Why are the Chinese interested in Tonga?

Discussion in 'China' started by W.G.Ewald, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    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.

    The domestic airport in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, was eerily quiet. The friendly cafe, where three years ago I'd enjoyed the delicious locally-grown coffee, had gone. And there was no sign of my plane.

    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."

    BBC News - Why are the Chinese interested in Tonga?
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    It is important for China to isolate Australia and NZ, which are allies of the US and have a pact, so that US assistance in times of crisis can be contested.

    It will be recalled that the Chinese have made naval forays North of Australia through the Strait off Indonesia.
    W.G.Ewald likes this.

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