I would like to clarify the news report and some opinions in your newspaper dated 19th, 23rd and 26th September of 2016 respectively in relation to the so-called $20 million tala maintenance work in Aquatic Centre undertaken by an expert team from China aid.
Firstly, the Aquatic Center was built solely on China’s Grant Aid and the Chinese Expert Team have been sent to Samoa to provide the technical support services for facilities including lighting system, ventilation system and fire-proof roll screen system in all areas and to perform water quality test, circulating filtration, water disinfection, etc. in Aquatic Centre only at the request of the Government of Samoa since 2006.
The first group of 7 Chinese engineers worked from September 2006 to September 2007 during which time they provided technical support service to the regular maintenance of the Aquatic Center to ensure the successful hosting of the swimming event of 2007 South Pacific Games which was hosted by Samoa.
Up to now since 2008, five more groups of Chinese engineers have been sent continuously to Samoa, always at the request of the Government of Samoa, to provide not only technical support service for the facilities, but also professional trainings for several local Samoan trainees in the hope that these local people could learn the expertise and could perform facility operations and maintenance work independently in the future so that there is no need for Chinese engineers to come all the way to stay in Samoa, apart from their family members in China.
However, the fact now is that all these local trainees have left the Aquatic Center for other job opportunities after they have acquired some professional skills through the Chinese training pragram.
Secondly, the salaries for all the members on the Chinese Expert Team and the expenses on their maintenance work in Aquatic Center during all these years are wholly covered by Chinese government.
Thirdly, the Chinese Expert Team’s maintenance work in Aquatic Centre is only a very small part of China Grant Aid. In fact, the China Grant Aid in Samoa covers a wide range of fields including infrastructure, education, medical service, etc. and the scale of aid is ever growing.
Take the China Aid in medical and health service for example, Chinese government has sent 14 medical teams to Samoa and more than 100 Chinese doctors, salaries all financed by the Chinese government, have worked in Samoan hospital in the past three decades, selflessly providing medical treatment and service for Samoan patients.
Chinese government has also been providing many opportunities for doctors and nurses as well as students in medical colleges and schools to go to China for further study and training during all these years.
According to the Agreement on Donation of Medical Equipment from Huizhou Municipal People’s Government, Guangdong, the People’s Republic of China to Ministry of Health of the Independent State of Samoa, Huizhou City of China will donate medical equipment worthy of 3,200,000 tala to Samoa’s hospitals in this year and next year in the hope of helping improve medical service in Samoa.
I hope that the above points may help clarity those confusing and misleading opinions in the newspaper.
Head of Economic
and Commercial Section
Chinese Embassy in Samoa