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Students in China not at risk from revenge attacks

There is no concern for Samoan students who are currently studying in China facing 'revenge' attacks, in response to recent incidents in Samoa involving violence against local Chinese nationals, Samoa's Foreign Ministry says.

This month's violent incident involving a death of a Chinese national following an armed robbery had sparked concerns for Samoan students educated in China. Some critics had described the crimes as racially motivated or even "hate crimes". 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief Executive Officer, Peseta Noumea Simi, said currently there is no concern for the safety of the students abroad.

"With the incident that happened here in Samoa, we hope is was an isolated occurrence, and something that just happened," she said.

"And that's why the Government's fast response is very crucial in these matters to resolve and find a solution so that it does not affect other people.

"But with us right now, we are not worried regarding our students."

Peseta said this also includes our local's safety and said this is why it is incumbent on the Government, especially the Samoa Police Services, to ensure the safety of the public at large. 

Earlier this month, five assailants, including one armed with a machete, attacked a business in Vaitele shortly before 10pm on a Saturday night in a suspected coordinated armed robbery. One man, a Chinese national, Cao Yaqing, who had lived in Samoa for ten years, was killed in the attack. 

Four young men have been arrested since the incident; one is facing a charge of murder.

The Vaiusu Village Council also issued an public apology to China’s Ambassador, Chao Xiaoliang, and the Chinese community in Samoa, over the incident; at least three of the perpetrators are from Vaiusu.

In June this year, a man was charged in relation to the death of a Chinese volunteer in August last year and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. 

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