There is fear of a significant escalation in a Chinese business feud following protests and disputes that got out of hand last week in Tofoa.

A lawyer, the Chinese Ambassador’s office and police were called in an attempt to disrupt the demonstration.

A group of Chinese arrived and protested outside the Tonga De Xing Construction Hardware store at Tofoa.

Photos circulated on social media showed what appeared to be three Chinese holding a banner in front of De Xing building.

Texts written in the banner read: “De Xing Construction Owner Wenhao Lin. Cheat Investors’ Money and Deny Repayment.”

A source at the company who did not want to be named, described the protestors’ actions to Kaniva news as “instigating a fight” and “causing disturbances.”

He said a protest of the same nature was staged last year and it ended up with some people being charged and eventually appearing in court.

He described that protest as “huge” and “threatening.”

The source said the company’s lawyer, Hon Samiu Vaipulu, who is also the Minister of Trade and Economic Development attempted to intervene but to no avail.

Police arrived but they did not immediately have the required warrant to be able to clamp down on the demonstrations.

The source said there was serious concern raised about the repeated protests and they had to be stopped.

No further details of the protest were made available to Kaniva news.

Public reaction

Meanwhile, there was a public reaction to photos which appeared to have been taken at the scene and shared on social media

One photo appears to show Hon. Vaipulu about to get into his van while a loud speaker and a stool were shown lying by the vehicle with the stool at the back and the loud speaker near the front of the van.

Some online users alleged that the minister disrupted the protest and threw away the protesters’ loud speaker and stool.

However, our source denied this and claimed the loud speaker and the stool were thrown away by those involved in the incident.

The Chinese Ambassador office, the protesters and Hon. Vaipulu could not be reached for comments.

The main points

  • There is fear of a significant escalation in a Chinese business feud following protests and disputes that got out of hand last week in Tofoa.
  • A lawyer,  the Chinese Ambassador’s office and police were called in an attempt to disrupt the demonstration.

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