Chinese ambassador supports coronavirus measures
The Chinese Ambassador to Samoa says he supports Samoan immigration measures preventing potential coronavirus sufferers from entering the country after his Fijian counterpart criticised the recent deportation of Chinese nationals.
Beijing's Ambassador to Fiji criticised Samoa’s decision to return six Chinese nationals who arrived in Apia from Nadi last Sunday as "not fully justified".
The Chinese ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoliang ,told the Samoa Observer that he respects the law of Samoa and its right to border control.
“I think that Samoa is independent and a sovereign country," he said.
“I also know that Samoa’s Ministry of Health published [a] travel advisory"
Quarantine concerns last Sunday led to six Chinese nationals being sent back to Fiji after arriving on a flight from Nadi for not meeting quarantine procedures to prevent the coronavirus.
The Fijian Broadcasting Corporation quoted the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Qian Bo said: “Perhaps we need to balance the benefit and cost.
"So the six nationals being rejected entry to Samoa is not fully justified.
"They are rejected simply because they don't have the medical certificate.
“That is not everyone who have no medical proof is problematic is a person of suspected case,” he said.
Attempts to contact Ambassador Qian on Friday were unsuccessful.
After the advisory was published the Chinese Embassy in Apia also published a notice informing Chinese citizens of the new immigration requirements.
When asked about his opinion on what Ambassador Qian said concerning Samoa deporting Chinese nationals being unjustified, Ambassador Chao did not wish to comment.
“It is not right for me to comment on this but in my opinion I respect the law of Samoa as the Chinese Ambassador to Samoa," he said.
“We know that Samoa just experienced the measles epidemic and I understand your people’s [Samoan people] concern about the safety
"The Samoan students studying in China are well taken care off not only the universities but also by the local Government representatives’ in China
"I would like to thank Samoan Government and its people for their support and understanding as our country fights against the coronavirus
"The Chinese Government has already taken strong measures in preventing the virus from spreading
"But I will also work closely with the Samoan Government through its relevant ministries to prevent and control the coronavirus."
The death toll of the coronavirus has risen to 213 in China with 9,821 confirmed cases from China and around the world.