Solomon Islands urged to safeguard Chinese nationals
Updated: 2006-04-21 10:27
China on Thursday demanded that the Solomon Islands' government protect
Chinese citizens and their property amid violence following the election of a
new prime minister in the South Pacific nation.
Rioters and looters this week laid waste to most of the capital Honiara's
Chinatown _ its retail district.
Shop owners in Chinatown have been evacuated and families left their homes
earlier this week to avoid looters, according to media reports. Some minor
injuries were reported.
"We require the Solomon Islands' government to take effective measures
immediately to concretely protect the property and personal safety of local
Chinese," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular briefing in
Qin said communications with the Solomon Islands over the situation have
taken place through "relevant channels." He did not elaborate.
The riots began outside Parliament House after the April 5 parliamentary
elections, but swiftly moved to Chinatown.
Qin said China has made an "urgent request" to the governments of Australia,
New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to provide assistance to Chinese citizens.
Beijing has also asked the Red Cross Society to provide daily necessities, he
Chinese citizens have also been warned against traveling to the Solomon
Islands until the current situation is resolved, Qin said.