Newspaper article about China’s “selfless assistance” biased says embassy

Kuo ‘ikai kei mapukepuke ‘Amipasitoa Siaina ‘i Tonga ka kuo ne lea mai ‘o fakaanga’i ha ongoongo 'a ha nusipepa nusipepa ‘Aositelēlia ‘o tala ‘oku ta’e fakapolofesinale pea fakapalataha ‘ene fakaanga’i ‘a ‘ene ngaahi tokoni ki Tonga mo e Pasifiki. Na’e tōmamafa e lea ‘a e ‘Amipasitoa ‘i ha fakamatala ne tuku ange mai ki he Kaniva ‘o pehē kuo to’o hake pe ‘ū nō kae ‘ikai to’o hake mo e ngaahi fakalakalaka fakasōsiale mo e faka’ekōmika kuo ta’imālie ai ‘a e ngaahi fonua Pasifiki ni mei he ngaahi tokoni ‘a Siaina. Ko e tali ‘eni ‘a e ‘amipasitoa ki ha ‘ātikolo ne pulusi ‘i he The Australian ‘o ‘ulu’itohi – “Melemo e Ngaahi Fonua Pasifiki he Mo’ua ki Siaina”

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His Excellency Wang Baodong, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Kingdom of Tonga.

The Chinese embassy in Tonga has described an article in The Australian about Chinese aid in the Pacific as “groundless and irresponsible.”

In a statement released to Kaniva News, the embassy said the newspaper’s January 29 article, ‘Pacific Nations Drowning in Chinese Debt’ was biased and unprofessional.

It said the Australian newspaper had taken a biased view of what it described as China’s “selfless assistance” to Tonga and other Pacific island countries.

The embassy said the article was “full of plausible and one-sided information… obviously going against the professional ethics of journalism.”

“It meant to mislead the public and disrupt the practical cooperation and friendly relations between China and Tonga, to which China is firmly opposed.”

As Kaniva News reported yesterday, the article, by Anthony Klan, reported that Tonga had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China.

It had been unable to repay the loans when they were due. The International Monetary Fund persuaded China to delay the repayment date, but this meant the repayment costs would be even higher when they fell due in 2018-19.

The repayment schedule has been described as “brutal” and the World Bank warned in 2014 that that the repayments would “substantially drain the government’s cash balance.”

The Chinese embassy in Tonga claimed it had offered “a helping hand” and provided concessional loans to Tonga for the reconstruction of the centre of Nuku’alofa after the 2006 riots.

Money was also spent on upgrading roads on the main islands.

“We cannot help asking what other relevant country has done for Tonga when it needed help,” the embassy said.

It said The Australian had not mentioned the social and economic development of Tonga, which had resulted from Chinese assistance.

“China will continue to provide support and assistance within its capacity for the development of Tonga according to the actual need of the kingdom and on the basis of fully respecting the will of the Tongan government and people,” the embassy said.

The embassy said Chinese businesses in Tonga had created local jobs.

The main points

  • The Chinese embassy in Tonga has described an article in The Australian about Chinese aid in the Pacific as “groundless and irresponsible.”
  • In a statement released to Kaniva News, the embassy said the newspaper’s January 29 article, ‘Pacific Nations Drowning in Chinese Debt’ was biased and unprofessional.
  • It said the Australian newspaper had taken a biased view of what it described as China’s “selfless assistance” to Tonga and other Pacific island countries.

For more information 

Australian claims islands ‘drowning’ in Chinese debt, but Tonga grateful says govt

China’s gift causes trouble for Tonga

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