Respondents brush off Chinese flag concerns

“The flying of Chinese flags at the site of various projects it is funding has become controversial after it was raised by Member of Parliament, Olo Fonoti Vaai. The Government defended China and the flying of its flags at project sites. Our reporter Yolanda Lavatai and photographer Misiona Simo talk to members of the public to hear their views.

 

Ruta Opetaia, Tuaefu, 30

“Samoa has benefit so much, thanks to the grants and money we have received from China. The money they have donated to assist Tuanaimato gym was to help Samoa prepare for the upcoming games. We are blessed to have China’s funds.”

 

Faletusitala Sagote, Vailima, 21

“First we have to take into consideration that without China’s grants to aid Samoa, Samoa would not be as modern and beautiful like it is now. China has given job opportunities here in Samoa and helped improved the services here in Samoa especially with the new buildings.  Life is tough as it is with costly living and our nation needs the help.”

 

Savelio Mareko, Vaitele Fou, 34

“I am not the only one who is concerned about Samoa’s relation to China. If the Parliament Member does not even know that the funds are aid from China and not a loan – that only goes to add how confused people really are – even those who are in the Government. We need to know the honest truth on where these funds come from, and whether or not they are really aid or another loan added to the debts. But personally if the funds from China is really to aid Samoa infrastructure, then I have nothing against their flag raised for those projects. It’s just a matter of clarity on the matter.” 

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Lavilavi Peseti, Faleasiu, 54

“Whether it is aid from China or a loan – it is not necessary to raise their flag here in Samoa. We already have so many debts the Government owes China. With that staining our minds, we worry about even the slightest recognition to them in Samoa because some day in the future China will take over. Our national flag should be the only flag raised and permitting our skies.”

 

Milo Tupua, Palisi, 18

“I believe everyone has a right to their own opinion, depending on how they look at it. Although we are in debt, China still continues to help Samoa by providing grants for projects. How else are people to know that China is helping Samoa. Also I don’t see why people should be upset about China’s flag being flown.”

 

Amutala Ieroma, Laulii, 42

“ For what I know is that we have received so much help from China and other foreign countries. There is nothing wrong in proclaiming that by allowing their flag to stand next to ours. It just tells that we acknowledge the fellowship between the nations. We are grateful for the aid.”

 

 


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