23 May 2007

Tonga gets China grant, soft loan to follow

1:34 pm on 23 May 2007

The deal for China's aid grant of close to 2.5 million US dollars to Tonga has officially been signed in Nuku'alofa this week.

The Matangi Tonga Online website reports that the agreement was signed by the Chinese ambassador, Hu Yeshun, and the prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele.

The grant was announced by President Hu Jintao during Dr Sevele's visit to Beijing last month.

The prime minister says three quarters of the grant will be spent on road maintenance for Tongatapu, and the rest on community projects.

He also says a 54 million US dollar soft loan from the Chinese government will be spent on reconstructing Vuna Wharf and Nuku'alofa.

The Chinese ambassador says his government will also construct a new conference hall for the October Pacific Forum leaders meeting, and provide police motorcycles, 21 cars and a van.