Sichuan earthquake: Hong Kong urges aid veto over corruption fears
Wednesday 24 April 2013
Politicians in Hong Kong have fiercely opposed a plan to donate money to Sichuan to help with earthquake relief efforts, citing concerns that the local government would misuse the funds.
The city’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, proposed donating HK$100m ($13m) to the Sichuan provincial government for relief efforts following the earthquake on Saturday that struck Lushan county, killing at least 196 people and injuring more than 11,000.
Politicians said they wanted to help the victims but opposed giving money to government officials because of fears about corruption. They said they would prefer that the money be channelled to aid groups and non-governmental organisations.
The debate reflects the wider public wariness in semi-autonomous Hong Kong about official corruption in mainland China, an enduring problem that the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has promised to root out. It marks a sharp change in sentiment compared with reactions to previous disasters that prompted residents to open their wallets, such as a devastating earthquake that struck the Sichuan region in 2008, killing 90,000 people.
Following that quake, “the government donated HK$9bn in return for scandals and also a lot of sub-standard projects,” politician Kwok Ka-ki said.
The Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement called on legislators to veto the motion, citing the alleged misuse of the funds that Hong Kong sent to Sichuan after the 2008 earthquake, when money that was intended for relief reportedly ended up paying for government banquets. A Sichuan secondary school built in 2010 with HK$2m in quake relief funds was also later torn down to make way for a luxury housing development.
The Hong Kong government said on Tuesday that the province later returned the funds.
“What China lacks is not money but rather clean government,” said Hong Kong legislator Claudia Mo. “Our trust in those provincial governments has gone bankrupt.”
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...