China says ready to send rescue teams to Philippines, 1 week after devastating typhoon

China says it is ready to send rescue and medical teams to the Philippines, one week after a devastating typhoon struck the island nation.

The belated offer published in a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website Sunday follows an extremely modest pledge of less than $2 million in disaster assistance. The small offering has been attributed to spite over a festering dispute with Manila over South China Sea islands claimed by both sides.

In the statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying that China was monitoring conditions in the Philippines and the emergency teams would depart for the hardest hit areas "should conditions permit."

There was no immediate indication whether the aid teams were preparing to depart or whether the Philippine government had accepted the Chinese offer.