move only because "it concerns China's reputation", although he is not happy with "helping a country that once invaded China."

Despite the often icy ties between the two biggest economies in Asia, the Chinese government has expressed a willingness to offer more assistance to Japan following the calamity.

In addition, the quake fueled a nationwide introspection on China's preparedness to handle a similar situation and the public's awareness in facing a disaster, as more than 80 percent of respondents spoke highly of Japan's reaction to the disaster. About 40 percent said China should learn from its neighbor.

More than half a million people said Japanese people deserve respect since they maintained calm and order. They also said the Japanese government responded quickly after the quake.

Gao Hong, an expert on Japanese studies from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China offered aid to Japan out of humanitarian spirit.

"The frictions in ties will not disappear with the natural disaster," he told China Daily. "But China's help for Japan with the calamity reflects the humanity and kindness of the Chinese people."

Zhou Wa contributed to this story.

Source: China Daily
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