Diplomat called a “cheeky boy”

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i 28 January 2019, 12:00AM

China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng, has been called a “cheeky boy” who should keep out of Samoa’s political affairs.

The call came from Salega East Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, in response to a statement issued by the diplomat. 

The statement titled “Remove the ignorant and ridiculous remarks, let the flag of China-Samoa friendship fly higher” was published in last Saturday’s edition of the Weekend Samoan.

The M.P. said Mr. Xuefeng had no business commenting on Samoan affairs.

He added his criticism of China’s flags flying at project sites was aimed at Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

“With all due respect to the President and People's Republic of China, this cheeky boy has no business with Samoa’s political affairs,” Olo said. 

“Diplomats have limitations and boundaries in every nation of when and what issues they can speak on. My comment was towards Samoa’s Prime Minister and only he and/or Cabinet Ministers should reply back,” he said, in an interview with the Samoa Observer.

“If he (Xuefeng) thinks that he has power to accuse me – a Member of Samoa’s Parliament – because of our country’s debt with the Chinese government, then that’s a threat to us. 

“If I were the Prime Minister of this country, I will put Mr. Xuefeng on the first flight back to China for being disrespectful. 

 “This why I continue to warn the Government and the Prime Minister, not to kiss up too much to foreign diplomats, as this is the end result,” he added.

Olo said he was not “harsh” in his criticism and due to China and Samoa’s strong friendship, there was no need to raise a flag at project sites to symbolise that relationship.

The Ambassador was also alerted to Samoa’s culture of respect, where showing disrespect to a village high chief has penalties under traditional Samoan law.

“We also have traditional punishment for anyone who has a rude attitude, and most especially when someone is being disrespectful to a high chief of any village,” Olo added. 

The M.P. said the statement issued by the Chinese diplomat was disgraceful and the Chinese government should select its future diplomats “wisely”.

“This has never happened to any other country and Mr. Xuefeng’s attitude is a disgrace to China’s people and my advice to the President – to please select your diplomats wisely, teach them manners before sending them over to Samoa, and finally I ask Mr Xuefeng to apologise for what he said. 

“This is to ensure that peace is still maintained between the two countries as my constituency is not happy,” he added.

On Saturday, Mr. Xuefeng, described Olo’s criticism as “ignorant and ridiculous remarks” adding that Olo’s claims “deviated from the facts and truths.”

“The article contains many ignorant and ridiculous remarks, which obviously deviated from the facts and truths. Chinese Embassy in Samoa would seriously point out the untruthful and ignorant errors,” Mr. Wang writes.

The Ambassador said before the article was published, the Samoa Observer had contacted the Chinese Embassy for comments.

“At that time, Chinese Embassy would rather ignore the matter because it would be a waste of time to respond to some individual’s groundless, ignorant and ridiculous remarks,” Mr. Xuefeng said. 

“As a Chinese old saying goes: “If you only listen to trilling of mole crickets, you will never plant any crops.” (Mole crickets are pests that are harmful to crops).

“However, if anyone distorts the truths and facts in public, Chinese Embassy will set it straight so that the public will no longer be misled by wrong information or ridiculous and ignorant remarks.”


By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i 28 January 2019, 12:00AM

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