Australian attacks on China “sad” says Tongan Minister of Justice

Tonga’s Minister of Justice has described Australian International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’ attack on China as “sad.”

Fierravanti-Wells claimed last week that China was funding “roads to nowhere” and “useless buildings.”

“You’ve got the Pacific full of these useless buildings which nobody maintains, which are basically white elephants,” the Minister told The Australian newspaper.

Hon. Sione Vuna Fā’otusia  said China was filling the gap left by Australia which was not helping the countries of the Pacific.

“It is sad indeed for Australia to start accusing China for helping the poor and needy countries of the Pacific,” Hon. Fā’otusia said.

“What China does by building infrastructure is to assist in the economic development of the Pacific countries.

“China is a huge country with a huge economy. It cannot be measured against Australia in any way whatsoever.

“Their economy is vastly different, and cannot be in anyway whatsoever comparable. China is so huge in every aspects of life!

“It is good for Tonga to work alongside with China as our partner.”

China has described Fierravanti-Wells’s claims as irresponsible.

“The assistance provided by China has significantly fuelled the economic and social development of these countries and delivered tangible benefits to the local people, which has been warmly welcomed by the governments and people of these countries,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

China has provided an estimated US$1.78 billion (TP$3.9 billion) in aid in the Pacific, including concessional loans and for projects in the past decade.

The main points

  • Tonga’s Minister of Justice has described Australian International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells’ attack on China as “sad.”
  • Sione Vuna Fā’otusia said China was filling the gap left by Australia which was not helping the countries of the Pacific.
  • “It is sad indeed for Australia to start accusing China for helping the poor and needy countries of the Pacific,” Hon. Fā’otusia said.

For more information

Beijing complains about Australia’s ‘irresponsible’ attack on China’s Pacific aid program

China lodges protest against Australian ‘white elephant’ remarks

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