Chinese diplomat calls Pacific criticism ignorant, prejudiced

In an opinion piece in the Samoa Observer he called this view ignorant, or prejudiced.

Earlier this month, an American official claimed China was "using predatory economics" and "debt for sovereignty deals".

But Mr Chao called this ridiculous.

Claims that loans from China are a quid pro quo for recipient nations' political sovereignty is "Cold War" thinking not supported by evidence, he said.

"China's foreign aid is offered on the basis of equality, with full respect for the will of the governments and people," he wrote.

Samoa PM plays down fears over China in Pacific

 While Canberra and Washington fear China's long-term ambition is a military base in the Pacific, Malielegaoi said he was more interested in the practical aid Beijing offered.

 “The bigger geopolitical issues don't have importance to us as small island countries, whose only interest is to provide a modern living,” he told TVNZ at the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) meeting being held in Tuvalu.

 Australia and other western-aligned nations have launched diplomatic campaigns to limit China's inroads in the region but Malielegaoi said all nations that offered help were welcome.

PM Ardern says NZ’S aid to Samoa shouldn’t be compared to China’s big spending

Jacinda Ardern has been in Samoa, en route to Tokelau, and visited some of New Zealand's humble aid projects which have been dwarfed by China's flashy spending.

The manumea pigeon, Samoa's national bird, is under threat from illegal hunting. There are only 70 to 200 left, and New Zealand aid is helping to protect the endangered species.

“That's the same status as our Kākāpō, so it is something we're experiencing,” Ardern says. “We can share some of our learnings with each other as you seek to ensure the manumea has a bright future.”

Deadly earthquake hits China's Sichuan province

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Yibin in Changning County, south-east of the provincial capital Chengdu, late on Monday, officials said.

It was followed by several powerful aftershocks.

TV footage showed rescuers pulling injured people from the rubble of collapsed buildings.

More than 4,000 people have had to be relocated because their homes were destroyed or damaged, state media reported.

China Central Television showed the aftermath of a landslide that had blocked a road and left a lorry engulfed in debris.

Samoa explores free trade agreement with China for some products

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the exports though are small in volume.

Tuilaepa said Samoa is also exploring the possibilities of a free trade agreement, though selective for a few products.

He made the comments while welcoming China’s new Ambassador to Samoa, Chao Xiaoling at a function in Apia.

“Excellency, we look forward to when you will begin the construction of your new headquarters and when we can expect more High Level visits from China,” Tuilaepa said.


Handover of Pacific Games vehicles, fireworks and equipment to Samoa Government

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi received the donation at a ceremony Friday.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Samoa, I wish to thank the Government and people of China for the tremendous support and assistance that demystify the nuances of Samoa hosting a miracle game. May we continue to collaborate in the spirit of mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and a better appreciation of our differences,” Tuilaepa said.

Academic disputes China debt claims

The Head of School and Director Politics and International Affairs, Dr. Sandra Tarte, outlined this when speaking to journalists at the Pacific Journalists Dialogue at the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) in Suva.

Dr. Tarte said this was not an initial Chinese government strategy and the current perception of the Asian powerhouse as an economic colonizer in the Pacific stems from the actions of Chinese firms, rather than the government.

China turtle death: One of last four known Yangtze giant softshells dies

The female turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) died in Suzhou zoo in southern China.

Experts had tried to artificially inseminate the creature, which was over 90 years old, for a fifth time shortly before she died.

The species has suffered from hunting, overfishing and the destruction of its habitat.

One male, estimated to be more than 100 years old, is left in the Chinese zoo while two other turtles live in the wild in Vietnam. The elusive nature of the turtle means it has been difficult to identify the gender of the pair.

Samoa-China relationship sees fast growth pace: Samoan leader

The Samoan leader made the remarks while receiving credentials presented by Chinese Ambassador to Samoa Chao Xiaoliang who arrived here on March 29 this year.

Samoa continues to enjoy mutual benefits from the people-to-people exchanges and the close partnership with China in the development of many sectors of the island nation's economy including tourism, education, health, sports, agriculture, human resource development and infrastructure, he said.

Dust devil kills two children and injures 20 people in China

A small whirlwind known as a dust devil tore the inflatable from the ground at a fairground in Yucheng county.

One parent reportedly told local media that she saw children fall from a height of about 20 metres (66ft).

A county government official told the South China Morning Post it was unclear whether "human factors" played a role.

Local authorities said 18 other children and two adults were taken to hospital. One child was in a serious condition while the rest were being treated for minor injuries.