29 Mar 2011

Chinese embassy concerned about comments in Samoa

1:58 pm on 29 March 2011

The Chinese embassy in Samoa has expressed concern to a local newspaper about criticisms directed at the increase of Chinese-owned businesses in the country.

The Samoa Observer says the embassy's concerns were prompted by a Radio Australia article reprinted by the newspaper, in which the president of the Chamber of Commerce Lemalu Sina Slade said Chinese retail businesses were being set up in defiance of Foreign Investment Act provisions.

The Chinese embassy says Lemalu's comments are worrying because they could incite people into acting violently against the Chinese, as the region has witnessed in other parts of the Pacific such as Tonga and Solomon Islands.

The newspaper's publisher, Sano Savea Malifa, says everyone in Samoa is free to express their opinion and suggested that the Chinese embassy engage in open discussions.