The Chinese community in Tonga had presented gifts to Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu Tuita as a show of respect after her mother’s death.

Late Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho was laid to rest today at Mala’ekula, 10 days after she died peacefully in Auckland.

The members of the Tonga China Friendship Association (TCFA) met Her Royal Highness early this week, former government minister and MP Sangstar Saulala has reported on Facebook

He said the Chinese community remembered the Queen Mother and her husband the late King Tupou IV for facilitating the process of connecting the relationship between Tonga and China.

According to a statement made by the princess last year in Nuku’alofa while she opened the inauguration of the Pacific-China Friendship Association (PCFA) conference, she said her father was instrumental in negotiating Tonga’s  diplomatic relationship with China.

“It was my father who looked beyond the money from Taiwan. And I think he was right. In fact, he sent me to Beijing and after that visit, my father himself travelled to Beijing and told the Chinese government Tonga was ready to normalise relations with China,” she said.

Princess Pilolevu, the only daughter of the late Queen Mother and late King Tupou IV,  is the current president of TCFA.

The matriarch’s body was carried on a catafalque by hundreds of men to the royal tombs this morning.

The Free Wesleyan Church president Dr ‘Ahio led the burial service and he told mourners the Queen Mother was a true Christian.

“Her Majesty Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho will be remembered for her work in the church,” he said.

More than 1,000 Chinese now living in Tonga.