"It is a truism in the aid community that the key after any natural disaster is to 'build back better.' A country such as the Philippines—which suffers 20 typhoons a year, not to mention earthquakes, floods and landslides—cannot reduce its physical exposure to such risks, only its vulnerability. In the aftermath of such a tragedy, it only makes sense to prepare better for the next one—to build stronger homes, on higher land, with better early warning systems and evacuation routes," writes Bloomberg in an editorial.
"It's surprising that Beijing has not stepped up to help the Philippines. On the contrary, its response has been miserly and slow-moving. With an initial donation of only $100,000, followed days later by a begrudging $1.6 million worth of tents and blankets, China has allowed its South China Sea dispute with the Philippines to cloud its compassion and distort its diplomacy," Rory Medcalf writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"The United States and the Philippines, a relationship always fraught with the challenges of former colony/colonizer history and ties between Filipinos in the United States and the Philippines, has clearly been on the upswing over the past five years. The White House would like to credit its rebalancing of U.S. forces and diplomacy to Asia as the driver behind this warming, although I would argue that the Philippines simply was driven to re-embracing Washington by China's behavior in the South China Sea, and by the rapid realization in Manila of how horribly antiquated the Philippines' navy was," writes CFR Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick.
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China Eases Its One-Child Policy
China's Communist Party said it would loosen it one-child rule for urban couples and abolish its labor camps, used to punish early critics of the party (AP). Both decisions followed a four-day meeting of party leaders in Beijing earlier this week.
CFR's Elizabeth Economy unpacks the most important takeaways from China's Third Plenum in this interview.
SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA
Cameron to Deliver Tough Message to Sri Lankan Leader
EU Criticizes Spending Plans of Its Largest Economies
The European Union highlighted concerns for its largest economies, saying that Germany has made "no progress" in stimulating domestic spending, that Spain risked missing deficit targets, that Italy might breach debt-reduction rules, and that France had no margin in its budget (Bloomberg).