Why are the Chinese interested in Tonga?

Jul 27, 2013 Full story: BBC News 99

The government of Tonga in the South Pacific has recently accepted a large gift from China - a turbo-prop aircraft for the kingdom's new domestic airline.

Full Story

“Fight For Democracy in Tonga!!”

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#21 Jul 28, 2013
The government of Tonga in the South Pacific has recently accepted a large gift from China - a turbo-prop aircraft for the kingdom's new domestic airline. But the present has stirred up concerns about China's growing role in the archipelago once known as the Friendly Islands.
Waiting with me in the shade for something to happen was a young Chinese man, booked on the same flight, returning to his wife and grocery store on the island of Hapa'ai.
We started chatting and during our long wait I learned quite a bit about Johnny Wang. How he came to Tonga from Shanghai, while his two young children stay in China with his mother-in-law. He sends remittances and visits them during Chinese New Year. How he enjoys his new life on Hapa'ai. "Very quiet, very peaceful," he says, "and easier to make money than in China."
China built this road sign
We started talking Tongan airline politics. How the Chinese government's gift of a new passenger plane for inter-island flights had prompted the New Zealand-based company that had been providing a domestic air service to pull out, saying it couldn't compete with a subsidised airline.
The Chinese-manufactured MA60 aircraft has been delivered. But no Western government has given it a safety certificate and New Zealand has just announced it's suspending a multi-million dollar aid package to improve tourist infrastructure in Tonga until these safety concerns are resolved.
Blowholes and rock pools near Ha'akame
Tonga relies on tourists who visit for its natural beauty and wildlife
As the whale-watching season gets under way on outlying islands such as Hapa'ai and Vava'au, the flights fiasco is playing havoc with the tourist economy.
It's also stirred up concerns among some Tongans that Chinese aid - generous, visible and impressive as it's been in recent years - can be a mixed blessing. They describe urban roads laid without proper drainage so nearby houses get flooded when it rains, and grandiose public buildings, poorly adapted to a tropical, oceanic climate, that are costly to keep cool and maintain.
Cabinet minister Clive Edwards chose his words carefully. "Some of the buildings they've put up", he told me, "are a disappointment". I was sitting with him in his office in the Ministry of Justice. "Including this one?" I asked. He laughed, a deep Tongan guttural laugh.
Chinese-built Ministry of Justice, Tonga
The 'disappointing' ministry building
On islands across the Pacific, you'll find very visible evidence of Chinese "big-project" aid: sports stadiums and parliament buildings, government offices
Road to the airport
It's their fish, potential mineral resources and votes in the UN that make these small Pacific nations of growing interest to Beijing.
In Tonga, China's visibility is all the greater because of the several thousand-strong Chinese minority. There is a degree of tension between the two communities. From Tongans you hear phrases like, "the Chinese are bad drivers" and "the Chinese are everywhere".
What is not in doubt, though, is the key role the Chinese play in the business sector, especially in the little family-run grocery stores, the Fale-Kaloas, as they're called.
The Tongan extended family runs on the principle, "to each according to his need, from each according to his capacity". But if you're a Tongan trying to run a Fale-Kaloa and a relative turns up to say his grandfather's died, there's going to be a feast and you're going to have to give me all the chicken in your shop, you're not going to last long.
The causeway between two small islands
The plane did finally get me to Hapa'ai and a day later I'm cycling across a causeway between two small islands. There's repair work going on and a Chinese foreman in charge.
I hear an engine revving behind me and a delivery van rumbles past. I note how clean and new it looks, compared with most vehicles on the island. It stops on the other side of the causeway and a head leans out of the front window and grins at me.
Toni

United States

#22 Aug 2, 2013
Why does the Chinese make good money in Tonga? Our people go over sea to earn a living. This Chinaman sent money home for his family fly back and forth live a good life in Tonga of all places. What are we missing? Why doesn't the Tongan compete with the Chinese? What am I missing here. The Chinese are not smarter.
Indian

San Francisco, CA

#23 Aug 2, 2013
The Chinese are much smarter than the Tongans, tongans need Indians to aid them. We know how to deal with the Chinese. Send back that plane and buy one from us is a good start.
eagger

Tonga

#24 Aug 2, 2013
Toni wrote:
Why does the Chinese make good money in Tonga? Our people go over sea to earn a living. This Chinaman sent money home for his family fly back and forth live a good life in Tonga of all places. What are we missing? Why doesn't the Tongan compete with the Chinese? What am I missing here. The Chinese are not smarter.
i think its just a bit harder for the average Tongan to keep his/her shop open coz of family obligations and maybe they may be too lenient on the credit sales, just stuff like that is why its been a bit hard for some businesses. Its not all china china lol, there are other successful residents in Tonga.
plus Chinese Tongans aren't all huddled together in a bubble, they too need to buy goods and services, some outsource their accounting to Tongan public accountants, some buy from Tongan wholesalers or distribution companies. Their kids need education so they pay fees etc. They hire Tongan labour. They may buy goods from Tongan importers. They may buy produce from farmers. they may need to pay freight and handling fees to send some goods to the outer islands on Tongan owned domestic shipping companies. They may need to buy vehicles from Tongan owned car dealers. Etc etc. So I think rather than marginalize or demonize our chinese minorities, lets work together if we can and be open to make business with them. We can grow prosperous together. Plus there are Tongan businesses that seem to be doing well in the retail sector too.

Since: Apr 12

Location hidden

#25 Aug 2, 2013
Indian wrote:
The Chinese are much smarter than the Tongans, tongans need Indians to aid them. We know how to deal with the Chinese. Send back that plane and buy one from us is a good start.
The Indians can't handle anybody ! Look at Fiji , when shit hits the fan the Fijians Rule with an IRON FIST .

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#26 Aug 2, 2013
stopit wrote:
<quoted text>
Yep,daz true mann...dem chinese are legends...dem makin 'soya sauce' over 2500yrs ago while we crackin brains outta skulls hihihi ...i feel like chop suey now hehehe..ei,koe taimi konaa..'ikai toe pehe atu 'e 'uiha' ia koha 'uiha koe....laka ke tonu ho huu he naiti kalapu....''i sheit you not'' hahaha
@'uiha'...teke uali koe ka 'raider'...mali mani'i e sianaa 'i Hawai'i hihihi pau pe ke pehee,si'i fk'ofa mata e fanau..
hihihihihi nae fkamamahi holo pe a tonga koe kai ke au mai e sio e siaina ki tonga he taimi koe...ka nae au mai e vaka ae kau tautehina lee ki tonga...a Bruce lee, jet lee, Tapa lee mo kaipa lee...siko e kau warrior tonga ia.....hihihihihihihihi....lma o
stopit

Australia

#27 Aug 2, 2013
Toni wrote:
Why does the Chinese make good money in Tonga? Our people go over sea to earn a living. This Chinaman sent money home for his family fly back and forth live a good life in Tonga of all places. What are we missing? Why doesn't the Tongan compete with the Chinese? What am I missing here. The Chinese are not smarter.
Because of their second-hand products shipped to Tonga...how can they compete if a chinaman gets a 5xpack Noodle for 75c and sells them individually if not the same price? Probably more... They can compete,just need to know how... Koe masiva foki,'ikai toe fai ha sio quality...Tonga has quality,china has quantity....yeah he's living a life in Tonga like we do overseas...wtf we send money to Tonga,he sends money to china hahahaha it's a good thing everyone has families...i'm just laughin at that picture.

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#28 Aug 2, 2013
Toni wrote:
Why does the Chinese make good money in Tonga? Our people go over sea to earn a living. This Chinaman sent money home for his family fly back and forth live a good life in Tonga of all places. What are we missing? Why doesn't the Tongan compete with the Chinese? What am I missing here. The Chinese are not smarter.
because the Chinese grew up knowing its better to be a dealer then a buyer....the Chinese are businessmen and they succeed in any environment
stopit

Australia

#30 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> hihihihihi nae fkamamahi holo pe a tonga koe kai ke au mai e sio e siaina ki tonga he taimi koe...ka nae au mai e vaka ae kau tautehina lee ki tonga...a Bruce lee, jet lee, Tapa lee mo kaipa lee...siko e kau warrior tonga ia.....hihihihihihihihi....lma o
hahaha lmao si'i.. Koe tika pe he t.v...real life ia,same height a jet lee ia moe ule 'o Tu'iRaho lol talu ai pe e kaifkteka 'a jet lee hihihihi pea ko Bruce Lee ia 'e paa'i ia ke vilo sakisi hange ha tapili hihihi ko kaipa lee ia 'e pusiaki'i ia 'e Tu'ifaifai 'i Ha'apai hehehe

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#31 Aug 2, 2013
stopit wrote:
<quoted text>
Because of their second-hand products shipped to Tonga...how can they compete if a chinaman gets a 5xpack Noodle for 75c and sells them individually if not the same price? Probably more... They can compete,just need to know how... Koe masiva foki,'ikai toe fai ha sio quality...Tonga has quality,china has quantity....yeah he's living a life in Tonga like we do overseas...wtf we send money to Tonga,he sends money to china hahahaha it's a good thing everyone has families...i'm just laughin at that picture.
yupp and the cheap products....them sean John tees for $5 and all the brand name merchandise 80% off...malie China....hihihihihi

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#32 Aug 2, 2013
eagger wrote:
<quoted text>
i think its just a bit harder for the average Tongan to keep his/her shop open coz of family obligations and maybe they may be too lenient on the credit sales, just stuff like that is why its been a bit hard for some businesses. Its not all china china lol, there are other successful residents in Tonga.
plus Chinese Tongans aren't all huddled together in a bubble, they too need to buy goods and services, some outsource their accounting to Tongan public accountants, some buy from Tongan wholesalers or distribution companies. Their kids need education so they pay fees etc. They hire Tongan labour. They may buy goods from Tongan importers. They may buy produce from farmers. they may need to pay freight and handling fees to send some goods to the outer islands on Tongan owned domestic shipping companies. They may need to buy vehicles from Tongan owned car dealers. Etc etc. So I think rather than marginalize or demonize our chinese minorities, lets work together if we can and be open to make business with them. We can grow prosperous together. Plus there are Tongan businesses that seem to be doing well in the retail sector too.
you know you are the voice of reason in all of this chaos....hihihihihi....fielau pe ko reggae koe
stopit

Australia

#33 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> because the Chinese grew up knowing its better to be a dealer then a buyer....the Chinese are businessmen and they succeed in any environment
Not bekozz they businessmen...they maheni faingata'a and learn from it...our maheni faingata'a is fahi fale,kaiha'a,ngutulau etc hihihihi pehee ke ma'u ha me'a koe 'aa pe vaku Raho 'o hanu ta'e fai ha me'a. hehehe

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#34 Aug 2, 2013
stopit wrote:
<quoted text>
hahaha lmao si'i.. Koe tika pe he t.v...real life ia,same height a jet lee ia moe ule 'o Tu'iRaho lol talu ai pe e kaifkteka 'a jet lee hihihihi pea ko Bruce Lee ia 'e paa'i ia ke vilo sakisi hange ha tapili hihihi ko kaipa lee ia 'e pusiaki'i ia 'e Tu'ifaifai 'i Ha'apai hehehe
ahahahaha hao pe a tapa ia kai fie ofi ha taha ia kiai....hihihihihihi...mhk
stopit

Australia

#35 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> yupp and the cheap products....them sean John tees for $5 and all the brand name merchandise 80% off...malie China....hihihihihi
China rules hihihihi nothing new,they lead the way 3000 yrs ago...when china has occupied every land in this Planet? Is the day jesus will arrive lol
stopit

Australia

#36 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> you know you are the voice of reason in all of this chaos....hihihihihi....fielau pe ko reggae koe
Daz my Liger from Tonga reppin them half breedz...he puts the yang into the ying...gotta keep that balance man...

My fengshui energy is pulling towards NE..the direction of my Toilet...teu ki'i 'alu 'o mimi hihihihi
stopit

Australia

#37 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> ahahahaha hao pe a tapa ia kai fie ofi ha taha ia kiai....hihihihihihi...mhk
Ehk hahahaha Red Belt foki 'a Tapa ia... lol ko Tapa ia koe 'food tester' ia e Tu'itonga...lol

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#38 Aug 2, 2013
stopit wrote:
<quoted text>
Daz my Liger from Tonga reppin them half breedz...he puts the yang into the ying...gotta keep that balance man...
My fengshui energy is pulling towards NE..the direction of my Toilet...teu ki'i 'alu 'o mimi hihihihi
manatui koe lului e mea ke Maha kai koha lulu ke moui...hihihihihi
stopit

Australia

#39 Aug 2, 2013
raider4life wrote:
<quoted text> manatui koe lului e mea ke Maha kai koha lulu ke moui...hihihihihi
hahaha mo'ui fiita'a e fu'u ngata,kou mimi pe mo sisina e 'ulu e ngataa pea kuo te'elelo 'o pihi ua e mimii hihihihi ko eni kuo maha,ka teu sisina ai pe mo lulu'i fkmohe e ngataa...be back later,this battle might take a while...

Since: Dec 12

Honolulu, Hi

#40 Aug 2, 2013
stopit wrote:
<quoted text>
hahaha mo'ui fiita'a e fu'u ngata,kou mimi pe mo sisina e 'ulu e ngataa pea kuo te'elelo 'o pihi ua e mimii hihihihi ko eni kuo maha,ka teu sisina ai pe mo lulu'i fkmohe e ngataa...be back later,this battle might take a while...
hahahahahhaha....mhk

“Fight For Democracy in Tonga!!”

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#41 Aug 3, 2013
Toni wrote:
Why does the Chinese make good money in Tonga? Our people go over sea to earn a living. This Chinaman sent money home for his family fly back and forth live a good life in Tonga of all places. What are we missing? Why doesn't the Tongan compete with the Chinese? What am I missing here. The Chinese are not smarter.
Poverty is so widespread now in the islands, that of course criminality will flourish.
just look around us, we have families now living on rubbish tips
we have mobs of homeless children, turning to pretty crime and prostitution
we have Chinese construction gangs and fishermen, looking for a good time in the Golden Apple
we have the United Nations complaining about people smuggling and trafficking
we have a corrupt king, and his gang out to get every cent they can get their hands on.
We are governed by a corrupt elite, who are protected by a corrupt public service and defended by the corrupt religious elite.
Every one's senses the level of duplicity and corruption through all society
these problems at Westpac will only get more widespread, as our country destroys itself
we are becoming a failed state
when will the people wake up and shake the chains off themselves.
we have nothing to fear, we have a country to win
let's have democracy today
and put the Royal family on trial tomorrow

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