Hilfsleistungen zeigen Grenzen von Chinas aufstrebender Macht. China hilft, doch im Vergleich zu anderen Nationen vergleichsweise wenig. Die Machtstellung Chinas im asiatischen Raum wird oft überschätzt. Es fehlt an Geld und Erfahrung, denn China ist noch immer selbst Hilfsleistungsempfänger. China's new and growing influence in Asia, ... is showing its limits as the aspiring superpower plays an active but secondary role in responding to the tsunami disaster.
The Chinese response is significant by even the recent standards of its inward-looking history. But it is also a reminder that the world's most populous country is far from being the dominant power in Asia.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao announced that China would donate more than $62 million, one of its largest ever pledges of international relief aid. But that figure was quickly eclipsed when the United States increased its pledge to $350 million and Japan followed with a $500 million donation. Moreover, China has watched as American vessels have moved quickly into the region with U.S. Navy helicopters delivering food and critical supplies to the hardest-hit areas of Indonesia. This week, another convoy of American ships is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka with more than 1,500 marines. By contrast, China's primary contribution at the scene has been a 35-member medical team now treating patients in Indonesia.
"China's soft power is growing in the region but should not be overstated! The things China has been doing are all win-win," said Sutter, now a visiting professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. "They don't generally cost China anything. But when you have to do something that costs something, it's hard for them to do it. They don't have the resources or the experience." He added, "They are still an aid recipient."