Regional News


The traditional external powers in the Pacific Islands are still coming to terms with China's increasing level of engagement with the regio

That was the focus of a conference this week at the National University of Samoa; 'China and the Pacific: The View from Oceania,' that sought to counter misperceptions about China's role in the region, particularly its aid programme.

Nation’s fishery scientists tackle climate, ecosystem and other issues

HONOLULU — Scientists from throughout the United States gathered Feb. 23 to 25, 2015, in Honolulu to explore ways of incorporating climate, ecosystems and other areas of uncertainty into the sustainable management of the nation's fisheries.


Samoa judge tells off man for being a show off

A 31-year-old man of Toamua has been given a 15 months suspended sentence for being “disrespectful” and a “show off.”

The decision was delivered by Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai of the District Court.

During the festive season last year, a drunken To’omila Silia went to his neighbour’s property and started making very loud comments.

His uncle approached him and told him off.

This angered Silia who turned around and threatened his uncle.

“I’m going to slice you with a machete,” he said to his uncle.

He also threw stones at him.

Talking China: Size, wealth and power do count

Geographic size, wealth and military might do count.

The point was emphasised by Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) yesterday.

He was speaking at the opening of the Conference on China and the Pacific being guided by the theme: "The View from Oceania."

“When all three come together in very large amounts for any nation, everyone else sits up and takes notice with a flurry of projections of new opportunities but also assessments of threat level perceptions,” Tuilaepa told the conference.

PCC’s new marketplace opens with over 40 shops

Laie, Hawaii – The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) officially marked the opening of the new Hukilau Marketplace with a public ceremony and celebration on Oahu’s North Shore last week.
Open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with free admission and parking, the Hukilau Marketplace encompasses 119,000 square feet of the PCC’s 42-acre campus and features more than 40 retail, dining and activity providers.

Family mourns double tragedy in Samoa

A 43-year-old mother of four from Togafu’afu’a and Nu’u, Celia Crichton Felise, is heartbroken.

First she lost her nine-year-old son, Felise Jr. due to a mysterious illness.

And just when they were about to bury him, her 66-year-old husband, Felise Sam Chong, died.

The tragic turn of events have left the mother bitter, angry and lonely.

“He died before my son’s burial,” Celia told the Samoa Observer yesterday about her late husband.

“When my son died, my husband was never the same. I saw how he changed; he was basically on the verge of a meltdown."

China's failure to provide loan details in Pacific highlighted


China's failure to provide clear details of its aid to the Pacific region was raised as a matter of concern at a summit today.

Also criticised was the reluctance or inability of Pacific island governments to release information on its loans, bilateral projects and grants from Beijing.

Lowy Institute researcher, Dr Philippa Brant, told the summit at the National University of Samoa that mapping Chinese aid in the region was a difficult task.

Next week she will launch an internet-based tool which will show the complexity of China’s aid to the Pacific.

Pacific no longer anybody's 'back yard'

The Cook Islands finance minister, Mark Brown, says the Pacific is no longer anybody's 'backyard'.
Mark Brown is in Samoa as a keynote speaker at a forum on China's presence in the region, to discuss the region's first tripartite agreement - the China, New Zealand, Cook Islands water infrastructure project.
The arrangement was initiated by the Cook Islands whereby China agreed to partner with a third party, instead of the usual case of going directly to a donor country.

PM claims there's racism in citizenship investment debate

Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has again accused the leader of the Opposition of being racist. “That is not love,” he said to Palusalue, “that is what you call racist.”

Tuilaepa made the allegation in Parliament on Friday, during the third day of the second reading of the Citizenship Investment Bill 2014. The Bill proposes to allow foreign investors with four million tala to spend in Samoa to become citizens.

When Palusalue cautioned about the ramifications of the bill in relation to Asians taking over all the local businesses, Tuilaepa became unhappy.

Pacific leaders to voice opinions on China’s regional role

source: Xinhua News Agency

Officials and academics from around the Pacific will gather in Samoa this coming week to give their views on China’s evolving relations with Pacific island nations.

Organized by the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, the National University of Samoa, and the Centre for Oceania Studies at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, the conference would be an opportunity to discuss changing geopolitics in the Pacific region, said the head of the New Zealand center.

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