Chinese banners raise eyebrows in Apia

The installation of banners on electrical posts on the streets of Apia, with the message written in Chinese, has raised several eyebrows.

Some members of the public have taken to social media to raise questions about the meaning of the Chinese words on the banner.

But there is a perfectly legitimate explanation for them, the Samoa Observer has found.

Contacted for a comment, the Chinese Embassy in Samoa explained that the banners are part of an awareness campaign for the China-Pacific Island Country Tourism Year, which is set to be launched in Apia next week.

Liu Lin, second Secretary at Chinese Embassy explained that the Chinese words on the banner translate to "China-Pacific Island Country Tourism Year.”

"The design is in both Chinese and English and was planned for one side in English and the other side Chinese,” Lin told the Samoa Observer.

“But the printing company forgot to print the English side and we had to put up the banners in a hurry.

"We have told our partner, the Samoa Tourism Authority, to check this out and ask the printing company to correct the mistake as soon as possible.”

She did not provide the name of the printing company but assured that the target audience for the banners are Chinese and Samoan.

Su'a Hessed Ieremia, of the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), confirmed the banners were supposed to be in both English and Chinese.

He also confirmed that it is part of the China Pacific Tourism Year 2019 that’s kicking off in Samoa.

The event is to celebrate the tourism year with China. The official launch is scheduled on Monday 1st April 2019 at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel on Beach Road.

"Samoa was selected as the country to launch the celebrations due to the fact that the Chairmanship of the Pacific Tourism Council of Ministers Forum and the South Pacific Tourism Board of Directors are held by Samoa," the S.T.A Newsletter further elaborates.

Delegations are expected to arrive in Samoa at the end of the week. Among them will be a delegation from China’s government.

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