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Tripartite Meeting to Improve the Safety Situation of the Chinese Community in Tonga

A tripartite meeting among the Chinese Embassy, Tonga Police and Chinese Community was held on last Thursday. Hon. Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, H.E. Ambassador Huang Huaguang, Hon. Minister of Police and Fire Services Mateni Tapueluelu, Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell and representatives from Chinese community attended the meeting.

Ambassador Huang Huaguang expressed his deep gratitude for the presence of the Prime Minister, saying it fully embodied the Tonga Government’s support and determination to safeguard the security of person and property of the Chinese community in Tonga. Mr. Huang also appreciated the progress Tonga Police had made for protecting the Chinese Community, including setup of the Asian Liaison Office and Operation Great Wall.

However, Mr. Huang reminded all the attendees that the safety situation of the Chinese community still faced many difficulties and challenges. The crimes against the Chinese community happened frequently in 2016 and some brutal cases kept unsolved. The criminals had not been brought to justice and the reasonable compensation claims by the victims were not earnestly responded or implemented. The impact of the overseas deportees to the social security of Tonga made the situation even worse. The Embassy is looking forward to working closely with the Tonga Government and Tonga Police to create better safety environment for all the Chinese living and working in the Kingdom, said the Ambassador.

The Prime Minster was grateful to the Chinese Embassy for initiating the tripartite meeting mechanism. “The Tongan Government does not tolerate such violence whether it is against members of the Chinese community or any other community. The Government and the people of Tonga greatly and sincerely appreciate the enormous and ongoing assistance of the Chinese Government and people to Tonga. However it is obvious that a minority within Tongan society do not appreciate such assistance. On behalf of the Government, I would like to apologize to each and every person against whom violence was committed and to the Chinese community as a whole, he said.

The Prime Minister also committed that the Government would do its best to end this problem, “we will continue to support the Police in its work in this area and we will continue to work together with the Chinese community to deal with this problem.”

The Prime Minister expressed his outlook about the future, one of the long term plans of the current Government is to create a Tonga with a future where children of both native and Chinese descents share common values and work towards a national vision of a happy and prosperous nation.”

Police Minister Mateni Tapueluelu said that he would do more in his new position to protect the safety of the Chinese community in Tonga.

Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell appreciated the efforts the Chinese Ambassador and Embassy had made for the safety environment. He appealed that people should trust the police and the crimes had been mitigated since beginning of this year.

Mr. Caldwell introduced the outcomes of the survey Tonga Police did in the Chinese community recently, which was the part of the Tonga Police Asian/Chinese Community Action Plan. He said that recruiting the Chinese to the police force was under consideration.

Raymond Yu, Permanent Honored President of Tonga Chinese federation and other representatives from the Chinese community expressed their gratitude to all parties and raised some issues they concerned most.

Ambassador Huang donated a car on behalf of the Embassy to the Asian Liaison Office of the Tonga Police at the end of the meeting.


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