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Fiji Time: 2:03 PM on Sunday 21 September

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Chinese say they are at home

Saturday, December 22, 2007

THE Chinese community has rejected suggestions of imminent riots against the Asian community.

Chinese Association president Lionel Yee said the riots in Tonga and the Solomon Islands were unbelievable.

Mr Yee was reacting to statements made in the New Zealand Herald by Professor John Hernderson, who warned in a submission presented to an inquiry into New Zealand's relations with South Pacific countries that the riots in Tonga and Solomons last year targeting Chinese migrants could flare up elsewhere, most likely in Fiji and Vanuatu.

"The Chinese in Fiji have an excellent relationship with locals and we contribute toward the economy. We have been successful in understanding local customs.

Many of us have learnt the language and have assimilated,'' said Mr Yee.

"There have been much inter-marriage and we are able to laugh and joke.'

He said there was much effort in eliminating misunderstandings that could be caused by differences in how Chinese pursue their livelihood.

"An outstanding example is Yat Sen School which has been acting as a communication bridge through education for 70 years.

"Chinese cultural art and dance have been a significant feature of the South Pacific Arts Festival since 1972 and at the 2003 South Pacific Games in Suva."


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