Radio NZ, March 8, 2019
A new political party in Samoa is driving a nationalistic campaign to ban future Chinese migrants to the country.
The Samoa First Party announced the policy last week, outraging some in the country’s sizeable Chinese community.
Its deputy leader told local media he wanted to “repatriate” the Chinese out of Samoa, comments which were later withdrawn.
Party leader Unasa Iuni Sapolu says the official policy is to ban all Chinese migrants but she insists the party isn’t racist.
“We must put Samoans as a priority. We can’t held against … once the Chinese come over they bring over the products, they are from a bigger, much bigger, billions and billions of population,” she said.
Chinese-Samoan community member Ronna Lee said the “ridiculous” policy would make life harder for new migrants from China, who already face outrageous claims that they are taking over Samoa.
“Any politician who has policies that are based on bigotry and racism should not be given a platform to be a politician,” she said, adding that racism was incompatible with Fa’aSamoa values of love and respect.
RNZ Pacific’s correspondent in Apia, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, said hardline Samoa First policies were unlikely to gain traction with the government.