China gives Tonga million dollar grants despite legal action

A court case to be reviewed by the Supreme Court in Tonga next week could not deter the Chinese government from giving the Pacific kingdom  million of grant money.

Tonga’s Opposition Party Leader ‘Akilisi Pohiva has taken Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu,  Prime Minister Lord Tuʻivakano,  Minister of Justice Hon Clive Edward and Tongasat Company to the Supreme Court in an appeal regarding a US$49.9 million grant previously donated to Tonga by the Chinese government.

The Tongan government transferred the US$49.9 million grant to Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu and her Tongasat company in 2008 and 2010.

Pohiva claimed the transference was illegal. The Chinese Ambassador in Tonga was made aware of the issue.

However in September 12 a TOP$30 million grant agreement was signed  between the government of Tonga and the government of China.

Prime Minister’s Office says “The aid shall be used for the project (s) to be agreed upon between the two governments.

“This grant was the outcome of bilateral talks during the visit of the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano to China in July.

“Furthermore, the agreement will continue to develop friendly relations and economic cooperation between the two countries.

“The disbursement of the fund from the grant aid will be concluded subsequently between the Ministry of Finance and National Planning of the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga and the China development Bank.

This agreement was signed in Nuku’alofa  between the Tongan Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Lord Tu’ivakano and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Tonga, His Excellency Mr. Wang Donghua”

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